Saturday, July 16, 2016

Party Platform takes a stonger stand on several isues, It leaves me a little uncomfortable.

The Republican Party platform is updated every four years at the Republican National Convention by delegates from across the country. Almost no one ever reads the platforms of the parties and the priorities of the party are set by the candidates in the minds of most voters.  Still, the platform tells one what the values and the proprieties are of party faithful with grass roots connections. It is worth familiarizing yourself with your party's platform.

The GOP platform committee met Monday and Tuesday of last week with 112 delegates from every state and territory and debated and approved a proposed  Party platform which will be voted on by the Convention later this week. Here are the highlights gleamed from various sources:

  • State legislatures should make the Bible required reading in public schools as part of American History.
  • Transgender individuals should be prohibited from using bathrooms that are not in line with the individual’s original sex.
  • The Party endorses gay ‘conversion therapy.’ 
  • It calls for an end to governmental intervention in parenting and says parents should be allowed "to determine the proper treatment or therapy" for their children. I assume this would mean parents should not have to have their children vaccinated. 
  • It calls pornography a “public menace” and “public health crisis.” 
  • It calls coal  “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”
  • It calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v Hodges decision, which required all states to allow same-sex marriage. 
  • It condemns Planned Parenthood and reaffirms the right to life.  
  • It calls for building a wall along the southern border saying, "That is why we support building a wall along our southern border and protect if all ports of entry. The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic."
  • It adopts some of Trump's rhetoric on trade, calling for "better negotiated trade agreements that put America first."
  • It takes a stronger stand in favor of Israel saying, "We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier, and specifically recognize that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement ('BDS') is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel."
I am in agreement with most of the platform. Much of the platform is traditional Republic support for small government, free enterprise and a strong national defense. This year, however, the party seems to have taken a stronger stance on several issues, especially social issues. Some I think go too far.

I am solidly pro-life, I think marriage should be between between one man and one women,  I am for securing our borders and I support Israel.  I do not think the Party needs to take a position on pornography however. Defining it is difficult and the right to have access to erotica was decided a long time ago. We do not need to be the party of censorship.  If we must say anything abort porn, we could condemn child porn as we have done in the past. I am concerned about using the "public health" tactic to combat a perceived menace whether it is to fight pornography or the right to keep and bear arms. I don't want my doctor asking me how many guns I own or how much porn I watch.

I would support our State legislature requiring that the Bible be taught to some limited degree in an appropriate subject matter. The Bible helped form Western thought and was a foundational believe in developing our country and the motivation for many of our reform movements and shaped the character of the American people. Any educated person needs to know something about the Bible. However, I would leave that to local school boards and States.  I am not sure the Party needs to opine on making teaching the Bible mandatory. I don't feel strongly on this however and could be persuaded that it is an appropriate plank.

A wall may not be the best means of securing the border or deterring illegal immigration.  Some ranchers along the Rio Grand have to have access to the river, a wall on our side may cause flooding in Mexico, and part of the border is in the middle of a big lake. More illegal aliens are in America from overstaying a visa than illegally crossing the border. I think a plank calling for curtailing illegal immigration would have been preferable.

I am not sure I agree that coal is clean energy and I think it makes us look bought and paid for and stupid to claim it is.  I would rather the Party call for removal to barriers to free trade rather than call for better negotiated trade agreements. Maybe we need better trade agreements, but the world would benefit from more trade, not less. In the past the Republican Party has been the party most inclined to support free trade.  I think we should avoid the tainted phrase "America First."

In the big scheme of things the party platform is not that important, but from what I know about what is in the platform it leaves me a little uncomfortable. I will post a link to the full platform when it becomes available.

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How Clinton Pay-for-Play works

Example A: The International Youth Fund

1. The founder of the Fund gives between $1 and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
2. The founder pays Bill Clinton $16.5 million to serve as honorary chairman of the fund.
3. While Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State, the International Youth Fund receives $55 million in grants from the U. S. Agency for International Development.

Example B: Uranium One, a Russian company.
1. The Chairman of Uranium One donates $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation
2. Secretary of State Clinton approves the sale of uranium to Uranium One. 
Example C: Pacific Rubiales, A Columbia oil company.
1. The Company gives millions to the Clinton Foundation and the Chairman of the company also gives millions.
2.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had previously opposed a trade deal with Columbia that would benefit the oil company because of serious human rights concerns, reverses herself and approves the massive trade deal.

