Fairgrounds preservationists defend Dominy bill

Monday, October 4, 2010 at 12:35pm

A group committed to the preservation of Nashville’s fairgrounds has taken issue with statements made by District 17 Metro Councilwoman Sandra Moore, who last week wrote she was “disappointed” one of her council colleagues would file a bill addressing property located entirely within her district.

An ordinance filed by District 28 Metro Councilman Duane Dominy, who represents parts of Antioch, seeks to keep the Tennessee State Fair and various expo center events at the 117-acre fairgrounds property near Wedgewood Avenue and Nolensville Pike.

The bill is up for first reading this Tuesday.

Reacting to the bill in a letter to constituents, Moore, who represents the neighborhood surrounding the fairgrounds and served on Mayor Karl Dean’s Fairgrounds Task Force, wrote that Dominy didn’t ask her to be a co-sponsor for the bill nor did he tell her he planned on filing it.

“I am frankly disappointed that another district councilmember felt it appropriate to file legislation regarding property that is located solely within my district, but it is within his purview to do so,” Moore wrote.

Over the weekend, the Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group weighed in on the matter, maintaining Dominy was not out of line in filing the bill.

“Frankly, Ms. Moore needs to understand that the Fairgrounds are not the District 17 Fairgrounds,” the group contends in an email. “They belong to all citizens of Davidson County and are there for the benefit of not only Davidson County, but all of Middle Tennessee, and the entire state as well.”

The preservation group’s position isn’t a revelation, nor is it a surprise they would target Moore.

At the conclusion of a July meeting organized by the fairgrounds task force, the preservation group’s founding member Lisa Leeds approached Moore one-on-one. With approximately 100 people watching, Leeds turned to profanity as she claimed fairgrounds preservationists weren’t given a chance to have their say at this particular gathering. Several onlookers ran to the scene to restrain Leeds.

Moore kept her cool and told Leeds to have a seat.


25 Comments on this post:

By: 117_acres on 10/4/10 at 11:20

This groups members have serious emotional instability issues. I'm very thankful that their members do not live in District 17 and that they are defending Dominy.

By: concernedtaxpayer on 10/4/10 at 12:37

Why does Dean even want economic devolopment in this area? Building a park on the property will only mean thugs will be coming around causing more problems.

By: BigPapa on 10/4/10 at 1:03

IF this were really all that valued a race track wouldnt the collective wallets of the NASCAR crowd try to buy it?
It looks like the market hath spoken, and the track is a loser. Now if only the hockey team got the same treatment....

By: Rat on 10/4/10 at 1:12

117 -- the pot calling the kettle black??
And we do, as you well know, have numerous members in District 17 and the Fairgrounds neighborhood-- more than what are in your little club of real estate investors. We also have hundreds of supporters in District 17-- actually on paper-- who are not formal members. In fact, one of the key officers of FGHPG lives closer to the Fairgrounds than you do!

By: anjnew on 10/4/10 at 2:09

It is disappointing that Mayor Dean wants to build a park in the middle of drug city. No one wants to go to the fair much less a park.

Mayor Dean has turned down two mulit-million dollar offers from two well known race car drivers to buy the track. Doesn't that make more sense to get money for a property that a city needs? The race track is one of few places families can go for low cost to have good family time. It has been there for 50 plus years and needs some TLC, that no one has wanted to invest in because of all the talk about it going away and mismanagment. No one wanted to lease a track on year to year basis and spend that kind of money.

And as for the residents of the area, well the race track was there way before your house was bulit or you moved in and you decided to move in anyways. Its a couple of nights a week, it brings good people to the area. With the track gone, it will be nothing but trouble. Frankly if I were going to take my children to the park, it wouldn't be there.

It is a shame to get rid of the track and fairgrounds, it just needs some updating and a city to back it, just like all other sports.

By: 117_acres on 10/4/10 at 2:11

Rat, so if you are still a member of this group I guess Leeds was lying to The City Paper when she said this

"( Rat, you know who's name belongs in here) is no longer affiliated with the Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group," Leeds said.

