Posted By Steven Hale on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM
http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2015/06/03/after-council-hearing-barry-opposes-jail-relocation-maynard-urges-support-of-police-hqAfter nearly three hours of public comment Tuesday night on Mayor Karl Dean's proposed capital projects, council support for three items on his agenda is now seriously in doubt.
While downtown business owners and chamber of commerce representatives were out in force to support his proposal for a $100 million downtown flood protection system, including the much-discussed floodwall, there was almost total opposition to plans to relocate the downtown Criminal Justice Center, consolidating Sheriff's operations and relocating a jail to Metro-owned property in southeast Nashville (which already includes jails) and building a new Metro Police Department headquarters on Jefferson Street in North Nashville.
North Nashville activists have filed civil rights complaints with the state and federal governments over the proposed police headquarters and an opposition group from Southeast Nashville submitted a petition Tuesday night with more than 1,000 signatures against the proposed jail relocation.
After the hearing, council members Phil Claiborne and Duane Dominy announced plans to file amendments pulling funding from the flood protection system and the jail relocation respectively, and Councilwoman Erica Gilmore publicly withdrew her support of the plan to relocate police headquarters into her district.
On Wednesday morning, At-Large Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Megan Barry reiterated her support for the flood protection proposal, but announced that she had signed onto an amendment pulling the relocated jail out of the Capital Improvement Budget.
“I have heard loud and clear from residents in Southeast Nashville who are opposed to the relocation of the jail into their neighborhood," Barry said in a statement released by her campaign. "In addition, I have serious concerns about the ability for those who are served by the criminal justice system to access legal representation and transit if we were to move the jail from Downtown to Antioch. Last night, I joined my fellow councilmembers in signing on to an amendment that would take the proposed Southeast jail out of the Capital Improvement Budget."
She added that she "heard serious concerns about the relocation of the police headquarters to Jefferson Street" but said she "will be taking a closer look at that proposal over the next week."
At the same time, At-Large Councilman Jerry Maynard, who has already publicly confronted groups in North Nashville opposing the Jefferson Street police headquarters, sent an email to council members under the subject "Is this Justice?"
Dear Colleagues:The council will take up final votes on the proposals, and amendments to pull specific projects, next Tuesday.
There are 13 Abandoned Buildings on Jefferson Street within a 7 Block Stretch. Below you will see just a few.
As you know many of us have worked tirelessly to Revitalize Jefferson Street. I have worked with SIX Developers to build Mixed Use and Multi Family projects on Jefferson Street over the past 8 years. But, when they see the neighborhood around them, they don't want to be the first to invest and take the risk.
That is why the Police HQ is great for the Community of Jefferson Street. Nashville's investment will show confidence and commitment to the area. This will encourage private developers to invest on Jefferson Street.
Finally, I ask one simple question, "Would you want a $23 Million Administrative Head Quarters in your District?"
If you answer yes, please support the relocation of the Police HQ!