Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For those of you looking to spend some quality Thanksgiving holiday time with your family at the meeting on a foregone conclusion

The official Sulphur Dell meeting announcement that went out this week to four neighborhoods, I suppose, is below. Curious that the Salemtown co-host is the association's Vice President rather than President, given that the other association hosts of the meeting are Presidents.

Sulphur Dell Informational Meeting

Discussion of Proposed

Ballpark Project At Sulphur Dell

Saturday, November 30, 2013

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Community Meeting Room

1015 Herman Street

This meeting will focus on the proposed Ballpark Project at Sulphur Dell – a significant public-private partnership that will allow Metro Government to build a new minor league ballpark at Sulphur Dell in the Jefferson Street / Germantown area.  Representatives will give background for the project and explain the proposal.  

Co-Hosted  By

District 19 Councilmember Erica S. Gilmore

At-Large Councilmember Charlie Tygard

Salemtown NA Vice President Mark Bodamer

Hope Gardens NA President Bonnie Bashor

Historic Buena Vista NA President Mark Wright

Germantown NA President Robbie Vaughn

When I read "informational meeting" I still do not think of community meeting. Sounds like representatives are going to do more presenting than listening to the community. Given the unfortunate timing of the meeting, it may not matter since many in the community are naturally focused on the holidays.

UPDATE: Steven Hale reports on the last-minute, thrown-together, ramshackle fashion that CM Erica Gilmore put this meeting together. As far as I am concerned this process has been disgraceful. I won't soon forget the indignity to the community planning process of the scheduling of this meeting. It is her albatross that our own council member put this together because another member--and a conservative one at that--requested it at the last council meeting. She seemed anything but proactive:

Tygard says Councilwoman Erica Gilmore — who represents the area north of downtown where the stadium will be built — offered to put together a public meeting. Tygard took her up on the offer, although the timing of the meeting may only accentuate concerns about pushing the project through during the holiday season. It will be held at 9 a.m. Nov. 30 — the Saturday after Thanksgiving — at Goodwill Industries on Herman Street.

Tygard's absence at two ballpark briefings earlier this month has drawn criticism from some of his council colleagues. But he says he will be at the public meeting. As of this writing, Gilmore says she's still working to see which Metro officials will be able to join them.

So, if Charlie Tygard had not raised an objection and asked in his comments for public meetings, I doubt Erica Gilmore would have lifted a finger to do so. I believe that she would have let this legislation sail through unscathed, with the council public hearing being the only opportunity for the community to give feedback. As it is, I doubt it will get much community blow back on Saturday and who knows whether Metro officials will even show up. The scheduling assures that. What a farce.

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