Bill Freeman has announced he will not run in the election for Nashville’s mayor.
The election will determine who will complete the unfinished term left vacant by Megan Barry’s recent resignation.
Freeman said he consulted with family members and key advisors and decided to not join the campaign.
“I think Nashville will be best served by having Mayor Briley focused on what’s best for our city for the remainder of this term. As a result, I’ve chosen to refrain from entering the race,” Freeman said.
Freeman said he considers his decision a personal one and did not discourage others from entering the race.
“It is certainly within the capability of Nashvillians to determine what’s best for Nashville. To discourage anyone from running for office is downright un-American,” stated Freeman. “I simply feel that Mayor Briley is the right person for Nashville right now. I’ve weighed the options, and I feel that my continued role with Freeman Webb will serve Nashville well, with our strong initiatives to meet Nashville’s needs for affordable housing.”
Freeman also added Mayor Briley must “remain balanced in his approach,” and he cautioned against allowing undue influence on key decisions from outside interests. He released the following statement on the subject:
“Seeing the undue influence that our Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has attempted to create is worrisome. Our chamber actively discouraged anyone to run in this election practically the minute we heard of Barry’s resignation, and that is concerning. The influence of any outside entity, be they a quasi-governmental agency or ‘big business’ interests or a combination of both factors, is concerning. Our chamber does not have the best track record in representing the will of all Nashville, simply put. You only have to look across the county line to see how many corporations have chosen to put roots down in other counties to see that, or to see their failures in redeveloping the fairgrounds or the failed AMP project or their heavy-handed approach to influencing our public schools. I hope that Mayor Briley sees that what’s best for Nashville may not line up with what the chamber thinks is best for Nashville.”
Freeman also complimented Mayor Briley’s first few key decisions in office, including General Hospital and Fort Negley. He also looked to future issues he hopes the mayor covers.
“I would hope that Mayor Briley will support and fully fund the efforts to enhance and preserve the Fairgrounds as Barry had promised,” commented Freeman. “While we haven’t heard much from the Mayor’s Office about the Fairgrounds yet, it’s still early. I hope that Mayor Briley remembers the many people of Nashville who voted to keep the Fairgrounds. Many generations of Nashvillians, including the Briley family through the years, have enjoyed spending time and creating family memories at this location.”
As far as traffic, Freeman may not see eye-to-eye with Mayor Briley.
“It is absolutely imperative that we address our pressing need for solutions to our traffic problems. However, I’m not convinced that the plan we have in front of us is the right plan,” stated Freeman. “We need to have a plan that gives more attention to a truly regional approach to mass transit and a plan that addresses current traffic congestion more than this plan does. With the attached price tag, we can’t afford to get this wrong. Even though Mayor Briley and I agree that we need a plan, we disagree on what that plan should be. It seems to me that this plan may cause more problems that it appears to solve.”
According to reports, Freeman has not ruled out his involvement in future campaigns.