One of the iconic images from Nashville's 20th century is this photograph of my grandfather Mayor Beverly Briley taking down a city limits sign, symbolically cementing the consolidation of city and county in 1962. (Please ignore the cigarette.)
One reason that consolidation was a defining moment for Nashville is that it gave us the ability to plan and build the infrastructure for the urban core and the surrounding suburban and rural areas under the roof of one government. Many believe that this one decision led to much of our current economic and cultural vitality.
Fifty years ago, infrastructure primarily meant sewers and streets. Today, infrastructure means much more:
This Saturday I spent an hour taking the second of my 35 rides looking at the infrastructure downtown and in south Nashville. This morning I went back to take some photos of what I saw:
On the one hand, infrastructure still means the traditional projects - filling potholes, building sidewalks, and managing traffic. But as we've grown, infrastructure has transformed into stadiums, convention centers, pedestrian bridges, commuter rail, and bike sharing. With as much growth as we currently have and are projected to have over the next 20 years, maintaining our business-friendly environment while we also protect and improve our quality of life will be a challenge. I'm running for Vice Mayor to do my part confronting that challenge.
I've written before that ensuring inclusiveness, transparency, objectivity, and accountability in the legislative process will guide me as Vice Mayor. Those principles will be especially important as we prioritize our spending on infrastructure in an era of tight budgets. When we decide between stadiums and sidewalks, every neighborhood should be heard in expanded settings that seek input before decisions are made. As we spend our limited resources, everyone should know what's being constructed and why and more information should be put online for this purpose. Finally, we should consistently look back at our decisions to measure their success and hold the government accountable for its mistakes.
As Vice Mayor, I will always remember these principles as I appoint committees and their chairs, as I work with the new Council to give context to the decisions it faces, and as I work to build support for the growing needs of our City. I hope you will join me in this endeavor. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.