Saturday, September 16, 2017

What's on the Council Agenda of 9/19/2017: Not much really. This should be a meeting that is more boring than most.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. There is nothing on the agenda that is likely to cause controversy or debate.  This is a pretty boring agenda.

If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you need a copy of the Council agenda and the Council staff analysis or you really will not know what is going on. You can get the agenda and analysis at the highlighted links.

Proposed Rule Change There are several Council rule changes proposed all of which deal with the time frame or some other aspect of consideration of the Capital Improvements Budget. Most likely the Council will follow the recommendation of the Rules Committee and I would not expect this to be a matter of controversy.

There is an election to fill three vacancies on the Industrial Development Board. While this is not of interest to the average citizen sometimes there is stiff competition for a seat on the Board and council members may get lobbied to vote for one candidate over another.  This board controls a lot of money and members of this board are in a position to help those they favor. The candidates for the three seats are Ms. Cristina Allen, Ms. Lindsey Cox, Mr. Eddie Gray, Ms. Ginger Hausser and Ms. Saletta Holloway.

There are nine appointments to Boards and Commissions on the agenda.  The appointments are made by the mayor and must be confirmed by the Council. The Council always confirms. To my knowledge, this Council has never turned down a Mayor's appointee.  They will all be approved without discussion.

There is only one resolution on Public Hearing
and it is to exempt an establishments from the minimum distance requirements for obtaining a beer permit.

There are 24 resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda. A resolution stays on the consent agenda if it passes  unanimously the committees to which it was assigned. Since the committees have not met yet, some resolutions which are listed as on the consent agenda may not be on the consent agenda when the council meets. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government, appropriating money from the 4% fund, settling lawsuits, or approving signs overhanging the sidewalk. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. Any member of the body may have a resolution pulled off of the consent agenda or have their "no" vote or abstention recorded. Unlike a bill which requires three votes of the Council to pass, a resolution only requires one vote of the Council. Below are the resolutions of interest. 

RESOLUTION RS2017-779, RESOLUTION RS2017-780 and  RESOLUTION RS2017-781 all deal with the temporary closing of right of ways and the fees charged for getting a permit to close a right-of-way. It is likely that all will be deferred a meeting. 

RESOLUTION RS2017-882 is a memorialize resolution, which simply expresses an opinion of the Metro Council, asking the news media to show greater sensitivity and decorum regarding reports of juvenile deaths. I don't know which incident of reporting prompted this and which media outlet is the target of this and the resolution does not say.  
Bills on First reading: There are 10 bills on first reading. First reading is a formality that gets bills on the agenda and they are not considered by committee until after they pass first reading. I do not read them until they get to second reading. Bills on First Reading are all lumped together and pass by a single vote.

Bills on Second Reading. There are 21 bills on Second Reading. None are very important and likely to generate controversy. These are the ones of a little interest:
BILL NO. BL2017-801  and BILL NO. BL2017-802, both deal with obstruction or closure of public right of ways. These were on the Council agenda on July 18th and deferred to this meeting. Bill 801 would impose additional requirements for any permit exceeding a six month period and it would require a quarterly report be provided to members of the Council regarding all right-of-way closures. Bill 802 would increase the penalties for an improper right-of-way closures.
Bills on Third Reading: Most are rezoning bills approved by the Planning Commission. There is really very little of interest among the bills on Third Reading. BL2017-849  is a bill in Councilman Scott Davis' district that was  disapproved as submitted but approved with a substitute proposed by the Planning Commission. The sponsor did not substitute at Second Reading but he indicated he would at third.  I assume he will, in which case this is of no interest. A disapproved bill requires 27 votes of the Council to pass, which can sometimes be difficult to get. 

To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site and you can watch it live on Roku. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video on this blog the day after or the day after that and provide commentary.

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Andy Ogles to challenge Bob Corker

by Cari Wade Gervin, Nashville Post - Andy Ogles, the former head of the Tennessee chapter of

Andy Ogles
Americans for Prosperity, announced Thursday he will run in the Republican primary for Senate in 2018. .... Ogles, a Williamson County native, is the first high profile Republican to announce a challenge to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker — although Corker still won't confirm that he's running for a third term. Corker has hired Ward Baker to run a possible campaign and has been fundraising; in recent days Corker's campaign Twitter account has become more active and his campaign website has been rebooted. However, Corker told CNN a few days ago that he was contemplating retiring from public office, and a source close to the senator confirmed to the Post that Corker still remains genuinely conflicted as to his decision. .... If Corker does run, he has plenty of money with which to do so — over $6.5 million on hand in his campaign account at the end of June. But Ogles, who worked as a national deputy director for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign in 2012, will likely utilize his AFP ties for fundraising. .... Rep. Joe Carr, who ran a close challenge to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in 2014 and lost a lopsided challenge to U.S. Rep. Diane Black in 2016, is seriously considering a run for Corker's seat. (link)

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Tennessee High School Graduation Rate Hits All-Time High

Tennessee education officials announced more than 89 percent of the high school Class of 2017 graduated, the highest rate on record. 

 By , Nashville Patch - Tennessee education officials gleefully announced that the state's graduation rate of 89.1 percent for the 2016-17 academic year is the highest on record, but Davidson County's dropped.

The statewide graduation rate is up more than half a percentage point since last year, and overall has increased 3.6 percent since the 2010-11 school year. This year, graduation rates increased in nearly 56 percent of districts with high schools.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Conservative economic icon Arthur Laffer endorses Diane Black for Governor

Architect of Reagan fiscal policy to serve as Economic Advisor to Diane Black for Governor 

Image result for Diane Black
Diane Black
Press release - Conservative economist and close Reagan advisor Arthur Laffer today endorsed Diane Black for Governor and will serve as Economic Advisor to Diane Black for Governor.  Dr. Laffer was a personal economic advisor to both President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher, serving on the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of President Reagan’s two terms in office.

“Diane Black knows exactly how to keep Tennessee’s economy growing rapidly by ensuring that Tennessee keeps tax rates low while paying its bills and protecting its taxpayers,” said Dr. Laffer.  “I moved from California to Tennessee eleven years ago for these very reasons, and I couldn’t be happier with my adopted home state.  There’s no one more qualified and prepared to lead Tennessee into a new era of prosperity than Diane Black.”

Dr. Laffer’s economic acumen and influence in triggering a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980’s earned him the distinction in many publications as "The Father of Supply-Side Economics." The New York Times wrote, “we do know from official economic statistics that the seven-year period from 1982 to 1989 was the greatest, consistent burst of economic activity ever seen in the U.S. In fact, it was the greatest economic expansion the world has ever seen - in any country, at any time.”

“Art Laffer has the greatest fiscal policy track record of the last 40 years,” said Black.  “I am honored
Art Laffer
to have his endorsement and look forward to working with him to put conservative economic principles to work in Tennessee.  My team will focus on bringing jobs, low taxes and prosperity to every corner of Tennessee.”

Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an institutional economic research and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1965 and 1972, respectively.  He has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, University of Southern California and Pepperdine firm in Nashville.  One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in California’s Proposition 13, the groundbreaking initiative that drastically cut property taxes in California in 1978.

Dr. Laffer received a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1963.  He received a MBA and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1965 and 1972, respectively.  He has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, University of Southern California and Pepperdine University.

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Caffeinated Conservatives to meet 9/23/2017. Speaker is Sharon Ford of Tennesee Republican Assembly

From Caffeinated Conservatives:

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

The future is here for cities that choose it. A better way to provide mass transit.

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