I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek. Like most kids, the tension between Spock's logic and Kirk's passion was mostly lost on me. It was just a theme that moved the story along. Now that I've made it 50 years, I understand why that tension was so useful - it's applicable to most human decisions. So, in honor of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, I'm going to wrap up my blogging about infrastructure by reaching some conclusions vis-à-vis Spock vs. Kirk.
Looking at Nashville's infrastructure from a logical perspective is the easier task:
- Traffic is worse than it was 5 years ago.
- We can no longer limit our infrastructure investments to streets and sewers.
- We need to think regionally.
Understanding how the human element impacts our infrastructure needs is more difficult, but here are a few of my observations:
- Most would agree that something needs to be done - that our quality of life is jeopardized by growth's impact on our existing infrastructure. There is little consensus on exactly what we need to do. Remember the AMP?
- Not everyone is impacted in the same way by the stresses on the system. When Sam and I rode the bus last week, it was fun for us because it was not a necessity. For those who have no option other than public transit, waiting for the bus in 20 degree weather is never fun.
- Nashvillian's love for their city presents a great opportunity. As I talked to people about our infrastructure and read what people are writing these days, there is always optimism - even from those in the most dire predictions. This love for Nashville - the place - is what will bring us together to make the investments we need to maintain our quality of life as we grow.
Vice Mayor's Job
Finding a way to build more consensus, acknowledging the diversity of impacts, and thinking more regionally will be critical responsibilities of the next Vice Mayor of Nashville.
As I've said before, my leadership as Vice Mayor will be guided by the principles of inclusion, transparency, objectivity, and accountability. I will ensure that as decisions are made by the Council, the process will begin with the public's input, the information being used by the Council will be available to everyone, and that the ideas are vetted thoroughly by the Council. By sticking to these principles, the next Council will be able to make the investments we need to preserve the city we love.
But, I can't do it without your help. Can I count on you to join Team Briley?