Petition Filed to Force Referendum Over Nashville Fairgrounds

Nashville voters could soon decide the fate of the city’s fairgrounds – a matter officials have been wrangling over for years. A petition filed today could force a referendum on the matter this summer.

Volunteers with the group Save My Fairgrounds filed the petition minutes before the deadline. It now goes to the Election Commission, which will vet the signatures – nearly 16 thousand of which have to come from registered voters in Davidson County.

Save My Fairgrounds Volunteer Neil Chaffin helped deliver the petition, and says he’s confident enough will prove legitimate.

CHAFFIN: “Well we have more than enough. Now I can’t give the exact count but it’s – I think we have several thousand more than what we need.”
REPORTER: “Are you saying like 20 (thousand)?”
CHAFFIN: “No. I’m not going to give you a number, I’m just going to say we have enough – we have plenty.”

A group called Neighbors for Progress, which along with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has favored redeveloping the fairgrounds, has hired an attorney to monitor the petition effort.

Officials with the Election Commission say it could be several days before the results are known.

The news comes as Metro Councilman Eric Crafton has a measure on Tuesday night’s agenda that would fire all five members of the city’s fair board. To do so he’d need the support of three-quarters of the Metro council’s forty members.

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