For more on Clinton pay-for-play see this link, this, this and this. If Hillary Clinton would not have destroyed the 30,000 emails, I wonder what they would have revealed.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Sen. Corker endorses Trump VP decision

Sen. Corker endorses Trump VP decision

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It ain’t illegal to say, ‘There go a cop car’

Connie Allison
by Connie Allison

So many terrible things have happened this week, beginning with the killing of two black men in different states under questionable circumstances and ending with the calculated murder of five and attempted murder of many more Dallas police officers, solely because they were “white cops”. I am saddened for both law enforcement and all of our shell-shocked communities, each interpreting the events through the lens of their own experiences. It makes me remember a middle-aged man I will call “Joe”. I was appointed to represent him years ago, and I learned from him how different those experiences can be.

The first thing Joe said to me was, “It ain’t illegal to say, ‘There go a cop car’.”

Well, of course that wasn’t illegal. Unfortunately, Joe had chosen to say “There go a cop car” to an undercover police officer whilea hooker was plying her trade and sellinglarge quantities of very serious drugs in a nearby car. Even more unfortunately, it all happened in a “school zone” (most of densely populated Metro Nashville is broadly defined as a “school zone” even if there is no school in sight). On the theory that Joe was acting as lookout, he was arrested with the others and charged with Conspiracy to Sell Drugs in a School Zone.

As it turned out, Joe had virtually no criminal record, no history of trouble, noconnection to the people involved in the drug deal, and further, no allegations that Joeever did a thing except to say, “There go a cop car.”Joe was angry and convinced that he was arrested just because he wasa poor black man in a bad neighborhood.

“I bet they don’t even have cop cars in YOUR neighborhood”, he said resentfully.

 I knew what he meant, but I only said,“I really don’t think they can prove anything.”

I didn’t say that I would walk home from the courthouse that day, and that I was certain to see police cars. Our street was a regular gathering place for the homeless and was patrolled so often that my neighbors and I would have only noticed a police absence. I lived in a nice building, but it was not a crime free area. In my world, the police were there to protect us, not to conduct undercover operations. In Joe’s world, the police were there to do both, and sometimes the lines got blurry. Joe was wrong about me and where I lived; however, Joe was right about one very important thing:

I would never be arrested on a downtown sidewalk just for saying “There’s a police car."

I don’t know what happened to Joe after he chose the only practical thing that he could afford to choose, a plea to a charge that could never be proven so that he could keep his $7 an hour job and not endure what could be a multi-year journey to an acquittal. I doubt that he would ever have reason to think of me, but I know that I have never forgotten him. The lesson I learned from Joe was this: Don’t Judge. Even terrible things are not always as they appear. Ask yourself if you will ever be arrested and charged just because you said “There’s a police car.”

Connie Allison is a lawyer with advanced training in taxation and complex business transactions. She is a native Nashvillian with three adult children, one of whom is currently serving in the military. For more information, her website is

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

House Passes Rep. Black’s Conscience Protection Act

Bill would prevent government discrimination against healthcare entities refusing to participate in abortion

Today the House of Representatives passed Congressman Diane Black’s legislation, the Conscience Protection Act, by a bipartisan vote of 245 – 182. The legislation amends the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to prevent any federal state, or local government from penalizing or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not participate in abortion. Earlier today, Congressman Black spoke in support of the legislation on the House floor.  To view her comments, see the video above.

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Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Diane Black for Re-Election

 Group cites "unparalleled record of leadership on Right to Life priorities"

Diane Black
Press release, Nashville, July 13, 2016-- The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization is encouraging pro-life voters to again cast their ballots for U.S. Congressman Diane Black based on her long record of leading efforts to protect unborn children and abortion-vulnerable women and girls. 

"Pro-life Tennesseans are extraordinarily grateful to have one of our own leading the Congressional fight for life," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. "For more than a decade Diane Black has prioritized the protection of human life and has been an effective champion for the cause of unborn children in our communities, state, and nation."

