You know what the McNeely Pigott & Fox flap is missing? A pissed off union boss.
Doug Collier, head of SEIU's local chapter, has apparently had a beef with MDHA director Phil Ryan for a couple months now and the bad press surrounding the MP&F controversy gave him the chance to address Mayor Karl Dean and Metro council members in a letter last week whose tone can best be described as angry teen upset about being grounded.
For months I have asked for inquiries to be made concerning the direction Executive Director Phil Ryan has taken MDHA. Others have written, and continue to write, Blogs and articles and many questions have been asked, but at the end of the day my concerns have been met with the same answer from everyone, "We" have no authority over MDHA.
The rest of Collier's letter, including the parts where he accuses MDHA of overpaying for the Dickerson Road buffalo statues and hiring a shady security firm, after the jump...
The latest fiascos brought out in the media make it pretty apparent that now someone has to be held accountable. Perhaps it is time someone finally gets a handle on how MDHA is structured for future accountability. Apparently the responses I received about what was going on at MDHA were correct. No one has authority over Phil Ryan.
If you look at MDHA Bylaws they have three (3) officers -- Executive Director, Secretary Treasurer, and Recording Secretary. Phil Ryan holds all three (3) positions.
Furthermore, take a look at the MDHA Executive Board record. Phil Ryan has been in charge since 2003. To date I cannot find one time in their minutes where a vote has been cast in opposition to Ryan.
Numerous other questions have been asked by the employees at MDHA such as:
1. Why are managers allowed to direct workers to perform private favors for them while being paid by MDHA?
2. Why did MDHA pay twenty-two thousand (22,000) dollars apiece for the buffalo statues on Dickerson Road?
3. Why was no one held accountable for hiring a security firm owned by a convicted felon that nearly resulted in the loss of a resident's life?
The list goes on and on, but we still haven't gotten any answers.
It is our fervent hope that someone of authority will finally look at the power structure of MDHA and make necessary changes in order to restore the public trust. Toward that end Phil Ryan should resign and any others responsible should be held accountable to facilitate a fresh start between MDHA, Metro Government and the citizens of Nashville.
Collier's claims seem to go beyond lax oversight of a PR contract. We've got a call into his office to see if there's actual fire behind all this smoke.