Thursday, April 26, 2007

On to the metro council

So now onto the metro council…. Here is an interesting fact: had it been disapproved at planning the council would have needed a larger vote (2/3, I believe), but since it was approved they only needed a majority.

Several community members including Bobbie Forrest, Minister David Taft (First Baptist Church of Hermitage—right beside the proposed building), and myself headed down to the courthouse for the second reading. The public may comment at the second reading. We had our notes outlined and were ready for a fight.

You can watch the metro council meeting here. For our section go to March 6, Part 10 and fast forward to 4:01.

It was my first council meeting. In fact, it was my first time in the courthouse. Had I not been so feisty, I may have enjoyed my new experience. It was quite interesting to see the process live. They move through bills quite quickly, however, we still waited some 2.5 hours to get to ours.

Our councilman, Harold White, wasn’t there. He was out for knee surgery. J.B. Loring was the co-sponsor of this bill. Just watch!! Loring keeps going on and on pleading for the council members to approve this bill. He was unrelenting. To me it looked like a last shot—like we can’t let the community get any kind of leg up. Like the community could totally screw it up for the developers. Like why do we have to listen to anything they say.

Oh just wait for the fun stories Loring tells!!! I’ll point them out soon!

The people in favor of the bill get to speak first. Those that spoke in favor:

Tom White
Representing the Applicant
Tune, Entrekin, & White, P.C.

Pauline Gilson
She lives in Hermitage, but not in our area.
I think she works for one of the interested parties.

Travis Pardue
The doctor who wants to build the three story building.

Russell Pitzer
Civil Engineer for the project

They all spoke on behalf of approving the additional sq. footage so that they could have a three story building.

Travis Pardue said:
“We have designed this medical office building with the patient in mind, trying to be more patient friendly.”

Yeah, but what about the neighborhood that you are disrupting? How about being neighborhood friendly?

Travis Pardue said:
“Presently, we have actually a greater demand for medical office space than we are able to even supply with this building.”

According to a letter we received from the COO of Summit Hospital, there is 66,000 sq. ft. of rental space available at the hospital. Hmmmmmm. That sounds like a contradiction to me.

Let me say that I am not against development. However, there are proper (and courteous) ways of moving into a neighborhood—especially if it’s not your own. The developers, along with the councilman, should speak to the neighborhood FIRST—not try to sneak it under their noses.

As a community we feel like we are being disregarded. Why does it always have to be about money and profit? What about the greater good? What about making it work for all parties?

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