Control was the theme of the mayor's special called, 10:30 am meeting to propose to the council that the city buy the old "A" Street apartments. The building was condemned by the city nearly a year ago. Brookshire now feels it would be in the city's best interest to move into the development business. He recommended spending approximately $80,000.00 to buy the property. According to Codes Enforcement Officer DeAnn Bogus, the county's assessed valuation of both lots in June was $122,200. Hard as he tried, he couldn't get a single councilman to go along with his plan.

Brookshire even went so far as to tell the council that "He" had found some extra money that could be used to buy the property. The mayor stated that "the city would be receiving a certain amount of money from the cable authority." This statement is of course totally false. The cable authority  never gives money but just takes money. I'm sure the mayor meant to say the city would be receiving money from Charter Cable in the form of back franchise fees. However this is also doubtful. While the cable authority maintains that Charter owes certain back franchise fees, Charter disputes this claim. Conformation of these alleged franchise funds can be easily confirmed by contacting Nick Pavlis, Area Director of Government Relations, Charter Communications, 865-984-1400 x 112-Office.

The mayor made it crystal clear that he wants the city to "control" what goes on on the property. He sited a number of reasons that he didn't want to see apartments back on that site but two houses instead. The mayor recommended that the city buy the property then partner with a developer to determine the use of the property.

Council ultimately rejected the mayor's recommendation and determined that demolition of the property should commence immediately. Amsouth Bank holds the mortgage on the property and has threatened legal action against the city if the building is torn down.

One audience member remarked after the meeting, that "it was a good thing the city didn't take this position with the old high school building" that ultimately became the River Oaks Assisted living. "Look what the city would have missed if they had just torn down that building."

Apparently the mayor now feels that the city should use tax payer money just buy out all the property in the city that he doesn't think is appropriate.

Listen to the meeting. It's about thirty minutes long. Click here.