While in the Tennessee Legislature, Diane Black led the fight to place pro-life Amendment 1 on the statewide ballot for public approval.  In addition, Black sponsored legislation making Tennessee the first state legislature to prevent abortion from being funded within state health exchanges following federal passage of the Affordable Care Act. Black also spearheaded successful efforts to re-direct state health dollars to ethical health providers and away from abortion facilities operated by Planned Parenthood in Tennessee.

In Congress, Black has continued to lead Right to Life efforts by sponsoring legislation passed by the House to re-direct federal funds away from Planned Parenthood, to protect conscience rights of medical professionals and to strengthen adoption tax law to make the process more affordable. 

"Diane Black has clearly demonstrated herself as one of this nation's most effective voices for the protection of life," Harris said.  "Tennessee Right to Life strongly urges her re-election to continue the work of defending the weakest and most vulnerable among us."  For more information, visit

Early voting runs July 15 - July 30 and primary election day is Thursday, August 4.

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Mayor Barry Announces Affordable Housing Incentive Pilot Program

Program will focus on incentivizing developers to build or maintain affordable and workforce housing within mixed-income properties
Press release, 7/12/2016, NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Mayor Megan Barry is pleased to introduce a program that will incentivize developers to create more affordable and workforce housing within existing and new construction. The incentive pilot program has been developed after months of research and conversations with the stakeholders in the community by the Mayor’s Office.
“This will serve as another tool in the toolbox for the community and developers to help us achieve our shared goal of creating more high-quality affordable and workforce housing for Nashvillians,” said Mayor Barry. “We want to target this growth in urban core which has seen the greatest impact of soaring housing prices in recent years, as well as along our pikes and corridors which are targeted for mass transit options now and in the future.”

The announcement of the pilot incentive program comes on the heels of other efforts by Mayor Barry to increase Metro’s focus on affordable housing. In June, the Mayor signed into law a budget which includes an increase of $10,000,000 for the Barnes Housing Trust Fund, bringing the total to $16M for FY16-17. Additionally, the Metro Council approved on second reading a private-public partnership with Elmington Capital Group to create 138 units of affordable and workforce housing on a Metro-owned lot at 12th and Wedgewood. Metro has also worked with the Barnes Commission and local non-profit developers to re-use other city-owned infill lots around Nashville and Davidson County to build affordable housing properties.

Affordable housing, as defined in the proposed ordinance, is affordable for households making 60% of Median Household Income (MHI) or less, and workforce housing is designated at 61-120% of MHI. According to the latest U.S. Census figures from 2014, the MHI for Davidson County for a family of four is $60,074.

Under the proposal, developers wishing to take advantage of the incentive program would need to provide affordable or workforce housing at a rate that is equal to or less than 30% of household income. For example, utilizing the 2014 figures, the maximum monthly rental for a family of four making 60% of MHI would be $901, or $1,802 at the 120% workforce level.

Developers who meet these terms would then be able to seek a grant, subject to staff review by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment (OEOE) and Metro Council approval, capped at 50% of the increase in value of property taxes from the new development. The grant would cover the difference between the price of market-rate housing and the price of the affordable or workforce housing units. For example, a developer who has market-rate apartments at $1,500 a month and offers comparable workforce-level affordable units for $1,200 would get a grant for the difference of $300 per unit, total not to exceed the cap of 50% of the increase in property tax value.

“There is no silver bullet to the affordable housing crisis we face in Nashville and across America,” said Mayor Barry. “But this proposal is a great step forward in creating more affordable and workforce housing options so that teachers, construction workers, service employees, artists and hundreds of thousands of other Nashvillians can afford to live, work and play right here in Davidson County.”

The program will be launched with a 24 months sunset provision and FY17-18 cap of $2,000,000 in order to collect data and give developers and rental managers time to become acclimated with the new program.

In addition to incentives for new construction of rental properties, the pilot program also has options for owner-occupied units and existing rental. The incentive grants for owner-occupied units outside of the UZO will be capped at $10,000, and they will be capped at $20,000 for properties within the UZO or along a multimodal corridor. Owners of existing rental properties can also apply for grants in the event that increases in the market will displace current residents, subject to rules and limitations.

Representatives of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development and OEOE will be on hand at the Metro Council Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee meeting tomorrow, Wednesday July 13 at 5:00PM in the Jury Assembly Room of the Historic Metro Courthouse to discuss the details of the proposal and get feedback from members of the Council and the public. Full details of the proposal are attached in the draft ordinance.

