Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Better Nashville has spent more than $48,000 on the city's Aug. 1 election, donating to 11 Metro Council campaigns

Below are excerpts from The Nashville Business Journal's, Filings: Here's who joined John Ingram to back new political action committee.

A Better Nashville has spent more than $48,000 on the city's Aug. 1 election, donating to 11 Metro Council campaigns throughout Nashville. Those campaigns include:
  • DeCosta Hastings (District 2): $5,000
  • Jennifer Gamble (District 3): $7,500
  • Nancy VanReece (District 8): $2,000
  • Colby Sledge (District 17): $2,500
  • John Green (District 18): $3,000
  • Thom Druffel (District 23): $4,000
  • Russ Pulley (District 25): $2,000
  • Jeremy Elrod (District 26): $5,000
  • Robert Nash (District 27): $2,500
  • Cheryl Mayes (District 32): $7,500
  • Terry Bo Bichell (District 34): $7,500
A Better Nashville also spent an additional $11,700 on digital advertisements for Green and Gamble, ....
If you look at the above list some of these people are running unopposed such as Colby Sledge and Robert Nash.. Besides Ingram others participating in the A Better Nashville PAC include Pinnacle Financial Partners and Amazon.com Inc. Ingram is lead owner of the new soccer team that got a sweetheart deal to take over part of the fairgrounds property for a soccer stadium and for private development.  Amazon in addition to being part of this PAC has donated quite a lot of money to candidates directly.

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Williamson GOP Annual Summer BBQ,Sat. Aug.3rd 5-8PM

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John Cooper reception Thursday July 25 at Gruhn Guitars



or to Kaye Whitacre

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Who is leading in the $ race in Council districts 11-20. Ultra liberal Ginny Welsch leads Tony Tenpenny with help of outside liberal PAC $. Unopposed Freddie O'Connell has $100K!

This is part 2 of my report on how the candidates for Metro Council are stacking up in the fund raising effort for the August 1 election. For part 1, follow this link: Which candidates have the money in the council district races, District 1-10. 

For a report on the fund raising effort of the candidates for at-large see,  Adam Dread, Burkley Allen, Sheri Weiner, Suara Sultat, and Bob Mendes lead in $ raised in Q2. They also have most "on-hand." 

For a report on the mayor's race see, John Cooper raised the most money in the Second Quarter. Briley has the most "on-hand" for the final stretch.

If you would like to view campaign finance reports for yourself follow this link.

District 11: No reports filed. Larry Hager is the incumbent and has no challenger.

District 12
Erin Evan: $4493 raised this quarter. $11,354 on hand. Contributors include Phil Ponder, former Council member and artist, $250;
Code Blue PAC, (California based liberal organization) $1,000
Nashville Business Coalition, $500;

Geric Smith: $5,313 raised this quarter, $1,884 on hand. Contributors include Rod Williams (that's me) $125:
Robert Duval (former council member and chair of Davidson County Republican Party) $100;
Homebuilders PAC, $250
David Fox, former mayoral candidate, $250

He got no major contributions, mostly small amounts from individuals. 

District 13, 
Russ Bradford $6799 raised this quarter; $6260 on hand. Contributors include the fire fighters union  $1000;
SEIU, $500;
Code Blue PAC $200;
Friends of Police, $1000:
Tennessee Labor PAC

Andrew Dixon
$5,000 raised, has $973 on hand. $4,000 was a contribution to his own campaign

Dan Meridith
$1653 raised this quarter and  has 1630 on hand. Contributors include Ed Smith, conservative activist, $971. Dan Meridith is the candidate I am supporting in this race.

District 14: Keven Rhoten is running  for reelection unopposed.  He did not appoint a treasure. No report required.

District 15: Jeff Syracuse is running unopposed. Despite this, he received a campaign contribution of $500 for Code Blue Pac.

District 16
Paul King: $5,649 raised the quarter, $3,970 on hand. No contributors of significance. No big PAC money.

Tony Tenpenny: $9,450 raised this quarter, $6,886 on hand.
Contributors include Friends of the Police, $1.000;
Lisa Dale, self employed, the wife of Roy Dale, $1,000
Nashville firefighters, $1,000
Roy Dale (former councilman, engineer) $1,000

Ginny Welsch: $10,920 raised the quarter, $11,804 on hand.
Contributors include SEIU, $1000;
LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) $1,000
WTF (Women for Tennessee's Future) $250

Comment: I am supporting Tony Tenpenny in this race. Ginny Welsch is a far left activist of many years in Nashville.  If elected, she will be the most liberal person to ever serve in the Metro Council. To see who is supporting her, visit her webpage and look at the endorsements. If you can do anything to help Tony, please do.