If you are referring to D.C. as the one living closer to the fairgrounds than I do, well the word is out on her as well. A quick property search shows she owns property all over Nashville and one can drive by her Wedgewood property and see that she does not currently live there.

By: nashtnman on 10/4/10 at 3:48

Our mayor is in several pockets so deep he is referred to as Dick! This “misappropriation of an office” wants to take property that provides a place for wholesome family activities at very, very little tax dollars and turn it into a cash cow for his trouser buddies and a few on the council. The fairgrounds cost Metro less per year than the last person he added to his staff. This is just like the convention center and hotel project that was not to involve property tax dollars and now tax dollar backed the hotel revenues through the general fund and the general fund is funded by what people? PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS! He lies, he cheats and he is going to force this deal down our throats through back alley deals, misconduct, lies, illegal deals, misuse of government fund/personnel and any other way he can come up with because the spineless majority of this city will not stand up and say no. His suck-up buddies on the council are going to support him, he is going to walk all over the public majority and those of us that use the fairgrounds and participate at the events are going to be out of a place to enjoy a family day. Welcome to what you have created Nashville.

By: capt4chris on 10/4/10 at 4:01

For the record, I've lived in the area for 6+ years and I ride my bicycle through the Fairgrounds weekly. The place is NOT a thug haven. Stop being scared of people different than you. The fair did great and whatever they put here will do great. This area is just gonna get better as they continue improving South Nashville.

By: MAmom on 10/4/10 at 8:32

If it were held up to a vote, would the citizenry support the Mayor's plans for the Fairgrounds? Unlikely:

1. There would probably be no objection to the move if it were to a comparable location. The Fairgrounds property is centrally located, it is accessible, the buildings are separated which makes it easy for vendors and customers to load & unload goods. At any building at the fairgrounds you are only a few steps away from the outside - better access for loading and unloading.

2. A failed Mall - ten miles from downtown - in a non-central location - is NOT a comparable location. This is not meant to slight the Hickory Hollow location - it may be fine for organizations with daily activities (like offices or a satellite college campus) - but not for the intermittent kind of events sponsored at the fairgrounds.

3. Fairground activities directly or indirectly bring approximately $50,000,000 to $60,000,000 of revenue to the area. Maybe not as much revenue as in prior years - the economy is anemic and retail revenues are down everywhere.

4. If you move the functions to a failed Mall - people WILL NOT follow... if fairground / flea market customers wanted a "Mall" experience - they would go to the Mall..... instead of waiting each month for the Flea Market at the Fairgrounds. Since they will not follow ... these revenues will be lost. Additionally there are crime, traffic, access & egress issues associated with the Hickory Hollow site. The cost to adjust the facilities will be passed to event attendees.

5. In addition to it's historical significance, many Tennessee natives have a strong sentimental attachment to the Fairgrounds because they have been attending events there for years.

6. Many people have indoor jobs - going to the Fairgrounds / Flea Market is a great experience because you get to be outside as you manuever between the buildings and sheds to find treasures.

7. Many people who use the Fairgrounds are being excluded from the decision. For example residents of Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner, Cheatham, Robertson, Montgomery, Lawrence, Dickson, etc. counties.

8. So many people backing this plan are in the Real Estate business. Can you say "conflict of interest"?

9. Like Rat said in another thread - the standard for a State or City owning public property should not be profitability - if it were - shouldn't Centennial, and other park properties owned by Nashville be sold?

10. Is the transaction being proposed by the mayor even legal? Wasn't the property originally deeded to the government with the intent that the properties be used directly by the people for the State Fair, races, etc... (and not for some oblique "trickle-down" economics kind of purpose).

Again, if closing the fairgrounds, moving it's functions and selling the property is such a great idea - and since so many people are affected - why not put it up to a vote? (vs. slipping it through the back door while no one is looking).

By: 117_acres on 10/4/10 at 10:18

MAmom = Rat
(Nice Try)

How can this be slipped through the back door when we have had almost five years of open discussion? Like Gail Kerr said in a recent story in the Tennessean there have been 50 articles regarding the fairgrounds since 2008.

