The proposal to locate a privately-owned car auction and museum at The Fairgrounds Nashville has taken Metro Council members by surprise.
After Thursday’s News4 I-Team report, some Councilmembers question why this has been a secret for nearly a year.
The proposed car museum would go on a portion of the Fairgrounds next to the Fifty Forward Center and across from the race track.
Some are asking where is the transparency?
The News4 I-Team reported on Thursday that negotiations have been going on behind the scenes for 10 months.
The idea is to create a site for a car auction at the Fairgrounds like one in Greensboro, NC. Next to the auction building would be a 50,000-square-foot building to house the George Shinn Car Museum.
“I would say it’s definitely shocking,” said Metro Councilwoman Erica Gilmore.
Gilmore is concerned whether the proper processes are being followed and about the secrecy.
The Metro Council will vote on the Fairgrounds proposal soon without seeing all the pieces of the puzzle.
“I have a concern. I want to make informed decisions and it’s very hard when the process has been going on for almost a year and Councilmembers haven’t been made aware of it,” said Gilmore.
Rich Riebeling, Metro’s outgoing chief operating officer, has been working on the plans since October 2017.
Riebeling set out the terms of the deal in an email obtained by the News4 I-Team.
“You offered them terms,” News4 I-Team reporter Nancy Amons asked Riebeling.
“It’s a half a page term sheet. It’s not even a term sheet,” said Riebeling. “It’s ‘Here’s an idea on how we might be able to work together.’”
The proposal has never been discussed at a public meeting, either the Metro Fair Board or Metro Council.
“It’s never been shown to the Council,” said Councilman John Cooper. “No one had any idea there were other secret deals.”
Deals some on the Metro Council are sure to as about as the soccer stadium vote comes before them in the next two months.
Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.