District 17: Colby Sledge is running for reelection unopposed. He did file a campaign finance report. He has raised $11,163. He got $2500 from A Better Nashville PAC'

District 18. I am skipping this one for now. To see the campaign finance reports click on the links. I don't have a favorite in this race.
Tom Cash
John Green 

District 19. Freddie O'Connell is running unopposed. He has raised a whopping $36,561 and has $99,097 on hand! That is a lot of money for a district council race for an unopposed candidate. To see his list of contributors follow this link.   With that kind of money O'Connell could donate to and influence other races or have a nice reserve for future higher office.

District 20. I am skipping this one for now. I don't have a favorite in this race. The incumbent is Mary Mary Carolyn Robert. To see the reports, follow the links.
Tori Goddard
Mary Carolyn Roberts





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1st Tuesday speaker is Sen. Marsha Blackburn, August 6th.

From Tim Skow:
1ST TUESDAY Members, Friends and Guests

Tons of TV ads are now touting candidates for Mayor of Nashville. 
Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Even more faces are about to pop up on your TV who are running for Vice Mayor and Council-At-Large as early voting expands next week to multiple sites around Nashville

To borrow a phrase from the legendary UT Vols football announcer .... ''Its Politics Time in Tennessee'' 

As you'd expect 1ST TUESDAY is right in the middle of what is going on !!  

ON AUGUST 6th, our long time friend and new US Senator, Marsha Blackburn returns to 1ST TUESDAY !! 

----------------- NEWS to help our local candidates ----------

For the last several years that 1ST TUESDAY has made our Members a special offer to encourage them to support local candidates who are known to visit 1ST TUESDAY. Last week at July's version of 1ST TUESDAY we again offered to help.
We are going to expand our tradition of helping ''Friends of 1ST TUESDAY''  to those who are on the ballot in 2019 to our August 6 version of 1ST TUESDAY as well ! 

 Here are the RULES !! 

IF....
 you SEND to our mailbox a check for $50[or more] made to at least 1 [or more] of the candidates appearing on the list below, 
THEN .... 
you will be welcome to come in August ...or any of the following 1ST TUESDAY events advertised in 2019, 
[including the January, 2020 event] as our GUEST !!

[NO DOUBT, some will ask ... and the answer is.....
NO ....... PRIOR contributions to ANY candidates listed below do NOT qualify ... ] 

Mail your check(s) for the candidate(s) of your choice to my attention at :

Tim Skow
Box 1233
Brentwood, TN 
[feel free to call me if you have questions or care to cross paths...the SOONER the better for our candidates to get checks to them]

Then make your plans to:
1] VOTE early ... polls for early voting around Nashville open at 7am on July 19th.
2] Join us on August 6th when Marsha joins us for the 1st time as  ''SENATOR BLACKBURN''
3] And then ..... click on the link below for tickets, round up your family and friends and join 100s of friends for State Senator JACK JOHNSON and his Special Guests for his annual BOOTS & JEANS & BBQ event !

See you soon !!

Tim Skow
Host of 1ST TUESDAY

CANDIDATES on the August ballot for contributions include:

Jody Ball
Thom Druffel
State Executive Committee Member Michelle Foreman
Councilman Steve Glover
Councilman Johnathan Hall
Lydia Hubble
Courtney Johnston [ a 1ST TUESDAY Sponsor ]
Bob Nash 
Councilman Russ Pulley
Geric Smith
Carol Swain
Councilman Robert Swope [ a 1ST TUESDAY Sponsor ]
Councilwoman Sheri Weiner 


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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Which candidates have the $ in the council district races, District 1-10. Robert Swope's opponent raises more $. Dems target Swope for defeat.

Money is important to run a campaign, even a campaign for a  district council race.  With 35 council districts, districts are too small to effectively spend money on newspaper adverting or radio or TV; still, it takes money. Mailings are expensive and yard signs cost money.  Also, there are lots of miscellaneous cost. If you have people gathering to get out a mailing, or do door-to-door canvasing, you need to buy them lunch.  Tee shirts for your campaign workers enhances visibility, but they cost. Little things add up.

