As one of the 40 "chuckleheads" serving on the Metro Council, I read with interest your comments on the body ("Why This Is the Worst Metro Council Ever," June 24). In my opinion, it is grossly unfair to judge the body after less than a year in office based on a few incidents contrary to the Scene's viewpoint. I firmly believe that the 11th Metro Council will be viewed as one of the most successful ones in Metro Government history.
I base these comments on my experience as a four-term council member. There are more intelligent, energetic and inquisitive members serving now than anytime in Metro's history. What we lack in experience will be more than offset by our willingness to challenge the status quo. The council's recent budget hearings were well attended with meaningful questions asked.
Also, there are more council members holding regularly scheduled office hours to meet with constituents, scheduling more community meetings (on beautification, neighborhood watch, traffic calming, etc.) and attending more functions than ever before. These members were elected by their neighbors and are representing their community values better than ever before.
As for a council member whose voice mailbox was fullperhaps the more appropriate question is why doesn't Metro have a coordinated system to handle constituent calls? It's not uncommon for a council member to receive 20 to 30 calls a day on controversial issues. My hope is that the Scene will present a balanced view of the council. Criticize when warranted, but report the positive side as well.
District 35 Council member
At least we gave him some letter space
"While it has been really ugly, they have yet to screw up anything really serious," one council observer says in last week's cover story, "Why This Is the Worst Metro Council Ever." Well, I guess if you don't count paving paradise to put up parking lots. It's been dismaying to continue watching our council members override constituent concerns and sometimes the unanimous recommendation of the Metro Planning Commission, and vote for each other's pet development projects.
It was no surprise at all to see my very own council member, Charlie Tygard, featured prominently in your article. Not to mention two articles this week in The Tennessean about his participation in illegal secret meetings. He ran for office on his "leadership" record, but his most notable accomplishment has been the skill with which he wears the "Special Lobbyist for the Developers" hat. Or so it seems. All of the work by the planning department to conduct subarea planning groups means nothing at all when you have a council member who tosses the well-defined plans out the window and welcomes developers with open arms, no matter how inappropriate and undesirable their projects may be.
Yeah, uh-huh, Roger's a real liberal
Perhaps Roger Abramson thinks that government should somehow legislate and limit the amount of right-wing talk radio we hear (Political Notes, June 24). Wouldn't that be the true left-wing response? Do you think that it ever crossed Roger's liberal mind that the only reason these talk shows survive is ratings? Obviously Nashvillians tune in and like what they hear. I'd like to see the result of a poll that asks the question: "Who is more relevant: Steve Gill or Al Gore?" I think even Roger knows what it would belike it or not.
I thoroughly enjoyed your The DaVinci Code parody in the Scene ("The DaVidson Code," June 17). Well done. I think you should expand on the genre, and feature a Nashvill-i-fied parody of a best-seller every time you have a slow news week. There's plenty out there to work from. May I be so bold as to suggest Bridge Over The River Cumberland, It Takes Hillsboro Village, and, last but not least, Men Are From Antioch, Women Are From Brentwood.
As a resident of the Sevier Park neighborhood and a member of the District 17 alliance, I seriously object to the Scene's characterization of the dog situation at Sevier Park (Editorial, June 17). Your assertion of the matter as a racial one resulting from a lack of communication between the races ignores the work of the District 17 alliance. This group, under the auspices of Metro Council member Ronnie Greer and a collection of neighborhood associations, has been meeting regularly in an attempt to resolve the district's issues and to bring its diverse residents together to meet each other. One of the issues has indeed been the dogs at Sevier Park. Attendees of all races have raised concerns and fears about the number, size and freedom of the dogs. Our hope has been that this matter could be resolved in a manner that would allow all dog walkers and non-dog walkers to enjoy the park equally and without fear. I invite Scene reporters to join us at a future breakfast to see the respect and discourse that has already been going on for well over a year between residents of all skin colors, beliefs, economic levels and ages in District 17.
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