Forcing taxpayers to promote this boondoggle is taxpayer extorsion. Mayor Karl Dean should hold a news conference today and condemn this contract and direct MDHA to cease and desist immediately.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates revealed that the original public relations contract with McNeely, Pigott & Fox was not supposed to exceed $75,000, but it had already ballooned to more than $458,000.
Council member Emily Evans was concerned about the spending. "The contract itself is not being managed, and the costs are getting out of control," Evans said.
E-mails sent by McNeely, Pigott & Fox stated things like: "Express your support for the Music City Center to your council members."
On the day that e-mail went out, the public relations firm billed Metro more than $200 for the e-mail blast.
The day after a critical council meeting in which the council approved buying land for the project, the public relations firm sent out an e-mail that encourages people to thank the members who supported the project.
Two of the firm's partners attended that meeting and charged Metro more than $1,200.
"The guy who may be opposed to this is thinking to himself my monies are going to pay for a PR firm to lobby the council to support the convention center," Jameson said.