Fairgrounds master plan slated for completion by end of year

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 1:32pm

Metro will hire an outside engineering or planning firm to create a new master plan by year’s end to dictate the much-disputed future of the 117-acre city-owned fairgrounds, the Board of Fair Commissioners decided Tuesday morning.

The unanimous vote of a two-page motion written and typed up by fair board chair James Weaver fleshed out new details for a previously vague master plan process, which the Metro council assigned the board to oversee last month after opting against demolishing the Fairgrounds Speedway. The board also voted Tuesday to authorize fairgrounds staff to negotiate a contract with the Tennessee State Fair Association to conduct a 2011 and 2012 state fair, language taken out of the same council bill.

Weaver said the idea of the master plan process is to begin with “no assumptions,” adding that the firm is to “work towards a recommendation” based on the board’s parameters.

The board’s vote stipulates that a recommendation for the site, which could include keeping existing uses, be made by Dec. 31. Among other factors, the master plan is to consider the “highest and best long-term use” of the property. It is still unclear whether Metro or the fair board specifically will be charged with paying the firm. The actual implementation of the master plan is contingent on a future Metro Council vote.

Buck Dozier, executive director of the Tennessee State Fair, is to work with the Metro Planning Department and Metro Parks and Recreation Department in helping guide the study.

Other factors to help steer the plan are “historic, recreational, community or cultural importance of the current uses” of the property. There is also to be a “detailed analysis of the economic and market viability and likely economic impact” of potential uses beyond the status quo. Additional mandates are an analysis of a new 40-acre park to go on the property’s floodplain, recommendations for the removal of existing facilities and an examination of potential future development.

The master plan is to take into account several existing plans that have already looked at the area.

Metro Councilman Duane Dominy, who supports the preservation of the fairgrounds and racetrack, asked Weaver about ensuring public input be a part of the master plan. Weaver said public input is up to the discretion of Dozier and the directors of the planning and parks departments.

While the master plan started to take form Tuesday, the future fairgrounds’ racing for the upcoming season remains in doubt.

Racing promoter Tony Formosa thought he had attended Tuesday’s meeting to watch the board vote on his proposal to hold as many as 16 races at the speedway for the coming season. But Weaver informed Formosa that he had failed to properly present his plan in a way for it to go on the board’s agenda. The board will take up the matter in April.

Formosa expressed a sense of urgency that a plan for racing at the fairgrounds be decided shortly.

“The longer we wait, the more handicapped we are,” Formosa said.

Formosa, who held five racing events at the track last year, said he would like to organize at least eight this year. He has asked that Metro improve lighting along the track and make necessary repairs and upgrades to the scoreboard. In addition, he has requested a curfew exemption in order to race until midnight for one night to accommodate the “All-American 400” in the fall.

Formosa also discussed conducting sound tests in an attempt to ease the noise heard by neighbors.  

25 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 3/1/11 at 2:49

I don't think anyone in the Dean Regime knows how to write a "no assumptions" consulting contract. They are really good at hiring for the opinions they desire (see MCC).

By: racer84 on 3/1/11 at 3:06

It seems unreal that the Fair Board would consider working with Rockhouse Partners/ Tn State Fair association given that Howell Townes (Fairgrounds Accountant) spelled out very clearly in a 2 page email now public just how badly they handled last years fair.

Cost the city over $150k right off the top as low bidder, and then failed to pay $190k in awards to the different ag folks who competed for those prizes as they have for 106 years.

Call Howell Townes, ask him how much "cents" or sense it makes to hand the keys over to them.

Even though "Rockhouse Partners" was given the contract behind closed doors last year Joe Haynes of the Tn State Fair ASSOCIATION stated last week his group actually put on last years fair....He said this on camera.

Funny the head dog of the TN State Fair ASSOCIATION Joe Haynes now has pending legislation to REMOVE the State Fair from the Fairgrounds......

Cause it's all connected to dean.
Dean is a CANCER

By: racer84 on 3/1/11 at 3:56

See email below in which Howell Townes explains to Buck all the reasons why today's vote from Fair Board to turn the State Fair for 2011 and 2012 to these very same people should be a criminal act.....Yet that is exactly what the Fair Board chose to do today.

Why no members of the State Fair ASSOCIATION present at the Fair Board meeting to present a proposal to the board like it was required by Tony Formosa ?

Why would no members think enough to be there anyways to be part of the process ?

Because just like last year they knew in advance it was a done deal.

