NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Outgoing Nashville Mayor David Briley was a disaster for Nashville, according to a new column on the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s website.
Beacon is a Nashville-based free market think tank.
In the column, Beacon’s Vice President of Communications Mark Cunningham was blunt and direct in assessing Briley’s performance.
“As Mayor Briley’s handlers and rich friends try to paint the picture of an effective mayor who moved the city of Nashville forward during his time in office, I’m calling bullsh*t,” Cunningham wrote.
“In my opinion, Briley’s time in office was an unmitigated economic disaster and that’s why Nashvillians made history and overwhelmingly voted him out. I want to be clear about how historic this was. An incumbent mayor has never lost re-election since Nashville and Davidson County merged into a metro government. The eventual winner of the election didn’t have the name ID or corporate donations that Briley did and ended up beating the incumbent mayor by 40 percentage points in the runoff election.”
Why did Briley lose by that much?
Cunningham spelled out the following reasons:
• Corporate Welfare: “While Briley always made sure to give lip service to neighborhoods, it seemed as if most of our tax dollars went to big corporation after big corporation to move to the downtown corridor,” Cunningham wrote.
“Whether it was giving millions of dollars to gigantic companies like Amazon or Alliance Bernstein or giving away $25 million to a bunch of millionaires who wanted to build a soccer stadium, Mayor Briley seemed to choose corporations over teachers, police officers, and firefighters.”
• The Budget: “It wasn’t just that Briley’s administration helped bankrupt one of the hottest cities in the country in just 18 months; it was his utter lack of interest in addressing the budget shortfall in the city,” Cunningham wrote.
“In one of the final debates, Briley actually told Cooper ‘social priorities cannot be subservient to the budget.’ To his credit, Cooper answered by saying that ‘all social progress is dependent on economics.’ Briley’s lack of interest in fiscal stewardship was another one of the main reasons for his landslide loss.”
Click here to read the rest of Cunningham’s column.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “David Briley” by David Briley. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by euthman. CC BY-SA 2.0.