Convention Center Authority board set

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 10:37pm

At Tuesday night’s Metro Council meeting, nine members were seated to the founding board of directors of the city's new Convention Center Authority, though not without dissent from skeptics of plans to build the $600 million center downtown.

Madison-area Council member Michael Craddock said he found the candidates' lack of geographical diversity within the county "insulting" and wondered why there were no accountants, architects or engineers among the prospective board members.

Jim Gotto, representing much of the Hermitage area, voiced similar concerns, as did Councilman-at-Large Charlie Tygard. Gotto said he detected a "possible negative attitude toward Council oversight" on the part of some of the nine.

Councilman Mike Jameson, an outspoken critic of the convention center but rarely an ally of the Council's more conservative members, drew chuckles and a smattering of applause from colleagues when he rose to speak about the nominees.

"I don't know that I've ever begun a floor speech by saying that I want to echo the comments of Councilmen Tygard, Gotto and Craddock," he said.

In the end, as many as 10 members abstained from voting on some of the candidates, with a few votes cast against them. But the 40-member body easily confirmed all of them for terms of two to four years. Those chosen were as follows:

Vonda McDaniel, Leo Waters and William E. McDonald (two-year terms); the Rev. Darrell A. Drumwright, Mona Lisa Warren and W. Lucas Simons (three-year terms); C. Mark Arnold, Marty G. Dickens and Ken Levitan (four-year terms).

Coleman drops non-discrimination bill

Councilman Sam Coleman withdrew his bill to establish an alternative non-discrimination statute in the city.

Coleman's legislation would have outlawed discrimination in Metro government based on anything other than job performance. But Coleman sought to avoid creating new protected classes of individuals, as he felt the landmark bill sponsored by Councilwoman Megan Barry and passed in September would do.

With his bill on third and final reading, Coleman pulled it without addressing the chamber as to his reasons. He had told The City Paper this week that he was thinking of dropping it, in part because he did not wish "to cause tension with the Council."

Panel honors Officer Chesnut

Metro Police Sgt. Mark Chesnut, who was critically wounded in June after a routine traffic stop on a car that turned out to contain an escaped convict, was honored Tuesday.

Chesnut thanked his physicians, public supporters and fellow officers for their support in recent months as he underwent extensive medical treatment.

17 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 10/7/09 at 7:08

What part of town are these folks from? I'm guessing that NONE are east of 65 and few if any are north of 40.

By: pandabear on 10/7/09 at 7:22

"Convention Center Authority board set".

Well, they can just "unset" themselves 'cause they aren't
going anywhere on this project until the voters vote !

By: Kosh III on 10/7/09 at 7:35

Puhleeze. There will never be a referendum on this; the fix is in. It's a done deal and has been for some time. The ConVis/downtown folks have found a way to get a whopping welfare check at our expense and nothing will stop it now.

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 8:01

that's right the fix is in and it's called The Metro Charter....

By: govskeptic on 10/7/09 at 8:29

No surprise on the MCC Board. While the lack of many
professions and diversity of geography of the board was
pointed out by some councilmen, it does
require loyalty to the project and has achieved that. The
Mayor and his council worshippers have 21-24 votes on
any aspect of the project which will continue throughout
this $1,000,000,000.00 project.

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 8:31

Actually they have 30. :)

By: Floyd2 on 10/7/09 at 8:53

Gaylord loses again. They tried to play games with the authority members. Now they're trying to play games with this talk of a referendum. This project was a topic of debate in the last mayor's electon and in all of the council elections. The voters have been discussing it for years. The council need to do its job and take a vote. If Gaylord opposes jobs for Nashvillians and economic development for downtown, then its minions on the council will have to vote against it.

If you want to talk about corporate welfare, talk about the $80 million in bonds Gaylord got in 2007. The Music City Center will pay for itself.

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 9:09

Careful Floyd2,
Although I agree with most of what you say, Gaylord has not been given that particular set of funds yet. They have received plenty of corporate welfare over the years but they as of yet do not have the $80 million. That is another thing that has precipitated their most recent maneuvering on the project.

By: JeffF on 10/7/09 at 9:24

When purchasing the silence of another party in a disreputable project, be sure to actually pay the money.

By: govskeptic on 10/7/09 at 10:20

Well said JeffF, but of course Gaylord may also be
realizing you don't borrow 80M even with tax advantages
if it's likely to not produce the revenue expected. Wild
revenue projects that may or maynot come in is close
enough for government projects, there's always a back
up to cover the cost.

By: idgaf on 10/7/09 at 10:43

What good is this article to us if we don't know how our councilman voted no matter what side of the issue you ae on.

Try just giving us the facts don't give us propaganda and conceal their part in it.

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 11:11

nice JeffF, I think Gaylord did the asking not the other way around.....

By: Time for Truth on 10/7/09 at 1:14

You're right, prod, and they always have their hand out. That metro is paying this 'hush money ' is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the many ways in which 99 percent of the citizens of Nashville are being hosed by the MCC.

Floyd, if you think the MCC will pay for itself, I have a betamax/crt television factory for sale. Only 100 mil, you can get rich off of the profits! Really! The MCC will be an empty monument to the business models of yesteryear as well as Nashville's inept and corrupt city government not long after it opens.

I can tell Mr. Craddock why there are no accountants on this board.

By: Time for Truth on 10/7/09 at 3:11

I didn't see Mr. Crafton's name mentioned anywhere here. Has he gone to the 'dark side' on this one or is the press trying to wean him off of publicity to treat his addiction?

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 3:23

It's just too stupid to comment on...

By: producer2 on 10/7/09 at 3:24

Sorry, I should have said self serving for those Council members who might be reading this....

By: Time for Truth on 10/7/09 at 10:17

Now, prod, you should play nice now since all indications are that you and your little event planning buddies have won and the rest of us have lost. Barring a taxpayer uprising over the folly of this project, or the Prozac wearing off at Metro Council it looks like we are stuck with this turkey.

Dean did pull a boneheaded PR move in cutting off the fairgrounds. Granted this should have been done long ago IMO. But when Dean is trying to push the building of an expensive, instantly obsolete giant money sucking hole, doing away with a small-time money loser with deep roots in the community is pretty darn stupid.

I was unable to find the 'no' votes on this one but going by prod's number of 30 sheep and what I have heard from those weighing in, here is my guess. "no" from Craddock, Crafton, Duvall, Evans, Holleman and Jameson. Gotto and Tygard abstaining. Yes from everyone else.