Saturday, September 1, 2018

Here is who voted to destroy the Fairgronds and give away ten acres of fairground property.

There have been several recorded votes related to the fairgrounds issue so the record is clear who supports building the MLS stadium at the fairground and giving away ten acres of fairground property and who wants to save the fairground.  On all of the recorded votes, the record is pretty consistent as to which members support the fairgrounds and which do not.

One of the most important votes was the roll call vote on second reading of Bill BL2018-1289. This was the ordinance to approve the demolition of certain buildings and structures necessary for the construction of a new major league soccer stadium at the fairgrounds and impose a privilege tax on the sale of tickets to events at the new Major League Soccer stadium.

This was approved by a vote of 24 in favor, seven "no's", 8 abstaining, and one not voting. A vote to "abstain" means the council member pushed a button voting to abstain. "Not voting" means the Council member did not a push a button.  They may have been absent, hiding in the bathroom, distracted or sitting on their hands.

While BL2018-1289 passed second reading, for this bill to pass on third reading it must get 27 votes.  Both the imposing of a tax on ticket sales and destruction of fairground buildings require 27 votes.  Since the final vote requires 27 votes, a vote to abstain or simply not pushing a button at all is the same as a no vote.  To simply this issue I am calling those who voted for this bill as having voted against the fairgrounds and those who voted "no" as having voted for the fairgrounds. This is how they voted on the subject bill.

Voted against the fairground (voted yes on BL2018-1289)

Sheri Weiner- D-22
Jim Shulman- At Large
Jonathan Hall

Scott Davis D-5
DeCosta Hastings

Brenda Haywood
Nancy VanReece

Brett Withers D-6  

Anthony Davis

Jeff Syracuse

Bill Pridemore
Kevin Rhoten

Burkley Allen
Freddie O'Connell

Ed Kindall
Kathleen Murphy
Russ Pulley

Davette Blalock
Karen Johnson

Fabian Bedne

The above are the 24 votes solidly in favor of building the MLS stadium and, I would contend, in favor of destroying the fairgrounds. You may want to call them and ask them to change their position. One factor that may be persuasive is the new revelation that the existing building may very well be demolished before the new building which will house the flea market are constructed. That would kill the flea market. Another factor may be that the value of the ten acres giveaway is $20 million dollars at a time when we cannot afford to give metro employees their promised cost of living increase and when Metro is deeply in debt and essentially broke.

Another persuasive factor may be that you are simply very disappointed in them. That is my case with Weiner and Blalock. They are both Republicans and I have supported their candidacy when they have ran for office.

While you may send a blanket email blast to all council members, contacting your own council member has more impact than contacting someone with whom you have no connection. If you contributed to their campaign or volunteered for their candidacy or had their sign in your card, play the shame card; "I supported you, and I am very disappointed."

Don't say, "I'll never vote for you again," if the person is not eligible to seek reelection or is not seeking higher office. To find out who is eligible for reelection and who is term limited, follow this link. When a person is term limited, they can be much more free to vote the way they think is right rather than listen to public opinion. That can be both good and bad.

Please be respectful. I know some people have a lot of passion about this issue, but getting mad and being a jerk is not likely to sway votes.  These council members are also being pressured by soccer fans and Metro's elitist to vote to advance the MLS stadium. They may even have kids of their own who play soccer and are lobbying them. Express your passion but please do not abuse the council members. Even when they are wrong on an issue, they are not bad people.  Even when I disagree with a particular council members position on an issue, I respect their service to our city. Being polite and offering logical arguments is more persuasive than being abusive.

In the above list of council members, if you will click on their name below their photograph, that will take you to a link to their email address. Should you not know in which district you live, follow this link for a Council District Lookup tool to the right of the list of council members, near the top of the page.

The Council members who voted to abstain or voted "no" are under lots of pressure to change their vote also. They need to be called also and have their position and resolve shored up.  I will try to post the list of those who voted to save the fairgrounds tomorrow. 

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