My Comment: My initial reactions is that this seems like a reasonably approach. It does not make it punitive to not take the grant.  One can still get exemptions from density and heights controls without taking the grant.  It does not do away with other incentive programs. It is a two-year pilot program. Thanks to the State legislature which has banned mandatory inclusionary zoning programs and to state law which had already banned rent control, the damage that Metro could do was limited, although some wanted to push the envelope and test the limits of state law.  If I were in the Council I would support this and be done with it. I am pleased that the mayor has proposed this rather than trying to push through the affordable housing legislation now pending in the council.

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Liberty on the Rocks - Thursday, July 21

LOR Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:30 PM at Smokin Thighs 611 Wedgewood Ave, Nashville, TN.  This is always a fun event. Join me. If this is your first time to attend,  the first two-for-one beer is on me.

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Blackburn asks for federal investigation of Clinton Foundation

By Michael Collins of The Commercial Appeal WASHINGTON — Rep. Marsha Blackburn is asking the FBI and other federal agencies to open a "public corruption" investigation into the activities of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

In a letter she is circulating to other House members, the Brentwood Republican says media reports have raised significant questions about the foundation's practices and their intersection with American foreign policy.

Blackburn sent letters to the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year asking them to investigate the foundation's activities. Her office said Wednesday that at least 40 House members have signed the new letter. Appearing before a congressional committee last week, Comey declined to say whether the FBI looked into the Clinton Foundation's activities as part of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

"I'm not going to comment on the existence or non-existence of any other investigations," Comey said in response to a question from Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.(link)

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Jackson MIller's ex-wife releases a statement in response to nasty campaigning by the Will Pinkston.

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(final update) What happened at the 7/6/16 Council meeting: Effort to kill Antioch affordable housing development fail, the right to regulate natural gas compression stations advance,

Tuesday night's Council meeting proved a victory for property rights in the case of the proposed affordable housing development in Antioch but property rights did not fare so well in some other actions.The effort to kill the Antioch affordable housing project was delayed, and probably killed (BILL NO. BL2016-219 ). This development is all set to go and Karen Johnson, the district council member, had a bill on the agenda to take away from the property owner what he currently has the right to do.  Karen Johnson however moved to defer the bill indefinitely last night after concluding the pubic hearing and passing it on second reading.  While the bill can be brought back up, Council members have to be given a week's notice. She says she plans to bring it back and have it placed on the October 18th agenda.

The hearing on the bill had both proponents and opponents with neighbors arguing it would "ghettoize" their community and several speakers arguing in favor of property rights. Apparently many Council members had concern about the bill.  Should her bill pass, mostly likely the owner could win a law suit suing the city for taking his property. To take away a permitted use is a "taking."  Property rights are more than just holding legal title.  When property is taken it should only be for a public purpose and owners should be compensated for their loss. While Johnson says she will bring the bill back up, I do not see that the facts will change. I know we now have a very liberal Metro Council now, but I suspect even many liberals are not comfortable trampling property rights.  If they are unconcerned about trampling property rights, they are probably concerned about exposing the city to a law suit the city is most likely going to lose and the loss of future State assistance in the form of tax credits the state has threatened to withhold  should Johnson's bill pass.

In an article that appears in the Tennessean, Johnson says while her proposed ordinance is considered still active the indefinite deferral will prevent the developer from getting permits needed to begin construction on the project. I do not see the logic of her reasoning since the owner already has all of the rights he needs to proceed.  Metro Planning Director Doug Sloan apparently also does not see Johnson's logic and told The Tennessean that because the owner's  rights are vested, the developer should be able to move forward with getting permits approved.

To see the discussion of this bill see timestamp 16:47- 1:00:45.  Here is the Tennessean report on what transpired:

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, July 6, 2016 - In a surprise move Tuesday, Councilwoman Karen Johnson led the indefinite deferral of her legislation that would down-zone property in order to block a project for low-income residents called The Ridge at Antioch, a 96-unit apartment complex that Arkansas-based RichSmith Development has planned for Forest View Drive near Murfreesboro Pike. .... “I’m not giving up on it, but there are a lot of questions because it’s a complex issue,” Johnson said. “Many council members have not had low-income tax credit properties in their districts. .... Johnson said she plans to bring the bill back up to be placed on the council's Oct. 18 agenda. (link)

To access the Council agenda, the Council staff analysis of the agenda and my analysis and commentary on the agenda,  follow this link.