From: Dozier, Buck (State Fair)
To: Townes, Howell (State Fair);
CC:
Subject: RE: Huge reductions in Premiums money offered by the operator of the 2010 Tennessee
State Fair
Date: Thursday, August 05, 2010 1:15:16 PM
Attachments:
Very interesting. I appreciate your work on this. The numbers are unbelievable. I did not know how much
they decreased it. When they made their presentation,
they were basing it on getting money from the Mayor, although we did not know that when we picked them.
I do understand that the agricultural community is not happy. It will be tough to get them back in my judgment.
From: Townes, Howell (State Fair)
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 11:13 AM
To: Dozier, Buck (State Fair)
Cc: Sanders, Kenneth (State Fair)
Subject: Huge reductions in Premiums money offered by the operator of the 2010 Tennessee State Fair
Importance: High
Tuesday in our conversation about other matters, you mentioned to me the operators of the 2010 Tennessee
State Fair would be offering less in Premium cash payments, than we offered for the 2009 Tennessee State
Fair. Being a "numbers" guy, I decided to create the attached Excel spreadsheet, to see how much lower the
cash Premiums offered were for their 2010 Fair, compared to our 2009 Fair.
I was not prepared mentally for the shock of the amount of the reduction in cash Premiums offered by the 2010
Fair, compared to our 2009 Fair (especially for the Livestock shows, about which we have always bragged, as
we being an "Agricultural Fair"). I was absolutely astounded, shocked, amazed, and disappointed by the
apparent 80% reduction of money premiums offered for the Livestock shows, from 2009 to 2010.
In creating the attached Excel spreadsheet, I went through both of the Premium catalogs (Livestock, and
the Agricultural, Creative Arts, and Youth catalogs) and tried to compare for most categories, the amounts
of money Premiums offered for the 2010 Fair, compared to the 2009 Fair. I am not an expert on either catalog,
so it is very likely I left out some category, event, or show, or I may have gotten something wrong. However,
since they used our computer software from the 2009 Fair to create their 2010 Fair catalog, it is relatively easy
to compare the Premiums offered for their 2010 Fair to our 2009 Fair. Even if I made a few mistakes, the
reduction in cash Premium payments offered (especially for the Livestock contests) is dramatic and huge in
most cases.
Based on my possibly slightly inaccurate attached Excel spreadsheet, I came up with the
following comparisons of cash Premiums offered for the two Fairs:
● The Livestock Premiums offered decreased from $189,509 for the 2009 Fair, to $37,691 for the 2010
Fair, a reduction of $151,818 or 80%. It appears to me seven large livestock shows (Mule Show, Jack
& Jennet Show, Open Junior Beef Heifer Show, Sheep Show, Swine Show, Dairy Cattle, and Dairy
Goats) were completely eliminated. In addition, the Poultry Show was downgraded to simply an exhibit,
with no contests and no Premiums (we offered $3,600 in 2009). Also, the Red Angus Cattle Show in
2010 offers no cash Premiums (we offered $7,740 in 2009), and the Chianina/Chiangus Cattle Show in
2010 has no Premiums offered by the Fair (we offered $5,760 for the 2009 Fair).
● The Youth Category Premiums offered went from $15,492 for the 2009 Fair to $15,479 for the 2010
Fair, a decrease of $13 or less than 1%.
● The Agricultural Category Premiums offered decreased from $17,532 for the 2009 Fair to $14,442 for
the 2010 Fair, a reduction of $3,090 or 18%.
● The Creative Arts Category Premiums offered declined from $9,722 for the 2009 Fair to $6,512 for the
2010 Fair, a decrease of $3,210 or 33%.
● For all four categories listed in the Excel spreadsheet, the grand totals of cash Premiums offered went
from $232,255 for the 2009 Fair to $74,124 for the 2010 Fair, a decrease of $158,131 or 68%.
When the committee met to try to decide which one of the three proposals to operate the September 2010
Tennessee State Fair on our Fairgrounds to accept, the proposal from Rock House Partners had initially the
lowest guaranteed compensation to us by far. However, as I recall, Chrysty Fortner had said in making their
presentation, they were going to put on the same huge livestock shows we had put on for so many years,
"maybe even bigger." According to my memory, the deciding factor in the committee was Rock House
Partners emphasis on putting on the same huge Livestock shows as we had done in the past. During the
evaluation process, Rock House Partners said in part in writing:
● "...the focus on 2010 agriculture and livestock should meet or exceed the expectations of all participants
from previous years (both aesthetically and functionally)." That promise was the main reason the
committee decided to choose Rock House Partners, even though they offered us initially the lowest
guaranteed rent.
● "All Junior Shows for the 4-H, FFA, and the Junior Breed Show Exhibitors that the fair has held the past
few years will return." Yet, it appears to me, the Open Junior Beef Heifer Show (with Premiums offered
of $10,300 at the 2009 Fair) has been eliminated during the 2010 Fair.
● "The continuity of competition will remain in the following areas:...All Dairy Breed Shows are National
Point Shows." Yet, it appears to me the Dairy Cattle Show (with $33,005 in Premiums offered during
the 2009 Fair) has been eliminated for the 2010 Fair.
● "Last year the fair hosted the 2nd-largest Dairy Goat Show in the nation, and we'll continue the Dairy
Goat Show with the quantity and quality that was offered in previous years." Yet, the Dairy Goat Show
in 2010 (for which we offered $15,632 in cash Premiums in 2009) appears to have been completely
eliminated!
● "The 2010 Fleece Show has commitments from exhibitors in the UK, making this a show with
international prestige." Yet, the 2010 catalog says, "This year the fleece department will be raising our
own premium money", with no Premium amounts listed. Last year, the 2009 Fleece Show had
Premiums offered of $2,110.
It is personally disappointing to me now, to realize it appears we were "mislead" (perhaps too weak of a term)
about having exactly the same huge and expensive 2010 Livestock shows by Rock House Partners, as had
been done at our 2009 Fair. Based on what Rock House Partners put in writing to the committee before the
decision was made by the committee, is there any way legally we can force the operator of the 2010 Fair to
add back the eliminated Livestock shows and/or increase the amount of the cash Premiums offered? Or are
we now "too far down the road" and too close to the opening of the 2010 Fair to do anything about it?
But I will always wonder, if we knew then what we know now, would we have awarded the right to put on the
September 2010 Tennessee State Fair to instead a different proposer (especially the one who guaranteed us
a minimum rent of $250,000)?
Howell

