Board of Fair Commissioners chair James Weaver confirmed Tuesday he won’t continue to serve on the fair board after his term expires in April.
Weaver, a Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis attorney who specializes in real estate, referenced his impending departure on several occasions at Tuesday morning’s fair board meeting, using phrases such as “I won’t be here” after April. Appointed in 2006 to fill a five-year term, Weaver's tenure will end April 6.
“If nominated, I shall not run. If elected I shall not serve,” Weaver said afterward, turning to a phrase made famous by President Lyndon B. Johnson. “I’ve done this long enough.”
Weaver has faced increased scrutiny by many in Nashville’s racing community in recent months as efforts ramped up to save the Fairgrounds Speedway at the 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Some questioned Weaver’s role as a registered lobbyist for CBL Properties, owner of Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch, where Mayor Karl Dean originally sought to relocate the fairgrounds’ expo center.
Weaver rejected the notion that pressure got to him.
“It’s not about me,” Weaver said. “I’m just one person who happens to be on this board, who missed a board meeting and somehow got elected board chair. I’ll roll off and someone else will come in my place. That’s how this is done in Metro.
“We’ll go forward,” he added. “This board will still be focused like a laser on what’s the best thing long-term for the state fair and anything else that the council, the mayor and the administration gives us a charge to be responsible for.”
The mayor makes appointments to the five-member fair board.
The new chair would presumably be tasked with spearheading the creation of a new master plan to dictate the future of the fairgrounds property, a course of action outlined in council legislation to be considered on the final of three votes Tuesday night.