Tuesday night's council meeting at over six hours long was a super long council meeting.  I did not watch every minute of the whole six hours, skipping fast though some of the zoning public hearings. I think however, I caught anything of significane.  Many of the zoning bills interest no one but the nearby neighbors and opponents make the same argument over and over again that the proposed rezoning will cause (1) more traffic, (2) flooding problems, (3) overcrowded schools, and (4) change the character of the neighborhood.

Below is part one of the Council meeting:

Other Bills on Public Hearing:
 BILL NO. BL2016-219 which applies a Contextual Overlay District to 231.8 acres in Council member Hurt's District passes on Second Reading with no one speaking on it. A Contextual Overlay is a zoning tool that can be applied to residential neighborhoods. It applies design standards in order to maintain and reinforce established form or character of residential development in a particular area.  It does not affect the base zoning of a property.  It essentially keeps property owners from building something on their lot that is terribly our of character with the neighborhood.  It addresses such things as Setback, Height, Lot Coverage, and Access, Garages, and Parking. There are several neighborhoods that have this designation.
BILL NO. BL2016-218 would allow Council members to initiate three zone changes a year without paying the required fee to the Planning Department usually associated with considering a zone change. It passes on Second Reading. President of the Neighborhood Alliance John Stern speaks in favor as well as former council member John Summers. Currently council members can do one zone change without paying the fee.. Most zone change request come from the owner of the property and the zone change is requested as part of a plan to develop the property, but there are occasions when a group of property owners may want a rezoning or a community may want a rezoning, that is not part of a planned development. Those instances should be rare and I don't know if this change to allow a council member to have three free rezonngs is justified or not, but it was not being opposed by the Planning Department and no one spoke in opposition.
BILL NO. BL2016-266  which would amend the Mansion at Fontanel Specific Plan District to let Fontanel Properties add 136 rooms to the six-room Inn at Fontanel bed and breakfast-style luxury boutique hotel passes Second Reading.  It is disapproved by the Planning Commission. To read The Tennessean's report on this issue see Controversial Fontanel expansion vote set for July 19. To view the long pubic hearing on this bill see timestamp 1:28:45 to 3:13:36.
BILL NO. BL2016-293 in Scott Davis's district would rezones 54 acres, comprised of many parcels, from various current zonings to R6-A which is a medium density residential district. It is deferred two meetings and will go back to Planning Commission then back to Public Hearing.  I oppose taking away a persons property rights and would not support this unless it had the approval of those whose properties are being rezoned. As is, this is disapproved by the Planning Commission.
BILL NO. BL2016-297  is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. It is a downzoning, without the property owners consent, of 19 acres, essentially a "taking" of property. It is opposed by the Chamber and various other pro private property rights groups. It passes on Second Reading.  
BILL NO. BL2016-298 also in Scott Davis's district would rezone 46 acres consisting of a bunch of properties from various current zonings to RM40-A which is a high density residential zoning allowing 40 units per acre. This has not been to the Planning Commission yet. I have the same concern as on the above bill. Is this taking of property rights? It passes on Second Reading.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-219  is part of the effort to get local authority to permit gas compression stations. It passes on a voice vote and is not on the consent agenda. I think it is reasonable that local people have say in whether or not such a facility gets build in their community and commend Councilman Bedne for the hard work he has exerted to achieve this objective. Currently local of state governments have no say in permitting gas compression stations.  The Federal Government does not allow local governments to disapprove them under the argument that gas pipelines are protected interstate commerce. There is a way local and state governments can gain permitting authority. This resolution is only one step in a complex process to gain that authority. To learn more, view the discussion at timestamp 4:26:50 to 4:37:25.

