Monday, January 31, 2011


A Great Meeting. Emily Evans frames the Fairground Debate.
by Peter Voysey

After a one week postponement due to inclement weather, the morning of Saturday, January 29 was sunny, much warmer and very hopeful. Although the appointed time was 8:15 a.m. for the beginning of the breakfast service, some folks showed up at 8 a.m. all ready to go with our Green Hills Kick-Off Meeting For 2011.

This was our first time at our new meeting venue—Swett’s of Green Hills---located in the Retired Teachers’ Building at 2209 Abbott Martin Road, in the heart of the Green Hills Business District. The Swett family rallied around to serve everybody a hearty breakfast and then we settled down to hear about The Hottest Topic In Davidson County—The Tennessee State Fairgrounds Issue.

Our fellow group member and Metro Council Representative, Carter Todd (District 34) served as the program chairman for this meeting, and he introduced the topic and our special guest speaker, Council Member Emily Evans (District 23). Emily Evans’ background includes two decades of experience in the area of municipal finance and she drew upon this in her discussion. She pointed out that Mayors want to attract businesses to their area (they invariably see it as a part of their ‘legacy’). In Nashville (and other cities) free land for companies to build upon is especially important, along with tax abatement and other inducements. Interestingly, the “Economic Impact Study” done in connection with the Fairgrounds site was said to be only some two (2) pages in length.

Both Carter and Emily spoke of the historical importance of the Fairgrounds throughout the history of Nashville, and Emily believes that this was not fully appreciated by those pushing for redevelopment of the property. It was also pointed out that some 40 acres of the site are located in the Flood Way.

Other council members in the audience commented that the Flea Market and other commercial events held at the fairgrounds are very important to the financial success of a very large number of independent small businesses who rely upon this income-producing opportunity.

At least one audience member expressed concern about the effect the racetrack at the fairgrounds could have upon residential property values. In response, Emily noted that council members had received a diversity of viewpoints from individuals living in the neighborhood. Some—whose property is located right next to the racetrack—love racing and the racetrack. All of this was reflected in the close vote on a key proposal before the Council in the course of the overall consideration at the recent public meeting attended by over 1,000 people.

It was a fascinating meeting for our group, with over 40 enthusiastic attendees.
Peter along with his wife Gail are Event Chairs of the Green Hills Summit. Peter is also on the Executive Committee of the Davidson County Republican Party.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment