Mayor Karl Dean has made it clear for a while now that, when it came to the proposed convention center, the baton would eventually be passed from MDHA to a nine-member volunteer board. But the timetable on that board's creation was accelerated from "Soon" to "Right This Frickin' Minute" last week, after NewsChannel5 uncovered massive cost overruns from PR firm McNeely Pigott & Fox.
Just because everyone knew this was coming, however, doesn't mean they're happy with it. It's safe to say that, among those that actually pay attention, both MDHA and the soon-to-be-created Convention Center Authority are natural threats to Metro Council power. Robert Duvall spoke for the aggrieved members who (rightfully) see this as an end-around on their authority when he said:
"Taking it out of MDHA's hands is absolutely the minimum, the minimum the council is going to accept...I would really like the council to have greater oversight - a much greater oversight than saying okay this group couldn't handle it so lets go pick some other people."
Hey, they didn't earn that "40 Jealous Whores" tag for nothing.
So here's a question: Now that you've already cornered the legislature, what's the one thing you could do to make them feel even more threatened? Answer: Send a press release essentially saying their opinions don't matter.
Keeping in mind that the decision to build a $1 Billion convention center is still pending approval from the Council, here's the Mayor's office announcement of the legislation to create the Convention Center Authority:
(Finance director Rich) Riebeling said the transition of management from MDHA to the Convention Center Authority will take several months. Construction of Music City Center is expected to begin in the spring. The facility is scheduled to open in early 2013.