One good thing about having such a large council in Nashville, is that it is still possible to win a district council race without spending a lot of money. The person who is willing to work day after day and knock doors in an efficient and organized fashion can beat the person who spends four or five times as much money as he does.  You have to have some money to mount a viable campaign, but hard work can trump money once you have just enough money.

Below I am posting a summary of the campaign financial disclosure reports for the district council races. I am going to skip those that have not sparked an interest in me but I may revisit them as time allows, so look for updates. My review of list of contributors is cursory review and I may have missed something that you would fine important. Also, I do not know all of the movers and shakers in Nashville, so you may see a contributor that means something to you but means nothing to me. To view the campaign financial reports for yourself, follow this link.

District 1
Jonathan Hall: $17,382 raised this period, No money on hand. He contributed $8646 to his own campaign. None of his opponents filed a second quarter report.

District 2
Decosta Hastings: $13,075 raised this quarter, $183 on hand. Contributors include Friends of the Police, $1,000; Amazon, $2,000; Firefighters union, $1,000; A Better Nashville PAC, $5,000; Good Government PAC (I do not know who that is.) $500;

Yolanda Hockett: raised $2921 this quarter, $1267 on hand.

Kyontze Toombs: raised $10,052 this quarter, $7,399 on hand. The Maynard Group contributed $300; Jack Cawthon of Jacks Barbecue, $250;

District 3
Jennifer Gamble: $13,582 raised this quarter, $8,081 on hand. Jack Cawthon contributed to this campaign also. Former Councilman and Judge Sam Coleman, $150;  A Better Nashville PAC contributed $7500; Friends of the Police, $1,000;

Elise Hudson; $11,620 raised this quarter, $12,494 on hand. Contributors: IAFF Local 140 (fire fighter union) $1000;

District 4
Mike Cortese: $18,090 raised this quarter, $12,841 on hand. SEIU,$500; Davidson County Democratic Party $500; Sprocket Tours LLC, $1,600; Nashville Pedal Tavern, $1,600, Nashville Toons, LLC, $1,600.

Robert Swope: $15,105 raised this quarter, $15,174 on hand. Contributors include $1,000 from the fire fighter union; Friends of the Police, $1,000; Roy Dale, $500.

Comment: Robert is one of the most conservative members of the council. Most of his contributions have been from small donors. The liberal establishment would like to see him defeated. It is rare that the Democratic Party donates money in a non-partisan council race but Robert has a target on his back. It would be a shame if he lost this election. There are only a few days left in the campaign but some last minute contributions could make the difference. I just made a donation to his campaign. To donate see Swope for Nashville.

District 5
Charles Flower: $7844 raised the quarter, $2139 on hand. Contributors include former Councilman Vernon Winfrey, $200, Jack Cawthon of Jack's Barbecue, $500; Nashville fire fighters union, $1,000,

Pam Murray: no money raised, $966 spend, no money on hand.

Comment: This is good news. Murray is a former council member who was controversial. I did not want to see her reelected. I don't know Flower  or Parker but would rather see someone else take this seat and Murray.

Sean Parker: $8404 raised this quarter, $11,377 on hand.  Sprocket Rocket contributed $1,600; Tennessee Labor PAC, $1,000.

District 6 has no candidate financial reports filed. The only candidate is incumbent Bret Withers.  

District 7
Emily Benedict: $18,327 raised, $4747 on hand. 

Client Camp: $4887 raised this quarter, $1082 on hand

Daniel Fitzpatrick: $11,674 raised, $12,865 on hand. He loaned his campaign $2000. Sproket Tours gave him $1600; Nashville Toons, $1600; Emit Jackson Martin employed by Sprocket Tours gave $1600; Rob Rafferty of the Charles Kock Institute gave $250; Nashville Pedal Taverns, LLC, gave $1600;

Stephanie Johnson: only $141 raised, no money on hand.

Randy Reed: only $40 raised, no money on hand.

Cole Rogers: $5415 raised, $5307 on hand,  A $1000 loan outstanding. Waller Lansden PAC gave $500.


Jacob Green and Stephen Downs failed to file reports.


Comment: For insight into this race see my post, Who are all of these people running for the Council in District 7.  Given that Stephanie Johnson is not a serious candidate as indicated by her financial report and  Client Camp seems underfunded to compete, and that someone with the Charles Kock foundation thought enough of Daniel Fitzpatrick to make a campaign contribution, and that I had already picked him as the candidate I was most likely to support in this race based on the opinion he expressed on his website, I am now supporting Daniel Fitzpatrick.  Visit his campaign website at Dan Fitzpatrick for Metro Council.