By: fair_minded on 3/1/11 at 4:11

While it may not be a "criminal act" awarding the contract this morning to the Fair Association/Rockhouse is in fact, against the law.

Metro Council on Feb. 1 passed Metro Ordinance BL2010-820 (ammended) which required the Fair Board to follow the "applicable procurement rules and regulations of the Metropolitan Government."

These rules require an open bidding process and the issuance of RFP for proposals for the contract. This was not done. Further, it requires a two-week public notice so that the public may comment on the proposal before any vote. This was not done.

Metro and the Fair Board have been ignoring existing laws and the Metro Charter concerning the Fairgrounds for years, so I guess it's not big surprise that the new ordinance was ignored as well.

By: las04 on 3/1/11 at 5:07

It's time WE the citizens of Davidson County stand up and stop this kind of conduct from the Fair Board and the Mayor. This is just the tip of the ice burg.....I agree with you racer84, KARL DEAN IS A CANCER.....MICHAEL CRADDOCK FOR MAYOR.....!!!!

By: CrimesDown on 3/1/11 at 7:34

I believe somebody will end up in prison over all this.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/1/11 at 8:07

fair_minded
Here is the amended bill signed into law by Mayor Karl Dean

They are in violation of 2 A.

Amendment No. 2 (as amended)
To
Ordinance No. BL2010-820

Madam President:

I move to amend Ordinance No. BL2010-820 by deleting Section 1 in its entirety and substituting with the following new Section 1:
Section 1. Title 2 of the Metropolitan Code is hereby amended by adding the following new Chapter 2.78:
Chapter 2.78 BOARD OF FAIR COMMISSIONERS
2.78.010 Additional duties.
In addition to the duties provided in Section 11.601 of the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Board of Fair Commissioners (hereinafter “Fair Board”) shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
A. The Fair Board shall negotiate with the Tennessee State Fair Association or other suitable nonprofit organization selected in accordance with the applicable procurement rules and regulations of the Metropolitan Government to hold a fair in 2011 and 2012 to be called “The Tennessee State Fair” on the existing 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds site located in Council District 17. Any agreement negotiated between the Fair Board and the Tennessee State Fair Association or other suitable nonprofit organization shall provide that the Metropolitan Government shall not be liable for any financial losses associated with the operation of the State Fair.

B. The Fair Board shall continue to operate the expo center and related facilities on the Tennessee State Fairgrounds property at such times and in such ways as to not interfere with the operation of the Tennessee State Fair until another suitable location for these activities has been identified and approved by a resolution an ordinance* of the Metropolitan Council receiving twenty-one (21) affirmative votes.

