Karl Dean Frames His Legacy, Spending More On Sewers Than New Convention Center

"Instead of focusing on those projects which you already know about and you've already read about recently, I want to use this opportunity to talk about some important investments we're making as a city that you may or may not have heard of," Dean said.  (Credit WPLN / Daniel Potter)

“Instead of focusing on those projects which you already know about and you’ve already read about recently, I want to use this opportunity to talk about some important investments we’re making as a city that you may or may not have heard of,” Dean said. (Credit WPLN / Daniel Potter)

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wants to sculpt the way his legacy is remembered, to include a few projects that have rarely grabbed headlines.  Dean’s list includes items like expanding parks and renovating the city’s water and sewer system.

Speaking to the downtown Rotary Club, Dean touched briefly on big-ticket items like the city’s new convention center, and his hopes for a bus rapid transit system and a downtown ballpark.  But he spent the bulk of his near half-hour speech emphasizing less visible efforts.

“By the time I leave office we will have spent far more during my administration on water mains, sewer lines and storm water projects than it cost to build the Music City Center.  Far more.”

The city has replaced or added several dozen miles of sewer and water mains, mostly underground, Dean says.  The city also added 24 hundred acres of open space and parkland, began recruiting Teach For America teachers in schools, and invested heavily in the county’s fast-growing southeast.

Dean is seen as a rising star in Tennessee’s thin Democratic roster.  He has about two years left in office as mayor.

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