At the behest of Councilman Rip Ryman, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors is prepared to call a special meeting for Friday at 4:30 p.m. to reconsider the resolution to create a new Convention Center Authority.
The resolution initially passed with a 37-2 vote at Tuesday’s Council meeting. But District 6 Councilman Mike Jameson evoked an obscure Council rule requesting the resolution be reconsidered at the Sept. 2 meeting.
Ryman followed up with a letter to the vice mayor Wednesday asking for a special meeting be held Friday to reconsider the legislation. The Convention Center Authority would become the board to oversee the development of Music City Center. Metro Development and Housing Agency currently manages the project.
Jameson contends that the Mayor Karl Dean administration is unnecessarily fast-tracking the creation of the Convention Center Authority as a quick fix to the revelation that Metro had been billed $458,000 for communications for the proposed convention center project. McNeely, Pigott & Fox, the public relations firm responsible for billing Metro after its original contract was for just $75,000, has resigned and Dean has called for an independent audit.
Supporters of the resolution contend the creation of the Convention Center Authority will provide Council with much-needed oversight over development of the most costly public project in Nashville’s history.
The authority would consist of nine members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Council. The Convention Center Authority would also be required to make quarterly reports.
The administration filed its legislation to create the authority on Friday and Jameson said there wasn’t been enough time to have questions answered in the ensuing four days before the Council meeting.
Jameson had a list of 12 questions, which Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling promised would be answered by the end of the week. Jameson said Wednesday it was his hope his questions would be answered before any special meeting was conducted.
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