Resolution seeks to name auditorium after Metro government veteran Sonny West

Monday, January 3, 2011 at 6:56pm

The auditorium in Metro’s recently renovated Howard Office Building could soon be named after the city government’s longest tenured active employee.

Councilmen Parker Toler and Charlie Tygard have filed a resolution that would christen the new hall at the Second Avenue South Metro building in honor of Sonny West, Metro’s zoning administrator since 1986, who has worked for the city for 55 years.

The bill is up for the first of three votes on Tuesday.

West, long relied on by council members, media and others to get their zoning questions answered, is currently battling cancer. He recently underwent chemotherapy, according to Tygard.

“He’s spent hundreds of thousands of hours in that public hearing room at either planning commission or board of zoning appeal hearings,” Tygard said. “He has an aggressive form of cancer now. He’s waging a courageous battle.

“He’s literally a guy who will do anything in the world for you,” Tygard said of West. “He’s the nicest guy in the world, and I believe as honest and ethical as the day is long.”

Tygard also recently introduced an ordinance that would name the Metro Council chambers after former Vice Mayor David Scobey. That proposal is up for the final of three votes on Jan. 18.


11 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 1/3/11 at 7:13

You mean the Sonny West that over stepped his authority and let the Jim Reeves property be destroyed? That would be a shame!

By: girliegirl on 1/4/11 at 8:19

Sonny West is a GREAT American and a superb Metro civil servant!

By: nvestnbna on 1/4/11 at 8:27

Long overdue for someone who's worked tirelessly on behalf of our community.

By: sumac on 1/4/11 at 10:56

Seriously BFRA? The only shame is that someone as insensitive as you exists in this world. Unbelievable.

By: jts on 1/4/11 at 11:01

Brfa, you should be ashamed of yourself. Sonny is a wonderful person. He is outstanding in his service to Nashville and its residents and definitely deserves to be honored in some way. Everyone including you makes mistakes in this life and for you to bring that issue up at this time shows a lack of thought or compassion.

By: adfloorz1 on 1/4/11 at 11:54

Sonny has done more for Nashville in the 55 years that he has been there than any mayor or politician has done - this would be a true honor for him and his work. By the way brfa, Sonny was out of town when the Jim Reeves home was destroyed. The other two men that made the actual decision had to blame it on someone.

By: supportive on 1/4/11 at 12:14

Sonny West is a remarkable man. He has the upmost integrity even when others would point the blame elsewhere. Mr. West is most deserving of this honor and I hope and pray it is awarded to him in recognition of what he has done for Metro. He serves as an inspiration to many in his character. BRFA, please remember there are two sides to every story and we all know how politics can play into any situation. it would be best not to judge unless we have all the facts from both sides. In fact it would be best not to judge at all. Even if he did make a mistake, which I am not saying he 55 years of service do you think he would be perfect 100% of the time? I know I would not be even when I had the best of intentions and I highly doubt you would be either.

By: bfra on 1/4/11 at 2:38

Maybe you don't know the Sonny West that I know. The Jim Reeves deal was a major foul up and he almost lost his job over it. There are many employees that have put in as many hrs (all have received pay for), what should be named after them?

David Scobey deserved the honor of the Metro Council chambers carrying his name!

By: miketravel on 1/4/11 at 8:26

bfra. You do not know the Sonny West that I have known since 1972. He is a very civil and compassionat individual. He is the best friend that the City of Nashville and Davidson County has ever had for both businesses and the average citizen. The Jim Reeves deal was not a major foul up that almost cost him his job. The Metro Historical Zoning Commision had No authority to intervene in the demolition of that building. He was the victim of an administrasion that wanted him gone. He was cleared of all accusations and had his time and pay reinstated by the Metro Civil Service Commision. The Honor of having the Auditorium at the Howard Office Building named after him is Most appropiate.

By: Loner on 1/5/11 at 9:43

What is this, the Sonny West Fawning Sycophants Club?

As a human being, my sympathies go out to Mr. West and his families, it appears that the man is dying of cancer. May there be mercy.

Having said that, Bfra's comments are based in fact. The loss of the Evergreens, especially in the manner in which it went down, stained Sonny's legacy, IMO.

Any human being who has been on the government payroll for 55 years and rose to the top of the heap would naturally have their skeletons in the closet. Before you elevate Sonny to Sainthood, a thorough audit of his public and private financial affairs might be a good idea. A full vetting could save a whole lot of embarassment, down the road.

I'm sure that Mr. West is a most charming man, whose intentions were good. He loved Nashville. Truly, Sonny West, like anyone else, is only human. As I said, my sympathies go out to Mr. West and his family.

By: tomba1 on 1/7/11 at 12:28

Just put a plaque and a picture over the urinals in the men's room and be done with it. That should be highly inspirational and others can be likewise honored on the wall in the future. Not being familiar with the interior of the ladies room, I imagine some appropriate wall of honor could be established there as well.