C. The Fair Board shall, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Department of Parks and Recreation and the Metropolitan Planning Department, develop a master plan for the future development and operation of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds site and surrounding area.
1. Such master plan shall, at a minimum, include: (a) provisions pertaining to the construction of a public park and restoration of Brown’s Creek; (b) recommended modifications to and/or removal of the existing facilities; (c) planned development of the site for mixed-use purposes; (d) recommended zoning or land use policy changes for the site and the surrounding area bounded by LaFayette Street/Murfreesboro Pike to the north, Interstate 65 to the west, Interstate 440 to the south, and Interstate 24 to the east; and (e) suggested infrastructure improvements on the site and in the surrounding area that would enhance the economic viability and liveability of the area.
2. In preparation of the master plan, consideration shall be given to the existing plans and documents previously commissioned and/or prepared pertaining to the site and the surrounding area, including (a) the South Nashville Community Plan: 2007 Update; (b) the Wedgewood Houston Finding and Recommendations; (c) the ULI Daniel Rose Fellowship Report – Nashville, Tennessee; (d) the 2010 Fairgrounds Taskforce Study; (e) Healing the Historic Pikes – 2010; and (f) the Nolensville Corridor Market Study. The Fair Board shall have the authority to contract with a professional engineering or planning firm to assist in preparation of the master plan.
3. Once completed, such master plan shall be submitted to the Metropolitan Council for approval by a resolution receiving twenty-one (21) affirmative votes. Any required rezoning of the property to implement the master plan shall be in accordance with the provisions of Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code.

Sponsored by: Jason Holleman , Jamie Hollin

*Secondary amendment sponsored by: Robert Duvall, Jim Gotto, Jamie Hollin

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Introduced: December 21, 2010
Passed First Reading: December 21, 2010 - Roll Call Vote
Referred to: Budget & Finance Committee
Codes Committee
Parks Committee
Amended: January 18, 2011 - Roll Call Vote
Passed Second Reading: January 18, 2011 - Roll Call Vote
Passed Third Reading: February 1, 2011
Approved: February 2, 2011
By:

By: bfra on 3/2/11 at 5:41

SO! The FOXES (Dean, Dozier & Weaver) are still in charge of the hen house. All 3 should have no say about the Fairgrounds, even thru their under the table snipers,

By: Nashvillian50 on 3/2/11 at 7:50

Good lord....Ronnie ( Racer 50) Cambell why don't you use your real name??????? and Shane you know better than this but at least you don't hide behind a fake name:

Here is what the Council bill says:

"The Fair Board shall negotiate with the Tennessee State Fair Association OR other suitable nonprofit organization selected in accordance with the applicable procurement rules and regulations of the Metropolitan Government to hold a fair in 2011 and 2012 to be called “The Tennessee State Fair” on the existing 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds site located in Council District 17.

The procurement section of this sentence ONLY applies to the "other suitable nonprofit organizations" part. Ask the guy who drafed it? Ask any lawyer. Duhhhhhhh............

The Council manidated that the Board use the State Fair Assoication. Period. That is what they are doing. That is EXACTLY what the Board's lawyer said during the meeting and you both were siting 10 feet away and heard it. The Fair Baord followed their lawyers advice...word for word.........Do you think the folks who read this post MIGHT like that info too? Or would putting that part in not serve your purposes of cutting down and personally attacking ANYONE who dares to slightly disagree with you?

You two are worse than those you complain about. A lot worse. You smile and shake hands with the Baord members at the meeting ( I saw you) and call them crooks and liars to the public behind the thin veil of "Racer 50"...... coward.

You claim to LOVE the Fair but really don't ......you would kill the Fair and the Flea Market and the Expo Center tomorrow if it would save your track...Come on boys, be honest with us. We know Darden has told you to "stick together" with the Flea Market and Expo folks as far as your public comments but you would knife them in the back in a second if it would mean the Track could survive.....come on admit it......you will feel better.

Seems to me that the Fair Baord MIGHT just be trying to get to a place where the right decision for EVERYONE is made..........I notice you didn't mention the Master Plan decison of the Baord yesterday??? Why? I guess it was too even handed and fairminded for your message of the the "fix is in". If it doesn't fit your message you simply don't talk about it. I guess you boys are the Fox News of posters!!!!!!!

You don't like the State Fair Association becasue they have said they want a new modern Fairgounds and you know a new Fairgrounds will not likley include racing. Come on be honest with the people who read this. Spin spin spin spin...that all you do......

