The administration of former Nashville Mayor David Briley reportedly failed to disclose to the public how dire metro’s water system financial crisis was.
This, according to the Nashville-based WSMV.
The station reported that Tennessee Comptrollers have imposed a deadline for metro officials to come up with a plan for a water rate increase. This, even though officials did not disclose this to the public until after this fall’s mayoral election. State officials had warned metro for three years.
Metro Council members did not know about the problem. The station reported, however, that Briley, his financial officer, and Metro Water’s Scott Potter knew of the issue.
“This is important because the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said Wednesday that the water department’s financial crisis is so urgent and real that it wouldn’t have enough money to make emergency repairs,” WSMV reported.
“Wednesday, Metro council members were dumbfounded to learn the water department’s finances are in such dire straits that the comptroller’s office threatened to take it over more than a year and a half ago.”
Why would the information be withheld from council members and the general public, the station asked?
“Here’s the timeline: the state threatened to take over Metro water in April 2018 — that was about six weeks before the mayoral election. David Briley had become mayor when Megan Barry resigned in a scandal involving an affair with a member of her protective detail,” according to WSMV.
“In an email written by Potter in March 2018, he referred to the administration’s plan to start discussions about the rate increase at ‘the beginning of the next administration (August 2019),’ in other words – after the election.”
As The Tennessee Star reported in September, John Cooper replaced Briley, after Cooper defeated him in a runaway victory by a margin of 69 percent to 30 percent.
In the mayor’s race, Cooper got 62,404 votes while Briley trailed far behind with less than half that tally — 27,255 votes, according to the election commission’s website.
As The Star reported in August, Cooper promised that, if elected mayor, he would give teachers, police and firefighters better pay.
Cooper also promised the city better infrastructure through what he called “effective progressivism.”
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