What should Harding do?
TO THE EDITOR:
One wonders what an institution like Harding Academy should do. It made its plans, communicated with its neighbors, applied for and received the appropriate permits - all in an effort to create a park on its own land.
Now a single Metro Council member and a few activist neighbors have convinced Metro to "suspend" its permits. What a questionable move.
We must all be concerned when any institution is prevented from improving its own property in a way that would also improve the quality of life in the community. It could happen to any of us. Why is this a surprise now after all the time and money that has been invested into such a great asset for the area?
Buildings do not a neighborhood make
TO THE EDITOR:
Four or five activists with misplaced anger issues have divided a neighborhood against itself and created a hostile environment that should never be associated with small children. It's this simple.
Harding Academy has done nothing wrong in its pursuit of property for an athletic park. Not only will the schoolchildren benefit from the green space, but also Belle Meade Links, which already has access to the Harding playground, will have a walking path and park area to use.
I think it's time to replace blind rage with common sense and an esprit de corps. Buildings don't make the neighborhood. People do.
TINA FOSTER CALDWELL
Don't give Council members more pay
TO THE EDITOR:
Councilman Ron Turner has voiced his ideas for possible changes in the way Metro Council meetings are run. Although some of his ideas have merit, the main problem seems to be overlooked. We apparently have a Council that doesn't take its job all that seriously. Yet Council members want our support for a big pay raise.
Councilman Turner, if it is so hard for you to sit through these long sessions because you are in the last few months of your term, maybe you should step down now, and let someone who really cares about the job take over.
I know the absence of a quorum in the last Council meeting was not a new occurrence, but it is one that should be eliminated in the future. It would behoove our vice mayor to keep a better handle on proceedings and to keep an eye on Council members slipping out the door before business is complete.
To the "blue ribbon" citizens committee recommending huge raises for the mayor, vice mayor and Council members, I say, try again! Why is it these committees always go off the deep end? Sure, a pay increase might be in order, but the amount recommended is downright obscene.
Quite frankly, our mayor does not deserve to be among the highest paid in the country. The amount proposed for the Council and vice mayor is way out of line for the job they are currently doing. In the real world, when people sneak out of their job early and go home, they usually are reprimanded or fired, not rewarded with a pay increase.
Being on the Metro Council is one of the most important "part-time" jobs a person can have. It's high time more Council members realized this fact. If they want to get rich, they should talk to their full-time employer about a raise. They shouldn't try to fleece the taxpayers while doing a halfhearted job.
Our Metro Council is fast becoming a joke. Let's hope the voters take note and help restore some relevancy and logic to this important arm of local government.
Proud to live in Brentwood
TO THE EDITOR:
I have read with interest the editorials of The City Paper and other publications regarding the Turner property development that has been touted as an opportunity for change - for the better, so The City Paper claims - for Brentwood.
I lived for 15 years in Nashville, split between the Hillsboro/Belmont and West Meade neighborhoods. When we moved to Brentwood seven years ago, we used to apologize (if not hide the fact) for living in Brentwood. We had bought into all that Brentwood-bashing and were a little ashamed of our new address.
But what we discovered was just the opposite of what conventional wisdom led us to believe. Our neighborhood was much more friendly and inviting than any Nashville neighborhood in which we had previously resided. In fact, our Brentwood neighborhood was more ethnically diverse than our West Meade neighborhood.
We liked the 1-acre lot as we did our West Meade residence - but no one chastised the West Meade residents for large lots. We liked the easy commute to work in Nashville, as opposed the horrendous ride each day from West Meade. We liked the Brentwood community's priorities in recreation, parks, libraries and education.
I guess it just took living there to recognize that Brentwood is not the horrible place that non-Brentwood residents, including your editorial staff, claim. We actually don't say we are from "northern Williamson County" anymore. We live in Brentwood.
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