District 8 No reports filed. Nancy VanReese is the incumbent with one opponent. She nor her opponent Danny Williams filed campaign finance reports. Apparently Nancy VanReese did not file a form appointing a treasury so she is not required to file; Danny Williams should have filed and did not.

District 9: The candidates are Thomas George, Tonya Hancock and David McMurray I am skipping this district for now, but may revisit if time permits. To view the reports for yourself follow this link.

District 10
Tim Garrett: $11,670 raised this quarter, $34,983 on hand. He started the quarter with $30,091.  no outstanding loans. All of the contributors this quarter are small contributors and none from special interest.

Zach Young: $9087 raised this quarter, $18,492 on hand. SEIU contributed $500; Friends of Police $1000. 

Comment: Tim Garrett is my preferred candidate in this race. I do not know his opponent but know Tim Garrett. I served with him in the Council in the 80's. After serving several terms in the Council, he went on to serve in the State legislature. He is fiscally conservative and I suspect fairly socially conservative. He is a Democrat but he may be the last sane Democrat left. He is competent, has a passion for service and is a person of integrity. He has deep roots in the Goodlettsville community and his family business is the Garrett funeral homes.

To be continued. Look for the next installment.


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The Tennessean endorses in the race for mayor, vice mayor, and council at-large races.

The Tennessean came out with their endorsements today in the race for mayor, vice mayor, and council at-large races.  I usually take the Tennessean's endorsements as a list of people for whom not to vote.  If I occasionally agree with the Tennessean, if makes me wonder if I am wrong. The Tennessean editorial position is almost always the very liberal position.

For mayor The Tennessean supports David Briley and for vice mayor Jim Shulman. In the race for council members at-large the paper endorses Fabian Bedne, Giola Lane, Bob Mendes, Zulfat Suara, and Sherri Weiner.



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A full list of mayoral candidate endorsements

The Tennessean has compiled a large list of the endorsement each of the major mayoral candidates have received. Read the article and see this lists at this link:  They've got their vote: A full list of mayoral candidate endorsements.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Adam Dread, Burkley Allen, Sheri Weiner, Suara Sultat, and Bob Mendes lead in $ raised in Q2. They also have most "on-hand."

by Rod Williams - A look at the campaign financial reports for the second quarter for candidates running at-large in the August 1st election shows Alan Dread as having raised the most money, almost all of which was a loan from himself to his campaign. Following Dread is Burkley Allen, Sheri Weiner, Suara Sulfat, Bob Mendes. The second quarter covers the period April 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019. The same group lead in money on-hand as they enter the final stretch of the campaign.

I am very disappointing that Steve Glover has not had more success raising money. He is by far the most conservative of the candidates running, is not a flame-thrower or radical, and has good credentials, having served in the Council eight years and prior to that having served on the school board. I am disappointed that some of Nashville's rich Republicans will not turn lose of their money and ensure that at least one of the five at-large candidates is a conservative. I made a modest contribution to him in the first quarter and today am making an additional contribution. To contribute to his campaign follow this link.

While money does not necessarily win a race, it is a big factor. I think we can count out of the running, Matt DelRossi, Michael Craddock, Jim Dillard, Rueben Dockery, and Howard Jones. If we can count these out, then that leaves ten serious candidates to fill five seats. While one may vote for five candidates one does not have to. To do so weakens the power of your vote. Thank of it like this: You only have one vote and you can split it between five candidates. I am not going to split my vote; it is going to Steve Glover.

Below, I have summarized the candidates report. I have listed a few of the contributors whose names I recognized or whose names jumped out at me. You will note that former candidate for mayor and big time Democrat fundraiser Bill Freeman has contributed to several campaigns. Also, the Amazon PAC is a big contributor. SEIU, the police union and the firefighters union are all big contributors. Noticeable by the absence is the teachers union. This is a very cursory examination of the contributors list. To see the list of contributors for yourself, follow this link.