50,000,000 to 60,000,000 yeah right and I got some ocean front property down in Bucksnort, Tennessee for you. No Hotels, No Restaurants, and No Retail shops in walking distance from the fairgrounds property. If the status quo at the fairgrounds property contributed significantly to the community there would be no need to close it.

By: Rat on 10/5/10 at 8:16

117 -- You know, you're nowhere near as smart as you seem to think you are. We can absolutely, positively, truthfully say that RAT is not who you implied it is. It's none of your business exactly *who* it is-- but it's not who you seem to think. Ms. Leeds was truthful when she made that statement back then.

And you're hardly one to accuse anyone of not being truthful, with all the wild things you put in the papers!

First you complained about not enough members of FGHPG owning property in Davidson County, and now you're complaining because one does! And the person you refer to *does* live in the Fairgrounds neighborhood-- closer to the property than you.

You know 117, doing searches on a person's holdings and then driving by their house to see if they're home is edging very close to stalking-- and there are laws against that.

By: chaos2020 on 10/5/10 at 8:20

Ms Moore should be more diappointed in herself for not taking action since the site is in her district.
There are people who make things happen, those who watch things happen and others who stand around wonering what just happened. Her constituents should note she was watching and wondering while Mr. Dominy took action.

By: njmccune on 10/5/10 at 9:09

I find it quite surprising that no one has realized the salient point in Councilperson Dominy's bill.

Dominy lives across the street from Tony Formossa... the guy who is running the race track!

Who says that Good Ole Boy Politics is not alive and well in Nashville! Dominy appears to be available to the highest bidder.

By: No More Racetrack on 10/5/10 at 9:43

Fairground "preservationists" are a bunch of hillbilly jackass redneck assholes who are selfish,live no where near the fairgrounds and for some reason want to hold back both progress and my property value.Screw the fairgrounds,Screw Tony Formossa and his redneck playground , and screw all of you for supporting it.

By: orangey on 10/5/10 at 9:44

Council member Moore has every right to be upset with Dominy. Council member Moore has worked tirelessly to see that the fairgrounds property is redeveloped for the benefit of Nashville and her district. Hats off to Sandra Moore and Mayor Dean for their leadership and thoughtful planning to improve the neighborhood near the fairgrounds property.

By: njmccune on 10/5/10 at 10:05

As I have stated many times before... the $60M figure is pie in the sky. The preservation group is the author of this number based on their claim that 29,000 hotel rooms are rented. So, let's put $100 per night on the hotel rooms. That equals $2.9M. do they believe that $57.1 additional revenue really comes from anywhere else?

The facts are that the people who race at the track are mostly from adjacent counties and go home after the race. The people from out of town that exhibit (the low rent they pay is another subject altogether) at the flea market do not stay at hotels...they stay in the campers they bring along. Do you really supose that any of these people eat at restaurants?

Let's talk about the 31K signatures that the preservation group has gathered to keep the fairgrounds... they claim that 90% of those signatures are from Nashville. What they don't want to tell you is that is just 4.5% of the residents of Davidson County!

The preservation group obviously wants you to drink the same cool-ade that they are drinking.

By: localboy on 10/5/10 at 10:37

There are powerful arguments on both sides...one question: given how long the race track has been in operation (we've all known about and visited the Fairgrounds, the race track, I even remember going to Fair Park a few times), unless you grew up in the neighborhood, why would someone buy next to it and then worry about their property value?

By: concernedtaxpayer on 10/5/10 at 10:52

If Dean and his cronies want to shut the Fairgrounds down for costing taxpayers around $1 million per year (which it has not true due to the money coming out of reserves), then he needs to shut down the Predators here in Nashville costing taxpayers 8.8 million a year with the majority of attendees not from Davidson County. I guess he can also do the same with the Titans because they are also receiving money from Davidson County taxpayers for upkeep and we all know that over 50% of attendees for those games also come from out of the county. And what about taxpayers subsidizing golfers at the Metro owned courses? Since those are also losing money and costing taxpayers, I guess all of those golf courses need to be closed down.

By: MAmom on 10/5/10 at 12:51

In college teachers always said to ask questions. That if you had a question probably half the class probably had the same question.

