Megan Barry, the popular mayor of Nashville who wants the city to spend more than $5 billion on less than 30 miles of light-rail lines, has resigned from office after pleading guilty to “felony theft.” The thefts arose because she took her lover (who was the head of her security detail) with her on business trips at the city’s expense — for which he charged the city overtime.
Despite the loss of its biggest supporter, the May 1 election over the “absurdly expensive” light-rail plan will probably go ahead as scheduled. “Our traffic isn’t getting any better,” say supporters, not that it will get any better if the plan is approved.
Election or not, the Antiplanner has to wonder if there is a reason why mayors who support light rail seem to be more prone to sex scandals. There’s Portland’s Mayor Neil Goldschmidt, who had an affair with a 13-year-old girl. There’s Portland’s later mayor, Sam Adams, who had an affair with an 18-year-old boy (the affair started before the boy was 18, but Adams insisted that they only kissed in the city hall bathroom until he was of age). Then there’s Seattle mayor Ed Murray, who resigned after numerous people accused him of molesting them when they were children. It’s probably just a coincidence, but at least Nashville’s mayor had the good sense to have an affair with someone older than the age of consent.