Metro Public Works Director Billy Lynch says he does not have a list that shows where Metro Council members stand on the fairgrounds issue.
At a spirited special fairgrounds meeting earlier this week, Councilman Mike Jameson delivered a bombshell when he suggested Lynch — at the behest of the mayor’s administration — had been telephoning council members to gauge their stance on Mayor Karl Dean’s redevelopment plans for the 117-acre Metro-owned fairgrounds.
Jameson implied Lynch had been asked to tell council members that continued strong services in their districts were dependent on their voting for a Dean administration-introduced bill that outlines a set of Hickory Hollow Mall leases. The ordinance would allow events currently held at the fairgrounds’ expo center to relocate to the Antioch mall.
“You don’t need to go there,” Jameson told Metro officials on Tuesday.
“I know the public works director,” Jameson said. “He’s a phenomenal public servant. I know he doesn’t do this out of his own volition. I know he follows orders.”
Jameson requested that Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite, who chairs the council’s Codes, Fair and Farmers Market Committee, ask Lynch for any vote-tally sheet he may have obtained.
In a letter sent to council members on Friday, Lynch claims there is no list to hand over.
“As to keeping a list,” Lynch wrote, “1) There is no list; 2) I have Not communicated any list to anyone.” [sic]
“As I stated in The City Paper,” Lynch wrote, referring to a story published earlier this week, “I am a lifelong Nashvillian and a taxpayer of Davidson County. There are times issues arise, and as a taxpayer I do become interested. This [the fairgrounds] is simply one of those issues, and there have been many over my 42 years with Metro.”
Contacted late Friday afternoon by The City Paper, Lynch acknowledged he’s “talked to a couple” of other council members about the fairgrounds issue, but said his curiosity is only because he’s a taxpayer of Davidson County.
“I haven’t gotten on the phone to call anybody deliberately for anything,” Lynch affirmed.