Metro lawyers got a bit of a shock Wednesday afternoon.
Chancellor Carol McCoy called the city’s Law Department, asking if the city was prepared to contest the case in which state fair backers are seeking a writ of mandamus against Metro, requiring the city to continue allowing a state fair at the south Nashville fairgrounds.
With the hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday — and having heard nothing from the city — McCoy thought she’d check and make sure everyone was on the same page.
McCoy said Metro attorney Lora Fox “was surprised” to hear a court date had been set.
“I have been advised Metro was not aware of the hearing,” McCoy said Thursday morning.
The chancellor re-set the case for a 9 a.m. April 6 hearing.
Representing the defendants — a fair vendor and a neighbor of the fairgrounds — attorney Robert Rutherford indicated that, in the meantime, a temporary injunction preventing the state fair from shuttering might be in order, in light of recent news the fair board is working with contractors to keep the fair alive through 2010.
McCoy said she would not grant such an injunction and said the bigger issue — the future of the state fair past 2010 — would not be resolved by the fair board’s latest move.
“That does not resolve your petition,” she said. “The overriding question needs to be addressed.”
Preservationists maintain a 1923 act of the state legislature cancelling a state lease on the fairgrounds requires the fair board to host, in perpetuity, a state fair at least six days long.