Metro's Plan For Bordeaux YMCA Draws Anger, Outbursts

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 23:52:10-04

A new plan to turn the Bordeaux YMCA into a Metro community center was not received well by community members and even drew outbursts during the city's announcement.

By the numbers, the Northwest YMCA in Bordeaux is one of the least attended in Middle Tennessee, but you could hardly tell by the turnout for Metro's announcement Tuesday night.

A standing-room only crowd was there to learn about the Metro government and YMCA's plan to turn the Bordeaux location into a Metro-run community center.

Mayor Megan Barry vouched for the plan, arguing it would give neighbors more options, and more control over what they want.

“We get to ask those questions together, and you get to tell us what you want more of,” Barry said.

But the announcement was followed by a contentious question and answer session between neighbors and YMCA and Metro Leaders. Mayor Barry did not attend the session because, her spokesperson said, she was answering questions from the media in another room and then had to leave for another previously scheduled event.

Many at the meeting were skeptical of the Metro/YMCA plan, saying they thought Metro might try to sell the land as property values continue to increase. 

Lonnell Matthews, who heads up the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement, told the crowd of several hundred that the use of the community center would be protected in the deed, but other community members said they didn’t believe what the Mayor’s office was saying.

“Unfortunately, sir, we don’t trust you,” said Howard Jones, a Nashville pastor and State Senate candidate. “That's the problem with this community: we don't trust the leadership.”