SUBSTITUTE RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-270 request the civil service commission to establish paid maternity and paternity leave for metro employees.  I oppose this resolution.  Metro employees are paid well and have generous benefits.  They should not have benefits substantially better than the private sector or State government. While I think we should support families, we should not expand benefits for metro employees who already have very generous benefits and never have to fear losing their job.  Also, if we should have a paid maternity leave program, it should not apply to single mothers.  We should not be encouraging illegitimate births.This passes on the consent agenda.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-277  request that the Tennessee General Assembly and Gov. Bill Haslam communicate with Nashville’s business groups and community before passing legislation that could be detrimental to Nashville and Davidson County commerce. Of course, as Councilman Elrod pointed out before asking to be recorded as abstaining, this resolution is unnecessary. Metro has a lobbyist and we have local legislators to look after our interest.  The bill is not on the consent agenda. It passes on a voice vote. 
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-286 would approve an application for a Paid Leave Analysis Grant in the amount of $217,632 from the U.S.Department of Labor. The proceeds would be used to conduct a paid leave analysis study across the Metropolitan Nashville area.  This is part of the plan to promote paid maternity leave for Metro employees. It passes on the consent agenda.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-306 request that the Council approve the location of the Sheriff's new administrative offices before any funding is dispersed for the project. The location of the new jail has been a concern of the Council. Council members from Antioch who fear it will be build in their community and do not want that to happen. It passes on the consent agenda.

Bills on Introduction First Reading. It is customary to pass all bills on first reading without discussion, however, correctly in my view, BILL NO. BL2016-133 the inclusionary housing bill  is discussed. The discussion starts at time stamp 4:41:40. 

Part two

Part two starts mid -discussion of a motion to defer BILL NO. BL2016-133 , on First Reading, which would establish an inclusionary zoning ordinance which would incentivize inclusionary zoning. There is a motion to defer the bill and that motion fails. The bill passes and is re-refereed to committee.  This bill incentivizes the development of affordable housing units for any residential development that seeks additional development entitlements beyond that permitted by the current base zoning district.  This is not as bad as an earlier version but is still price-fixing and still a bad bill and may violate state law. A better affordable housing bill is going to be introduced by Council member Sheri Weiner. I do not think the council should try to force developers to build affordable housing and any effort to encourage it should be a grant program instead of a disguised mandatory program. The Weiner proposal is better than this bill.  To learn more, read the Tennessean's Competing affordable housing plans to face off before Metro Council. To see the discussion see the start of the video to timestamp 2:24.

Bills on Second Reading. This is the only one of interest. 
BILL NO. BL2016-257 would allow Codes to issue stop-work orders against illegal, non-permitted short-term rentals and increase the ban on an STR permit at such a property to three years. Now, if one is caught operating a short-term rental without a permit, the ban on getting a permit is one year. The Tennessean explains this at this link: Nashville may ramp up penalty for Airbnb permit violators. There are three amendments to the bill and the committee recommended deferral for two meetings. The sponsor follows the committee recommendation and the bill is deferred.

Bills on Third Reading.
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2016-234 adds “natural gas compressor stations” to a list of facilities regulated as a “major source” of air pollutants which require a local permit and would do some other things. This is part of an attempt to stop proposed natural gas compression stations planned for Joelton and Cain Ridge.  Federal law says that local government can not stop these developments and the Federal government has the right to permit them. This authority is a federal power under the Federal government's right to regulate interstate commerce. However, there is a process whereby a local government may gain permitting authority and this is part of that process to gain that authority.  This is really complex. It is clarified that this would not stop the pending gas compression stations in Joelton and Cain Ridge. To view the discussion see time stamp 12:42- 32:27, It passes on a roll call machine vote of 25 in favor, 3 opposed, 6 abstentions and 5 not voting.
BILL NO. BL2016-240 establishes new rules and fees for developers who close streets or sidewalks during construction. This is more complex than it sounds.This would attempt to fix what is a real problem.This is deferred one meeting.
BILL NO. BL2016-258  is what appears to be a sweetheart deal that puts Metro in bed with the state teachers union. It  sells the old Ben West library to the TEA and TEA would allow Metro to use the property rent-free for up to 12 days a year.  The TEA would pay $2 million dollars for the property but Metro wold let them take ten years to pay it and they would not have to pay interest. The city put out a Request for Proposals which included a requirement that the building be preserved. I do not know what, if any, other proposals where received. This passes on a voice vote without discussion.
BILL NO. BL2016-259 requires that the Metropolitan Transit Authority, in conjunction with any other related entities, provide to the Metropolitan Council, no later than December 31, 2016, a comprehensive mass transit plan for Nashville and Davidson County. The plan is to identify a source of funding also. This passes on a voice vote without discussion.

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