I attended the last of the NashvilleNext public community meetings today. I was disappointed to see only about 25 people in attendance, not counting the dozen or so people either with the planning department or an art project that was part of the activities. I spoke to someone with the art project who had attended all of the public "NashvilleNext Mayor" events. She said one of them had about 75 people in attendance and one had as few as maybe a dozen people.
We set at tables grouped by regions and drew up "campaign planks" to reflect what we wanted as part of our vision for Nashville. There was one planner and four other people beside myself at our table, included my old friend, environmentalist Burce Woods. We had lively discussion on a variety of issue.
In a discussion of homelessness, I pointed out that we already had an aggressive policy to combat homelessness and pointed out that it was a complex problem to solve. I suggested that some government policies such as financing downtown development or strict codes enforcement that prohibited large homes from being subdivided, contributed to the problem. I was of the opinion that we could not make substantial headway in doing much more about combating homelessness than we are already doing.
In a discussion of "affordable living," I argued that to keep Nashville affordable we needed to keep taxes low and argued that raising taxes could drive people across the county line to live and reduce the tax base.
I got included in our table's "transit" plank language that called for transit choices that avoided price-fixing, used market forces, and welcomed entrepreneurs.
While these public input session have concluded, one can still contribute online. One my make their own suggestion or "like" the suggestion someone else has made. I have probably made about a dozen suggestions.
Do you want charter schools? Do you want to keep the fair grounds? Do you prefer more bike lanes and fewer traffic lanes, or making our streets user-friendly for drivers? Do you want to preserve the honky tonk row on lower Broadway? Do we need to add more parks and greenways as Nashville grows? Do you want to hold the line on taxes? Go to "NashvilleNext by MindMixer" to join the discussion and make your suggestions. To read the background papers and hear the expert guest speakers that have been part of this process, go to this link.