Thursday, August 28, 2008


The lead in the Nashville City Paper this morning just takes the cake.

Despite a compromise proposal which would allow Joy Ford to keep her Music Circle property, the independent country music label owner’s attorneys sent out a press release Wednesday vowing to challenge the Metro Development and Housing Agency’s eminent domain claim on her Music Circle property.
"Despite a compromise" which comes across as if Miss Joy is the one being stubborn and uncooperative by not agreeing to it. Of course, I haven't seen the actual proposal, who actually has, but where is it written that just because an offer is made it has to be responded to, let alone accepted? To paraphrase from a well known TV show: "If she doesn't call, she's just not that into you." Lionstone Group won't accept no for an answer and brought in the Nashville's Metropolitan House and Development Association as enforcers to ensure they get every bit of that corner for their proposed develeopment. I heard Miss Joy testify that her husband hadn't been dead two weeks before the vultures, who had obviously been circling them for some time, swooped in and started annoying and scaring her with persistent offers to purchase property she made clear she wasn't going to sell.

"Keep her property?" Just a part of it. According to published reports MDHA is willing to let Miss Joy keep her building but wants her parking lot. Here's a "compromise" for you...I'll take half your bank account balance and leave you the rest. How's that? No? OK, I'll let you have 65%...that's more than half, seems fair to me. Surely you can continue on with 35% less.

And then there's the 'allow Joy Ford to keep'---there you have it folks, the bottom line. MDHA, may their name be praised, is believed to have the right to 'allow' anyone to keep their property. It's my prayer and hope that tomorrow morning Judge Barbara Haynes will make it very clear the MDHA, Lionstone Group and the rest of the nation that Nashville values property rights. That Nashville doesn't browbeat little old ladies to benefit the community treasury and the bottom line of Houston Developers and that we will honor the heritage of Music Row by allowing Miss Joy to continue to mentor musicians, one of whom may be working on the next big hit today.

A good crowd in Judge Barbara Haynes courtroom, Room 510 of the Metro Courthouse at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, August 29th, will go a long way toward sending a message to an unaccountable MDHA that citizens are not going to stand for their thieving tactics.

Nashville also needs to take a hard look at this unaccountable MDHA board and let them know that it's time the MDHA Board reigned in their employees.

Here's the MDHA board

J. Chase Cole, Chair
Mr. Cole is a partner with the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis and was appointed to the Board in November 1996. Mr. Cole was elected Vice Chair in December 1997 and elected Chair in December 1999.

Term: 12/19/2006 11/05/2011
2700 Nashville City Center
Nashville TN 37219-1760

Leigh Walton, Vice Chair for Housing
Ms. Walton is a senior partner with the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims and was appointed to the Board in January 2001.

Term: 02/07/2006 11/05/2010
315 Deaderick Street, Ste. 2700
Nashville TN 37238-0002

Roland L. Jones, Vice Chairman for Development
Mr. Jones is a consultant to the hospitality, food and retail industries. He was appointed to the Board in May 2002.

Term: 11/16/2004 11/05/2009
PO Box 150286
Nashville TN 37215-028

Gayle Fleming was just appointed last week as the second public housing representative. I called MDHA's executive office and they didn't have any contact information for Ms. Fleming. This from the Metro Council minutes of August 19, 2008:
Appointment of Ms. Gayle Fleming for a term expiring July 1, 2013. The Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Committee recommended the appointment and Mr. Ryman moved for confirmation, which motion was seconded and adopted by a unanimous vote of the Council with Mr. Gotto “Abstaining.”

Mary J. Southall, Commissioner
Ms. Southall is retired and serves as one of two housing residents on the Board. She was appointed to the Board in June 2000.

Term: 07/03/2007 07/01/2012
106 31st Avenue South, #106
Nashville TN 37212
Representing: Public Housing

Melvin C. Black, Commissioner
Mr. Black served as a teacher and coach in the Metro Nashville public school system for more than 30 years. Following his retirement, he served two terms on the Metro Council, from 1996 to 2003. He was appointed in January 2004.

Term: 01/20/2004 11/05/2008 (Note his term is just about up.)
747 Work Drive
Nashville TN 37207

Ralph Mosley, Commissioner
Mr. Mosley is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Southwestern/Great American. He was appointed to the Board in November 2007.

Term: 11/20/2007 11/05/2012
3830 Whitland Avenue
Nashville TN 37205

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