Fairgrounds supporters say they need 5,000 more signatures

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 6:04pm
Staff reports

Metro Councilman Jamie Hollin said Wednesday that the pro-Tennessee State Fairgrounds group he is leading has surpassed 10,000 petition signatures collected for placing the referendum to save the fairgrounds on the Aug. 4 election ballot.

“The effort is well on its way to collecting the required number of signatures in just Day 10 of the effort,” Hollin said.

Supporters of Save My Fairgrounds have until May 16 to collect more than 15,000 petition signatures to add a special referendum to August’s local election. In question is retaining all existing activities at the 117-acre much-disputed property.

It’s a tight time frame to pull off a feat that requires more signatures than two recent memorable Metro petition efforts. 

Three years ago, Metro Councilman Eric Crafton successfully collected more than the necessary 10,103 signatures during his initial English-only referendum push, before besting a 2,475-signature mark during a subsequent effort that ultimately led to a special election. One year later in 2009, Hollin turned in nearly 1,000 signatures to hold a special recall election to oust sitting East Nashville Councilwoman Pam Murray.

This story has been updated to reflect a correction about the source of Save My Fairgrounds' funding. The organization has long maintained it has a variety of funding sources. 

6 Comments on this post:

By: Nitzche on 5/4/11 at 4:32

Has jamie Hollin checked with Mike Jamieson before he does something on his own?

By: BigPapa on 5/5/11 at 8:42

I think this could be nothing but a good thing. I am for tearing the thing down and developing it, however allowing people to vote on it at least let's the Nashville population feel like their voice has been heard and that the issue wasn't just bought and paid for by a developer etc. and crammed down their throats. I said the same thing about The Sounds deal at the thermal site.
It's a shame that we can't trust the Council or Mayor to represent us w/o feeling like there's been a big pay off.

By: Shane Smiley on 5/5/11 at 3:49

Well said, Big Papa.

By: Shane Smiley on 5/5/11 at 4:20

Big Papa,
Let me go one step further with my comment. It is no secret that we are on opposite sides of this debate. I firmly believe we should be doing everything we can to protect the Fairgrounds from being turned over to developers. The property sees 1.2 million visitors annually, creates $60 Million in economic impact. costs tax payers nothing, and holds a vast amount of Nashville history.
The Fairgrounds serves as the hub of our small business engine in Nashville. The Flea Market and Expo events offer small companies(and large) to have direct contact with consumers. This contact allows direct feedback helping consumers voices being heard and companies the ability to adjust the product to fit the needs of the consumer. Small business creates more than 70% of all new jobs in our county, state, and country. Why would anyone want to shut down this hub of industry in favor of corporate business? The corporate business has failed miserably. In fact, many of the start up business showcased at the fairgrounds are citizens that are victims of big business problems. People that have lost their incomes due to the failed corporate, big business model. They are picking themselves up by the boot straps and doing what it takes to provide for their families. Destroying this small business hub only hinders these citizens that have been victims of a failed system already.
The issue of sound at the track is being addressed. The sound is cut in half with every 10dba of reduction. With the muffler package,The sound was cut by 16 dba. So, cut in half and then nearly in half again. Not a bad start. If a long term lease were available, a sound absorbing wall would be built around the facility. This wall would reduce the effects of the cars as well
That being said, I agree that the people of Nashville should have an opportunity to speak their minds and have a say in the Fairgrounds or any other significant property in our county.

Even though we are on opposite sides of the issue, I agree with your statement.
A vote on the issue will allow both of us and all citizens equal say in the outcome.
Have a good day sir. Hope to see you at the polls.

By: yucchhii on 5/9/11 at 11:42

yucchhii Personally, I say the city should leave it well enough ALONE! BUT think about this, how ever you feel won't matter to the city! Look at the convention center, it was put to the people to vote on it, the people said "NO"!!! They don't want it!!! Did it do any good? You see what they're doing out there! So, do you REALLY THINK THE FAIRGOUNDS ARE SAFE?

By: morpheus120 on 5/11/11 at 4:24

Yucchhii, there was no vote by the people on the Convention Center.