Burkley Allen

Burkley Allen
Balance on hand last report: $87,655
Total receipts this period: $66,473
Total Dismemberment this period: $36,624
Balance on hand: $115,503.83

No loans. Contributors include Nashville Fire Fighters PAC, $2000;
John Ingram of Ingram Industries, $1000;
Bill Freeman, $1000;
SEIU, $1000;
Women for TN Future PAC, $500;
Amazon PAC, $2000

Fabian Bedne
Balance on hand last report: $31,313
Fabian Bedne
Total receipts this period: $47,621
Total Dismemberment this period: $34,385
Balance on hand: $44,550

No loans. Contributors include the developer Tony Giarratana, $1600;
Dr. Ming Wang, $500, (Yes it is that Dr.Wang. This is a real surprise!);
Bill Freeman, $1500;
Roy Dale, $500 (former councilman engineer who often has rezoning request before the Metro Council)
Rich Riebeling, $250
Nashville Pedal Tavern, LLC, $1600
SEIU, $1000; 
Michael Craddock
Balance on hand last report: $0
Total receipts this period: $5,250
Total Dismemberment this period: $573
Balance on hand: $4,676

No loans,  Major contributor is Fraternal Order of Police, $2500;

Jim Dillard. He has only raised $2000, it is on-hand, and it came from the Nashville Fire Fighters.


Rueben Dockery only raised $150,

Adam Dread
Balance on hand last report: $0
Total receipts this period: $104,500
Total Dismemberment this period: $16,377
Balance on hand: $88,123

Loans outstanding, $100,000,  Major contributor is Fraternal Order of Police, $2500; Firefighters Union $2000.

Steve Glover
Steve Glover
Balance on hand last report: $9,015
Total receipts this period: $20,924
Total Dismemberment this period: $16,487
Balance on hand: $13,452

No loans,  Contributors include Carol Swain, $250;
Bill Freeman, $1600;
Nashville Firefighter Union, $5000
Freeman Webb Company, $1600
Friends of Police, $2500

Howard Jones
Balance on hand last report: $0
Total receipts this period: $11,429
Total Dismemberment this period: $10,652
Balance on hand: $777

Loans outstanding, $9651

Gigola Lane
Balance on hand last report: $0
Total receipts this period: $30,967
Total Dismemberment this period: $5,816
Balance on hand: $25,151

No loans. The candidate contributed $1000 to her own campaign.
Contributors include attorney Daniel Horwitz,$150;
Councilman Scott Davis, $200;
Jamie Hollin, $1,000;
SEIU, $1000;
Women for Tennessee's Future, $1.000;
Tennessee Laborers PAC, $500
Communication Workers of America $200

Bob Mendes
Balance on hand last report: $36115
Bob Mendes
Total receipts this period: $46,227
Total Dismemberment this period: $19,721
Balance on hand: $61,620

Loans outstanding $153,500. This is a load from the candidate to the campaign made in 6/15/2015.
Contributors of note include SEIU, $1000;
Tony Giarratana (major downtown developer), $500;
Amazon, $1,000
Firefighters union, $2,000
SEIU, $2,000
Jamie Holin, $1,000

Gary Moore
Balance on hand last report: $16307
Total receipts this period: $24,764
Total Dismemberment this period: $11,559
Balance on hand: $29,513

No loans, 
SEIU $1000
Bob Clement former Congressman, $200.
Firefighters union, $2500
Friends of the Police, $2500

Suara Sulfat
Balance on hand last report: $41703
Suara Sultat
Total receipts this period: $51,503
Total Dismemberment this period: $45,285
Balance on hand: $47,920

Outstanding loan of $10,000. Below are contributors of note:
Robert Matthews of the Matthews company, $500
Jay Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, $1,600
SEIU, $1,000
Bill Freeman, $1,000
Women for Tennessee's Future PAC, $500
Charles Robert Bone, $500

Sheri Weiner
Balance on hand last report: $0 
Sheri Weiner

Total receipts this period: $50,845
Total Dismemberment this period: $6241 
Balance on hand: $44,605
no loans,
H. G. Hill Realty PAC, $1,000
John Ingram of Ingram Industries, $1,000
Ryman Hospitality PAC, $1,000
Charlie Tygard, former councilman, $200
Bill Freeman, $1600
Tom White, developer, $250
Charles Robert Bone, $500
Ragan Smith PAC, $1,500
Fire Fighters Union, $2,000
Amazon, $1,000
Fraternal Order of Police,  $2,500

Sharon Hunt failed to file a report.

Matt DelRossi failed to file a report.