This is analogous to the petition-to-save-the-fairgrounds situation.

So far approximately 30,000 signatures have been collected to save the fairgrounds. Many of these were collected by attendees at recent fairgrounds events. FOR EVERY SIGNATURE ON THE PETITION - THERE ARE DOUBTLESS MANY OTHERS WHO JUST HAVE NOT HAD A CHANCE TO SIGN IT YET.


The whole question about viability of the property could be settled if the Mayor would share audited financials with the public - so we can see how much money is being lost on various City properties (e.g.: parks, athletic venues, the fairgrounds, etc.).

That way we could see whether the fairgrounds situation is the really as bad the Mayor and his minions claim that it is.

By: Rat on 10/5/10 at 1:21

117 - again, not so smart. Rat is not MAmom either! In fact, we don't have a clue who MAmom is, but we'd like to know ourselves-- she's remarkably well-informed on the issues. You and njcmcune could take a clue from her in that respect, and maybe attempt to argue the issues, and not try to attack individuals.

njmcune said: "The preservation group is the author of this number .... " but we've pointed out to her time and time again that the Economic Impact Study was done by a department of Metro. Once again, and for those folks who'd like to see the original document, here's a link where you can see it for yourself. http://fairgroundsheritagel.org/index.php?p=eo Thank you once again for giving us the opportunity to promote our website!

njmcune also downplayed the 31,000 signatures on a petition to save the Fairgrounds. Apparently she does not realize that she lives in a county and a country where it's doing good to turn out 50% of the voters. So a group of almost 5% of the residents is a significient number. We've been told it's probably the largest number of petitions gathered for an issue in the history of Davidson County, and it's easily enough signatures to recall a Metro Council member, and almost enough signatures to recall a Mayor- so it's a pretty significient number. Besides, show us how many signatures you have on a petition to redevelop the Fairgrounds!

And all this about Tony Formosa living across the street from CM Dominy is just blowing smoke. *Somebody* lives across the street from CM Moore, the mayor, and probably every member of the Metro Council. So you're saying that they should not get involved in issues that their neighbors support?? It seems to us that they were elected to *represent* their neighbors on issues. And with 31,000 signatures on petitions, it's obvious that Mr. Formosa is not the *only* person with in interest in preserving the Fairgrounds.

And once again, you both complain about the fact that many people come from out of town to events at the Fairgrounds. I think you've been given this economics lesson before too, but one more time for the slow learners out there. Bringing people in from outside the county is GOOD for the economy. Residents passing around the same money to each other in the community is BAD for the economy. New money is needed for growth, and new money comes from outside the community. With the fairgrounds bringing in over a million visitors a year, we're pretty sure that some of them spend money while they're here-- buying gas to get home, grabbing a bite at mickey-D's, making purchases at the flea market, Christmas show or other events. And that does not include the approximately 28,000 of them who rent motel rooms!

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 10/5/10 at 2:23

Wonder why there is not really a call for this controversial property use to be put on a ballot in Nov. Davidson county voters could have their say.

By: racin71 on 10/5/10 at 2:35

hey , no more race track, i'd love to kiss your ass,, why don't you step up and take one for your lover karl dean. i'd be glad to **** you, you come on here and hide behind some queer ass name on a computer. lets see if your sprout enough, give me a time and address bitch. you might get dealt with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

By: MAmom on 10/5/10 at 2:43

Hi Judy,

I think the Mayor must be afraid of a vote.

If he thought the voters would approve his plans... he would let the voters decide this.

By: yucchhii on 10/5/10 at 3:53

Dean? Oooohh, DINK! Well you know...THE "DEAD" PRESIDENTS TALK "LOUDER" THAN THE "LIVE" ONES DO!!! That's all DINK cares about! He wants to make sure those DEAD presidents...STAY DEAD!!

By: lovemynascar@co... on 10/5/10 at 5:32

To "No more racetrack"-are you 104 years old? If not, then you moved into your house knowing the Fairgrounds was already there. I'm sick and tired of all these people who aren't from here whining about everything. If you don't like our racetrack and our traditions, then go back to where you came from.