Now you two can attack me...of course you don't know me so have at it, but there are a lot of us old State Fair people out here watching you guys.....closely......we know that "Save the Fairgrounds" is a Waltrip/Marlin/Crub front for save the Track................follow the money as you like to say............................................................

By: Nashvillian50 on 3/2/11 at 7:59

By the way my Council member ( also a Fair supporter by the way) sent this to me last night. You don't mention this part in your one sided posts.............

This seems to give EVERYONE who has an interest in the Fairgounds ( even the racers) a fair shot. ....................Why the Baord would give the Racers a fair shot at anything after all the terrible stuff you have said about them is beyoind me....I guess they are "turn the other cheek" kind of folks.........

Motion Number Two:

I move that we direct that the Metro Purchasing Department immediately solicit, via its Standard Operating Procedures for such solicitations, Requests for Statements of Qualifications (RFQs) and Cost Proposals from local, regional and national professional engineering and/or planning firms for a Final Master Plan for the current Tennessee State Fairgrounds site and the surrounding area. Except where specifically directed below the Final Master Plan should consider the 117 acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds and the surrounding area bounded by LaFayette Street/Murfreesboro Pike to the north, Interstate 65 to the west, Interstate 440 to the south, and Interstate 24 to the east. This solicitation and the selection process contemplated herein can be modified by the Purchasing Department to the extent a modification is necessary to comply with Metropolitan Government’s purchasing code or regulations.

These Statements of Qualifications and Cost Proposals shall be submitted by Metro Purchasing to the Executive Directors of the Metropolitan Department of Parks and Recreation and the Metropolitan Planning Department and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The Executive Directors shall select the firm or firms who in their opinion can best deliver the Final Master Plan as described herein and as mandated by BL2010-820 and who propose to staff the project with professionals with sufficient qualifications, experience and expertise to undertake the significant and multifaceted scope of work as directly mandated by Council.

The selected firm or firms shall work in conjunction with and report executively and directly to the Executive Directors or their designee. The Executive Directors and the selected firm or firms are directed to informally consult with other local, state, regional and federal agencies, organizations and officials as needed, necessary and appropriate to complete the requested scope of work and to deliver the detailed analysis necessary to support their recommendations and conclusions.

The Final Master plan, accompanied with the written recommendation of each of the Executive Director's, shall be submitted to the Boards or Commissions of Metropolitan Department of Parks and Recreation, the Metropolitan Planning Department and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds for a non binding recommendation vote on or before December 31, 2011 and thereafter the Final Master Plan and the accompanying recommendations of the Executive Directors and their Board or Commissions shall be immediately submitted to the Metropolitan Council for approval by Resolution if the same receives 21 votes.

The Final Master Plan shall include, but is not limited to, a recommendations as to the highest and best long term use or uses of the current Fairgrounds property. Said highest and best use or uses recommendations shall include, but is not limited to, a detailed analysis of the anticipated long term land use patterns in the immediate area of the Fairgrounds, the surrounding area and generally any other areas where anticipated development patterns are considered relevant, any legal impediments to implementation of the recommendations, historic, recreational, community or cultural importance of the current uses of the Fairgrounds as compared to the recommended long term use or uses, should the recommend use or uses differ in any fashion from the current uses, and finally, a detailed analysis of the economic and market viability and likely economic impact of the recommend long term use or uses as compared to current uses should the recommend use or uses differ in any fashion from the current uses.

Additionally, should the Final Master Plan recommend the relocation or elimination of any of the current uses of the site, the Final Master Plan shall examine and discuss the historic, recreational or cultural importance of the recommended eliminated or relocated current use, the economic viability and potential economic impact of the recommended eliminated or relocated current use or uses, and the likelihood of, and any obstacles to, any recommended relocation and recommendations as to what can done to make any recommended relocation successful. Should the Final Master Plan recommend the long term retention of any current uses at the site then an analysis of any adverse impacts to the surrounding area as well as recommendations as to the reasonable elimination of the same shall be included.

Specifically, without in any way limiting the scope and generality of the foregoing the Final Master plan shall include:

(a) An analysis of the costs and benefits of construction of a public park on a portion of the current Fairgrounds property as approved by Council - and restoration of Brown’s Creek;

(b) Recommendations for modifications to and/or removal of the existing facilities or changes to the contours or elevations of the site consistent with the overall vision of the Final Master Plan and the recommendations contained therein;

(c) An analysis of any planned or recommended future development of the site consistent with the recommended long term use or uses;

(d) Recommended zoning or land use policy changes for the site and the surrounding area consistent with the recommended long term use or uses; and in accordance with the provisions of title 17 of the Metropolitan Government code.

