Transit plan debate seeing more community involvement - WSMV News 4

Transit plan debate seeing more community involvement

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Walter Searcy and councilman at-large John Cooper debated the pros and cons of the proposed plan. Walter Searcy and councilman at-large John Cooper debated the pros and cons of the proposed plan.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The debate on Nashville’s transit plan and what kind of effect it will have on local communities makes a stop in a West Nashville neighborhood. 

Community engagement is ramping up the closer we get to May 1.

Inside the gym at McKissack Middle School, a special debate on the Gallatin Road light-rail and the Nashville transit plan took place.

Walter Searcy and councilman at-large John Cooper debated the pros and cons of the proposed plan.

“Probably, this tax will be forever,” said Cooper. “So people need to attend these meetings to understand the issue completely.”

“This transit program is going to expand economic opportunity, the access to jobs and to affordable housing,” Searcy said.

The forum was hosted by Justice 4 All and the Tennessee State NAACP.

“I think there's been better community engagement,” Cooper said.

For Cooper, this vote is the biggest referendum since the inception of Metro Nashville government.

“Most cities have defeated referendums on transit and have come back and done them again,” he said.

Searcy believes the biggest misconception about the plan is, “That there is no other plan on this ballot. It’s this plan or no plan, notwithstanding whatever may be developed. For now, this is it.”

Everyone knows the voters will ultimately decide, come May 1.

“It's certainly the most important financial decision that we'll be making,” said Cooper.

Jackie Sims was among those who organized Sunday’s forum. She said, “I know a lot of people are still undecided as to whether transit is a good thing for the city. So hopefully this will help people come to a good conclusion.”

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