Friday, November 05, 2010

Fair Ground deal delayed thanks to Jim Gotto

The city's plans to take over part of Hickory Hollow Mall have been delayed at least two weeks, thanks to an obscure rule wielded last night by Metro Councilman Jim Gotto.

The Tennessean reports that Gotto used "Rule 12" to stop the council from considering the bill for the first of three required votes. The rule says that on nights with public hearings, other bills cannot be introduced. The first vote will now take place Nov. 16, at the earliest.(link)
Despite Jim Gotto's grueling campaign followed by a tremendous victory in winning the State House District 60 election Tuesday, Jim Gotto was back on the job and in top form last night. The skids have been greased and the deal to sell the fair grounds has been moving ahead at top speed with very little analysis and little community input.

Thanks to Jim Gotto's knowledge of the rules and courage to use them, the deal to sell the fairgrounds has been slowed for at least two weeks. The bill that Gotto prevented from being considered last night was a bill to lease 340,000 square feet of the struggling Hickory Hollow mall. The flea market and other fairgrounds activities would be moved from the fairgrounds site to the leased Hickory Hollow space.

What I want to know, why is this a good deal for the city? The fairgrounds is already paid for and it bring in money. Why lease space? What is the economic impact of the fairgrounds? Who is this being done for? What is the plan for the fairgrounds? Why is this really being done? Who does this benefit? You can not convince me that there is not some backroom deal behind this.

Jim Gotto's skill as a legislator will be missed in the Metro Council but will serve him well in the State Legislature.

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