(e) Suggested infrastructure improvements on the site and in the surrounding area consistent with the recommended highest and best long term use that would enhance the economic viability and livability of the surrounding area;

(f) Timelines, milestones, and critical paths associated with the implementation of the final master plan.

Finally, in preparation of the Final Master Plan, consideration shall be given to the existing plans and documents previously commissioned and/or prepared pertaining to the site and the surrounding area, including but not limited to:

(a) The South Nashville Community Plan: 2007 Update;

(b) The Wedgewood Houston Finding and Recommendations;

(c) The ULI Daniel Rose Fellowship Report - Nashville, Tennessee;

(d) The 2010 Fairgrounds Taskforce Study;

(e) Healing the Historic Pikes - 2010;

(f) The Nolensville Corridor Market Study; and

(g) The Markin Studies.

By: racer84 on 3/2/11 at 8:43

So you create an anonymous name to call me out for not using mine ?

My name is not anonymous, and I do not hide. I mean, after all you used my real name although mispelled....so what's that tell ya ?

I've never watched Fox news, and I don't do political talk shows either. You don't know me at all.

I think Howell Townes the Fairgrounds accountant's email posted above speaks volumes as to why the Association has no business running the state fair.

The fact that you are not only a coward but too ignorant to admit that speaks volumes about your lack of character.

Enjoy the day

By: racer84 on 3/2/11 at 9:04

I challange you to show proof or evidence that the Save My Fairgrounds group is a "Waltrip,Marlin,Crub funded effort.

Since I'm a part of the efforts I can tell you for a fact it is not.

Put up or shut up !

I have DW's #, I'll gladly provide to any media who wishes to verify that what I state is true. Call them each and ask them, They won't lie.

You sure get a lot of things wrong to think you're so smart.

By: pswindle on 3/2/11 at 10:04

Better watach Dean, he wants the fairground . We had better get the big racers back in with their ideas to save the Nashville Racing community.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/2/11 at 12:18

Nashvillian 50, What is your name? Your post was full of delusion and conjecture.
I do care for the entire Fairgrounds. Flea Market, Expo, Fair, and track.
If you would like to talk, you can leave me a message at shanesmiley@bellsouth.net
or, you can call me. 615-403-5360
I would enjoy the discussion

I do see it as bad form to call out someone for using a pen name while hiding behind the same.

Shane

By: MocMewn on 3/2/11 at 12:47

You guys are unbelievable!

Fair Board members are appointed by the Mayor (Dean didn't appoint all of them) but they answer to the mayor's office. An "independent" consulting firm chosen by the Mayor is going to present a master plan to the Fair Board for approval. (Can you say.."Done Deal"?) HOWEVER, there are enough vocal supporters of the Fairgrounds to give Dean a royal pain in his ass, so he needs a little insurance policy. Ever heard the term "Divide and Conquer"?

You guys are falling right into his trap. Get your act together and quit harassing each other. Now is the time to stick together NOT draw the line between racetrack and fair/expo. We have to work TOGETHER to preserve Nashville history or else Dean will turn this town into another smelly, overpopulated cesspool city like Detroit.

By: BigPapa on 3/2/11 at 1:25

Frankly I dont see why the rest of us should fund a race track that 50 people use. Time to move on, I hope Dean can hurry up and close it down in his next term.

By: racer84 on 3/2/11 at 2:45

new
By: BigPapa on 3/2/11 at 1:25
Frankly I dont see why the rest of us should fund a race track that 50 people use. Time to move on, I hope Dean can hurry up and close it down in his next term

BigPapa - You're only funding soccer,sailboating, golfing, football, softball,and the arena/hockey teams as a metro taxpayer. The ONE sport you are NOT funding is racing.

What you are not now, nor ever have funded is a race track or any part of the Fairgrounds.

It's self sustaining and although you've read about 100 newspaper articles which have stated exactly that you still posted your message.

Seems to be the majority of those opposed to the fairgrounds are very misinformed, or just like to complain about the one thing they have zero reasons to complain about.

By: wayneCaluger on 3/2/11 at 4:01

By: racer84 on 3/1/11 at 3:06 Even though "Rockhouse Partners" was given the contract behind closed doors last year Joe Haynes of the Tn State Fair ASSOCIATION stated last week his group actually put on last years fair....He said this on camera.

Funny the head dog of the TN State Fair ASSOCIATION Joe Haynes now has pending legislation to REMOVE the State Fair from the Fairgrounds.....

