Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Video of the October 15th Council meeting with commentary.

This meeting is 56 minutes long. To make what you are watching make sense follow along with the agenda and agenda analysis. You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda. And, you can download the Council staff analysis at this link: Metro Council Staff Analysis.

Resolutions: Several Resolution are pulled off of the consent agenda leaving only four on Consent.

  • RESOLUTIONs NO. RS2013-871 and RS2013-872 are withdrawn. They are the resolutions that would have approved the purchase of $200 Million in Pension Obligation Bonds. The plan was to purchase these bond at 4.1% interest rate and invest the money and hope to turn a profit. As soon as this plan was announced it ran into opposition and the Mayor's office announced they were withdrawing the proposal.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-873 passed. It imposes an additional 1/4 percent sales tax on most items purchased in the Downtown Central Business Improvement District. Money raised from this tax will go into a fund that can be used to subsidize big conventions coming to Nashville. ( See time stamp 8:53 for the discussion.) If I were in the Council, I think I could have supported this bill. The merchants in the CBID advocated for this tax. The fee would not pay for the Music City Center but would be used to recruit entities to bring their conventions to Nashville. Duane Dominy unsuccessfully asks for a deferral. Since the tax does not go into effect until next year anyway, I would have supported a one meeting deferral to allow Councilman Dominy to get his questions answered. Those voting against the tax were Duane Dominy, Emily Evans, Robert Duvall and Tony Tenpenny. These are some of my favorite councilmembers, but I don't know that I could have voted with them on this issue. Now that we have the convention center we need to do what we can to make it a success.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-878 which settles the claim of Juana Villegas against the city passes without dissent. Villegas is the illegal Mexican immigrant who had previously been deported, who was arrested and was pregnant and while in the custody of the Sheriff's Department was shackled to a hospital bed while in labor. This happened five years ago. She won a lawsuit against the city and was awarded $200,000 in damages and another $1.2 Million in attorney's fees. Metro appealed and won. However, she was awarded a new trial. This resolution settles the case giving Ms. Villegas $100,000 and her attorneys $390,000. Voting to settle a law suit does not imply one agrees with the the action of the sheriff's office in shackling a pregnant women to a hospital bed or that one supports giving a nice sum of money to previously deported illegal alien. A settlement is in the financial best interest of the city. 
All bills on first reading pass without disscussion as is the norm.

Bills on Second reading: The only bills of any significant on second reading concern the creation of the Metro Injury-on-duty clinic. Those bills pass. Bo Mitchell questions if the contract should be a sole-source contract. No contract for professional services have to be bid. (See time stamp 18:38-31:48 for the discussion.)

All bills on third reading pass including the massive rezoning of Gallatin Pk from the river to Briley Parkway. This bill is considerable different from an earlier version of this rezoning and the controversy had been resolved. 

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