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The Nashville Scene Election Issue: Sizing Up the At-Large Race

The Nashville Scene Election Issue: Sizing Up the At-Large Race

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"Save Our Fairgrounds" wins appeal, MLS stadium construction delayed.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - An appellate court judge has overturned a previous court ruling on issues surrounding the construction of a stadium for Nashville's MLS soccer team at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

According to the ruling filed late Thursday, Judge J. Steven Stafford has sent the case back to the lower court, saying that the judge in the lower court didn’t address one of the key issues: whether the city is ignoring the Metro charter, which Save our Fairgrounds says protects what’s at the fairgrounds now – the state fair, the flea market, and the racetrack. (see Channel 4 video)


Jim Roberts, attorney for Save Our Fairgrounds,  post this on Facebook:
TOTAL VICTORY against Metro today when the Court of Appeals ruled the trial court’s order ruling against Save Our Fairgrounds was Not a final order. As we requested, the Court of Appeals dismiss the appeal and remanded the case. This means months or possibly years of delays for Metro and it’s scheme to destroy the Fairgrounds and the State Fair. This is a VICTORY for ALL of Nashville. MLS conspired with billionaires to steal millions of dollars in Fairground property and we stopped them!

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Reuters features Nashville in report on, "As U.S. 'superstar' cities thrive, weaker ones get left behind."

by Rod Williams - A report by the Reuters News service out today focuses on the uneven growth in cities as they recovered from the recession of 2007-2009. Nashville is held up as a "superstar city."  The article points out our spending of $600 million on a convention center and how that led to our success. Below is an excerpt from the article.

In a ranking of 378 metropolitan areas by how their share of national employment changed from 2010 to 2017, 40% of the new jobs generated during that time went to the top 20 places, along with a similar share of the additional wages.

Those cities represent only about a quarter of the country’s population and are concentrated in the fast-growing southern and coastal states. None were in the northeast, and only two were in the “rust belt” interior - Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a rebounding Detroit. keeping company with other southern towns like Charlotte and Atlanta, and the usual fast-growth suspects like Seattle and San Francisco.

The drop from there is steep. The next set of 20 cities captured about 10% of the jobs created from 2010 through 2017, close to their roughly 7.5% share of the population.

At the bottom, 251 cities, many spread across the heartland and in the industrial northeast, lost job share.
I am pleased with this reporting and glad that I have always been on what I view as the right side of the debate about supporting the convention center. While serving in the Metro Council in the mid-80's I voted for the building of the first convention center  and as a citizen, I supported the building of the current convention center.  For those who do not pay close attention, they may not know how controversial these decision were at the time.  The debate and study of the first convention center lasted months.

Most of my friends are conservatives and many were opposed in the original convention center and the new Music City Center. I had some people who fell out with me and were disappointed that I supported and voted for the original convention center.  I understand the principled opposition.  In an idea world, I would prefer cities to not own and operate convention centers or sports facilities or offer incentives to businesses, but we have to operate in the world in which we live.  One city cannot unilaterally disarm without paying the price.  It is already a fact that cities do operate and own convention centers and sports facilities and offer incentives to businesses and for Nashville to not do it means we would be left behind. When it comes to these type things,  I do not think having a blanket principled position that that is not the proper role of government and therefore we should not do it is the right approach. I think you must be pragmatic and each proposal must stand on its own.  We must ask, "Is this strategically a good move?"  We have to ask, "Is it a smart thing to do?"

I think building the original conventions center and the decision to build the Music City Center were the smart thing to do.  I am bullish on Nashville and believed and still believe in this city. I do not think building a massive convention center would work for Memphis or Knoxville, but I believed it could work for Nashville. It was a gamble but it paid off.

The Reuters article looks at the factors that made the gamble pay off for Nashville. Among those factors is, "the city’s celebrated country music roots and seven-night-a-week year-round party scene as the draw for major conferences and trade shows, something that can’t simply be reproduced by other municipalities."  Other factors cited is building the new convention center at the right time when interest rates were low. The factors contributing to the growth in Nashville following the success of the convention center is the relaxation of our strict downtown building codes in the 90's and the fact that Tennessee has no income tax. The article quotes an expert to explain why some cities succeed and others don't and he basically says, "I don't know."

"Every city has its unique narrative as to why it got to where it got,” says Atlanta Federal Reserve bank president Raphael Bostic. “I don’t think there is a general formula that if you hit each point at a certain level you guarantee an outcome.”

The article does not point out that this growth has left us with the most massive debt of any city in the country, the inability to adequately retain teachers, understaffed police and fire departments, crumbling infrastructure and failing schools. While these are serious problems, in my view, with the right leadership these problems can be corrected.  Despite the problems we are experiencing at this time, I still am still pleased we rank in the top 11 of 378 cities for share of national employment positive growth rather than near the bottom of the list.  We have problems, but we have done something right.

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