By: CrimesDown on 3/1/11 at 7:34 I believe somebody will end up in prison over all this.

Not a chance: Any legal action will be defended by Miller & Martin, who by the way has an attorney named Amanda Haynes working for them and who by the way is the daughter of Sen. Joe Haynes and Judge Barbara Haynes. Like Tower Properties case legal action would end up in and die in Judge Barbara Haynes Court. Took the folks whose child died at Vanderbilt Children Hospital a couple of years a tries to get a change in Judges since Judge Haynes served on the Vanderbilt Children Hospital board. Refused to recluse herself taking at least two tries in front of the State Court of Appeals.

I too have been down Haynes road that included all members of the clan being associated in some way. It's a lost cause once in this old political network spider web. Trust me.

By: MAmom on 3/2/11 at 7:25

Haynes' bill let's him move the Fair OUT of Davidson County. See the WSMV story which is copied below.

Comments:
1. Dean tried to move the Flea Market to Hickory Hollow Mall and failed because he was stopped by the Council.
2. Dean tried to destroy the racetrack and he failed because he was stopped by the Council.
3. Dean is now trying to torpedo the State Fair. This time he isn't going through the Council - he's going through the State Legislature. With the likes of Joe Haynes and Kristy Fortner as members - the State Fair Association (not sure where their legal authority comes from) will almost certainly recommend moving the State Fair out of the County (or to some inferior location in Davidson County).

-----
The story about the latest scheme to steal the Fairgrounds from WSMV:

Bills Allow State Fair To Move
Fair To Be Held At Fairgrounds This Year, Next Year
POSTED: 5:23 pm CST February 22, 2011
UPDATED: 9:13 pm CST February 22, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The battle over the Nashville Fairgrounds is now moving to the state house.

State Sen. Joe Haynes has introduced a bill that HE SAYS will protect the state fair.

His bill deletes language from the law that says the state fair must be held in Nashville every year.

Haynes said he wants to ensure there is always a state fair, EVEN IF IT MOVES TO ANOTHER COUNTY.

"If, per chance, we can't find a site in Davidson County, I would consider going out of Davidson County, to pick a site for the state fair. I hope that doesn't happen. I hope it remains in Davidson County," said Senator Haynes.
-----

Make Dean a 1-term Mayor

By: MAmom on 3/2/11 at 8:17

In today's Tennessean there is a story that says Metro wants to buy part of Hickory Hollow Mall (story is: "Metro might buy Hickory Hollow building for library, community center, park").

Head of the Fair Board, James Weaver, was lobbyist for CBL. He resigned from the lobbyist role - but he and his firm benefits if his client CBL does good.
-----
What Weaver did for Dean Yesterday:

1. Yesterday James Weaver, on a technicality, deferred making a decision about racing at the Fairgrounds. If races can't be scheduled soon - the season will be compromised - and Weaver knows it.

2. Yesterday Weaver said Flea Market vendor rates will go up. A consultant is to be hired to calculate how much rates should go up - more expense against the Fairgrounds. He knows this will probably chase off some vendors. More total revenue would be raised by lowering rates & increasing vendors.

3. Yesterday Weaver also handed the State Fair to a bunch of people who want to move the State Fair out of Davidson County. Joe Haynes - a member of the State Fair Association (not sure what their authority is) - has introduced legislation to the State Legislature which would allow the Fair to move outside Davidson County.

4. Yesterday the Fairgrounds master plan creation framework was put in place. Of course another consultant/study is to be be done. Expense probably will be charged against the Fairgrounds - like everything else. Spineless Buck Dozier & Park people are to "control" the process. Probably new part-time hire Jim Fyke will be part of this. From a Tennessean article a few weeks ago. "Fyke, who retired last month after nearly eight years as deputy commissioner and then commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, will be a special assistant to Riebeling, a friend for more than 30 years. He’ll make $63.23 an hour for 19.5 hours of work a week, which comes out to $64,115 a year for what’s officially a part-time job.

Weaver has put the pieces in place to kill the Fairgrounds.

QUID PRO QUO

So today it's time for DEAN to do something for Weaver.... like buying part of the holdings at Hickory Hollow Mall.

By: MocMewn on 3/2/11 at 9:49

Some of you people are so adept at getting metro emails and other documents printed in these comments........can someone please print a copy of the two-page document the Fair Board drew up outlining their criteria for the "Master Plan"?
It should be interesting reading. Surely the document is public record.

