Councilman asks for special meeting to reconsider Convention Center Authority

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 1:13pm

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.

• Read Jameson's questions

jameson questions.pdf60.83 KB

8 Comments on this post:

By: WayneJ on 8/19/09 at 1:11

We had a referendum on the stadium - this crazy idea of a project deserves at least that much. Abolish this commission before it starts and give the voters a chance to tell Dean what we think of this money pit before it swallows us. I'm betting most of us don't want it.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/19/09 at 1:13

Build the new convention center Nashville!!

By: nvestnbna on 8/19/09 at 9:14

I just don't understand what a nine member panel brings to the table? Do they have some expertise in development like this? Isn't it just one more layer of bureaucracy? With what benefit - they make a quarterly report to the council?

They should approve or not approve this thing before they continue this Chinese torture exercise. Drip, drip, drip, $rip, $$ip, $$$p, $$$$.

This is becoming a case study in what not to do, from beginning to end.

By: producer2 on 8/20/09 at 5:22

As most of us realize the Mayor is not going to bring a funding package before the Council that does not make sense. It is still being worked on to get the best possible result. This is the most vetted project in the history of the City. It has already drug on for years. It has positive support both from the community and obviously the Council. I am confident no one will vote for a funding package that is not practical. I would not want it and neither would you. It is not like the vote was close and it took an obscure rule to get it postponed. Let's move forward and have the glass be half full instead of thinking it is half empty.

By: govskeptic on 8/20/09 at 6:59

So glad to know there are those that think the council would not vote for
something that is not practical! This entire project is not practical and only those with special financial interest attempts to tell us it is. This rushing only show desperation and as is being shown by producer and others the taxpayer funded PR campaign will be funded by various means to the conclusion.

By: Anna3 on 8/20/09 at 7:36

producer2???? Vetted? This thing has been nothing but a cat and mouse game from the start! Dean and his Chamber cronies don't disclose anything until they've been caught at it. How can you explain the fact that Dean is claiming he will use Revenue Bonds to pay for this when NOT A SINGLE PERSON in the universe besides Dean and his "Kool Aid" drinking Chamber buddies think that this thing will even come close to generating enough revenue to pay its bills? I'll tell you why Dean's going this route... because he knows by law that he does not need to hold a public referendum for any project that is paid for with revenue bonds even if EVERYONE knows the revenue will fall short and the project will require a massive tax increase to complete and run (Which would require a referendum and use of General Obligation Bonds to properly fund it!) ...Dean's simply avoiding accountability to the voters on this one...and sticking them with the tab. When Jamieson & Crafton's prognostication of massive revenue shortfalls materialize... it will be too late to do much about a "Billion Dollar" Money Pit sitting on Demonbreum we'll just have to pay for it, won't we? ....We sure can't return it to the sender can we? Once again....Dean and his cronies think we are all a bunch of suckers...and based on your blind support...he's probably correct. Too bad for the schools, the neighborhoods, and Public Safety...they'll suffer the revenue shortfall the most. The thing is...that when we have to raise taxes for this, Dean and his chums will all be gone and have made huge profits from the taxpayers leaving us holding the bag. Dean must make this "Transaction" take place in order to deliver the cash he promised and fulfill his pre-election campaign committments to the Chamber and Hotel Association. Problem is...that cash comes DIRECTLY from my and your pockets. Dean's betting your home and my home that this thing is going to make it. Thanks Comrade! This thing is simply awful Public Policy and has us spending A BILLION DOLLARS of our money on a dying industry. Perhaps metro should open a "Buggy Whip" factory next....and open up shares of stock to the general public so that you may invest your retirement on it! Can I have my vote back please? Bob Clement for Mayor!

By: Time for Truth on 8/20/09 at 9:30

anna3, here here! But please, not Bob Clement!! Remember he was all for this turkey also. Perhaps Jameson will run when Deanie Weenie realizes he won't be reelected. Sadly kicking Dean out may be the only referendum we get.

Rip Ryman is once again proving that he is a moron.

By: govskeptic on 8/20/09 at 3:10

Anna3: Well said!! This Pink Elephant with the large Pocketbook hanging around it's neck has lots of money, inflated revenue projections, and a comic book dream showing this MCC as being the
golden calf that will put our now good city into the Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando, catagory of large booming cities. The mayor and his dream
council of the "Neighbors-Ryman Team" will long be gone when the pain of paying begins.