Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Council approves fairground giveaway.

The best chance the Council had to stop the fairground giveaway failed. That best chance was to not pass Bill BL2018-1289 which approves the demolition of certain buildings and structures necessary for the construction of a new Major League Soccer Stadium at the fairgrounds, and 
to impose a privilege tax on the sale of tickets to events at the new Major League Soccer stadium. 

The reason this was the best chance to stop the fairground give away was because this bill required 27 votes to pass Third Reading. It passed on Second Reading by a vote of 24 to 7 with 8 abstentions and one not voting. All of the other pieces of legislation regarding the MLS stadium only needed a  simple majority. Since bill 2018-1289 did not get 27 votes on Second, I thought it might not get them on Third. It did. The vote was 31 to 8. The proponents picked up seven votes!  Look for a later post and I will list how individual Council members voted.  The soccer deal gives ten acres of fairground property to the MLS developers for a mixed use development. The land is valued at $20.7 million.

Another bill that I thought might derail the fairground giveaway was  Resolution RS2018-1373
which would have put the question of funding the stadium to a vote of the people. I thought sufficient number of council members may want to pass this hot potato to the voters. That failed by a vote of only 12 in favor and 25 opposed. I will list how individuals voted on this resolution in a later post.

The only chance left to stop the fairground giveaway is if a recently filed lawsuit succeeds which challenges the legality of the Council giveaway which the litigants claim violates the Metro Charter.

To read The Tennessean's coverage of the story follow this link

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