By: localboy on 3/3/11 at 11:58

Glad they'll have a plan...then we'll know what to do...

By: racer84 on 3/3/11 at 3:58

Nashvillian50 AKA - Fair Board Chairman James Weaver.....

I'm smarter than you give me credit for, and have friends in places you wouldn't expect. People close to you aren't happy about what has been done at the Fairgrounds under your watch and control.

I got up and shook your hand after the meeting to tell you goodbye and good luck.

I have no problem looking you right in the eye and telling you what I think, Call me and we can make that happen.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/4/11 at 1:27

James, James, James.... Oh, excuse me, Nashville50,

If you spent more than your one obligated morning a month at The Fairgrounds , you would know that I, and many others do love the State Fair, The Nashville Expo and Flea Market, and yes, The race Track.

For us, The Fairgrounds represent a gathering place for fair minded people.
A place to gather, rejoice, compete, reflect, dream, and better ourselves and the world around us.
Now James, o.k. if I call you James?
If you are not one of us, then I am betting that you don't understand us.
By the way you treat the other members of the board, and anyone else that I have seen you interact with, it would appear that you feel superior to us "commoners" that are fighting to keep a property that was protected by LAW to be a place of gathering for us. The citizens of Nashville.

Most (If not all) fairgrounds supporters will agree, The Fairgrounds is not a piece of property to be bought and sold by developers in the game of "Nashville Monopoly".
We are hard workers and competitors. Survivors. The more that you take away from us, the more time we have to get the proof of how it's "ALL CONNECTED".
Just because you are getting off of the Fair Board, that won't stop Fair minded citizens from continuing the probe into your business and political dealings.
I'd bet, you are starting to wish that we would all crawl back into our garages and workshops. I promise you, It is where we would rather be.
Most of us don't like dealing with your type any more than you enjoy our company.

You were put in an office and position that was meant to protect the Fair and the Fairgrounds. Your actions, In my opinion, have not upheld the intent of the office that you hold.
You are the chairman that gave the Fair away. If you don't have the skill set to produce and oversee the place with it's best interest in mind, then why didn't you resign instead of turning the property over to the mayor? There are provisions in the charter to sustain the Fairgrounds financially as a whole thru tough times.

Instead of paying for a study to figure out how how much the rate increase for the vendors will be, why not take the advice of the Fairgrounds staff who diligently studied the issue and have a day to day knowledge of the facility, the vendors, and patrons. In your words...Duhhhhh!
Instead you pushed thru a vote to pay an outside group to do a study.
Another study, REALLY?
The last study, which was not used in the end, was performed a decade ago at a cost of around 20k. You don't know the cost of the current study (or at least said that you didn't in the FB meeting) yet pushed it thru, spending another 20kish of a dwindling budget. Spending decisions like this are a large reason for the diminished profitability of the Fairgrounds.
Many would say you have spending all of the money is your mission.
The 20kish that you are spending equals 1,333 booth rentals at a rate of $15.00 increase per booth. If you average 500 booths, it will take nearly 3 flea markets before you see any change in the bottom line.
Pretty easy math.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/4/11 at 1:59

As for the "Master Plan", I am reserving judgement.
It will be interesting to see whom the RFP is awarded, what ties they have to the development community, what is allowed for citizen input, if they are local or if more outsiders will take part in proposing what to do with our city.
You can bet your bottom dollar that it will be watched every step of the way.
Many Nashvillians believe, in your words, that the fix is in.

The people spoke pretty loud and clear that we feel the "Highest and Best use" of the property today and into the future is what it is today. The Fairgrounds.
Now, James, I'm not saying improvements are not in order. We have a lot of work before us as we undo the damages that your "leadership" has caused the Fairgrounds.

Many have asked, many times over, Why do they want to destroy the ONLY property in Metro that is self sustaining and not a burden to the tax payers? A property that generates a great deal of positive economic impact and serves over 1.2 million customers a year.
In my opinion, the answer is money. Not money for the city, money for developers. If the Fairgrounds stays in place, you have one less piece of property to Lobby, develop, and make large amounts of money from. Many believe that it is all about the greed of a "selected" few at the cost of the masses.

Now, I'm not tearing you down or saying anything to attack you. I've heard that you are a likeble guy when with peers.
I am however taking exception to the way you treat the people, the property and the tradition you are sworn to serve. I am not alone in my analysis. I don't need a study to know wrong when I see it.
I posted my phone number on my original post with you. If you would like to sit down and discuss the merits of keeping the fairgrounds, that is a discussion that I would enjoy.