Metro Nashville Mayoral candidate Dr. Carol Swain is calling for answers following Mayor David Briley’s contradictory statements and budgetary moves on his controversial parking meter plan.
“How can Mayor Briley promise voters he’ll hold off on his widely opposed parking meter plan, at the same time his administration is quietly planning to spend the up-front $30 million it would bring in if passed? Which one is it—the bill is on hold so the public can weigh in, or the mayor will ram it down our throats as soon as he no longer needs our votes? The public deserves honest answers,” Swain said in a press release.
Just two weeks ago, Briley said he was “hitting the pause button” on his plan to privatize parking meters, The Tennessee Star reported.
“It is clear to me that residents still have questions about the merits of this proposal. Residents need more time – and it is unfair to the public and to Council to rush this process,” Briley wrote.
Worse yet, others are using misinformation to further confuse and scare people. It’s politics at its worst. For these reasons, I am hitting the pause button on this proposal.”
However, Swain said that last Tuesday, she and other concerned citizens attended a Metro Council meeting to voice their concerns about the plan. Instead of listening to their constituents, the bill was deferred until after the election when the city’s elected officials will no longer have accountability to voters, she said.
Swain also said:
In a Thursday email to citizens, Mayor Briley reiterated his plan to “defer it until after the noise of the Metro election is over and the next term begins.” But just one day later, the Mayor’s finance advisor admitted the $30 million in upfront revenue from the parking deal “will not be removed from the budget as we still anticipate the deal will be approved by [Metro] Council at some point during fiscal year 2020.”
In addition to the parking meter plan, Mayor Briley’s budget includes more than $11 million in phantom revenue for selling the city’s downtown energy system to a French company. That deal has also not been approved by the Metro Council.
Metro Nashville’s $2.3 billion budget relies upon two non-recurring sources worth $41.5 million — the outsourcing of management and enforcement for on-street parking and the sale of the city’s downtown energy system, the Nashville Scene said.
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