Saturday, September 30, 2017

What's on the Council Agenda for Oct. 3rd, 2017: Banning Short-term rentals for all but owner-occupied

The big item on this agenda is the bill to ban short-term rentals for all but owner-occupied homes. The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. 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. I am providing this agenda summary and commentary a little early this time as I may not be available to do it later so I am dong this without benefit of the staff analysis. I will try to update prior to the meeting, but if I do not then be aware that this was done without benefit of the staff analysis so I may have missed something important or not fully understood some issue. If you are one who has more than a casual interest in what is on the Council agenda and I do not update, you may want to look at the staff analysis yourself.

Boards and Commission and elections to fill positions. 
There are two mayoral appointees to Boards and Commission on the agenda for confirmation and as always they will be affirmed.  There are four positions on Boards the council must fill. One is  the election of committee chair of the Planning Commission for a two-year term expiring August 31, 2019 and another is chairman of the Parking and Traffic Commission for a two year term. The council will also fill two seats on the Audit Committee.  Without the staff analysis, I am unsure of the qualifications or requirements of these positions. I think the Planning Commission and the Traffic and Parking commission seats usually are selected from members of the Council but am unsure. There is often a lot of lobbing to fill these positions, especially the Planning Commission and the Traffic and Parking Commission.

Public Hearings
There are 21 bills on public hearing. The bills on public hearings are all rezoning bills or related to planning and zoning policy.  While some cities, mostly smaller cities, have a kind of an open mic public hearing policy, where anyone may address their council on any topic, Nashville does not have such a policy.  Only zoning and zoning related bills are on public hearing and once a year the operating budget and the capital improvements budgets.

Rezoning hearings bore me and I don't even try to form an opinion on the merits each rezoning bill before the Council.  Rezoning bills usually are of interest only to people who live near the proposed rezoning. People who don't care one way or the other do not show up and with rare exceptions the only people who speak in favor of rezoning bills are those who will benefit from the rezoning such as the property owner or the developer.  Opponents always make the same argument which boils down to one of these: 1) the change will result in stressing the infrastructure such as too much traffic on the roadway or overcrowd the schools, 2) will cause flooding, and 3) will change for the worse the character of the community. If you are interested in knowing what is permitted in different zoning districts, follow this link.

There is only one bill that I find of much interest on this public hearing:

BILL BL2017-852 in Councilman Mary Carolyn Roberts district would expand an Urban Zoning Overlay District by 1591 acres.  This is a huge expansion. This was previously on the agenda but deferred to this meeting. 
There are 30 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. Resolutions on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government, entering into inter agency agreements over mundane things, appropriating money from the 4% fund, settling lawsuits, or approving signs overhanging the sidewalk. Resolutions on the consent agenda are lumped together and 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 is the resolutions of and significant interest. 
RESOLUTION RS2017-902  authorizes the sale of up to $300 million of water and sewer revenue bonds. This is most likely routine, but $300,000,000 is a lot of money. In reading the resolution one thing that caught my attention was that the city is authorized to take all steps necessary to make the bonds marketable as "Green Bonds." If I were serving on the Council, I would want to know that this is a benefit to the city and not a cost. I also would like to know who, if anyone in the city, gets a free trip to New York City to be wined and dined as a result of the sale. It may be no one, but I would want to determine if that is the case.
 Bills on First reading: There are 27 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 10 bills on Second Reading. None are very important and likely to generate controversy. These are the ones of a little interest:
BILL BL2017-905 and BILL BL2017-906 would establish a a merit-based grant program for non-profits. Currently Metro gives lots of money to worthy non-profits but it seems there is no logic to who gets the money and who does not. Some agencies that get metro funds have had council members as their board members. This would establish a criteria for which organizations get grants. I tend to support this but frankly, I think Metro should not give any money to non-profit organizations. United Way has a bureaucratic mechanism for determining community need and deciding which non-profits gets United Way dollars. I think support for non-profits should be left to the charitable impulse of the people. There are circumstances however, where I think Metro should contract with non-profits to provide specific services that the non-profit can provide better than the city.

BILL BL2017-907  would exempt from the minimum distance requirements for off-sale beer permits those establishments that had on on-sale beer permit following approval of a council resolution. This seems reasonable.
Bills on Third Reading:
BILL NO. BL2017-608 is the bill that would phase out Short Term Rental for all but  owner-occupied properties. This bill also does a lot else. Please see the staff analysis.  The city has been meeting on this issue for months and this bill was first introduced in February of this year. I am surprised to see this on the agenda. I thought the city would propose something different. I would not be surprised to see this substituted with whatever the ad hoc committee that has been studying the issue came up with although I expect it to will phase out non-occupied short-term rental. I oppose this bill. Property owners should have the same right to rent their property short term as they do month to month or long term.

SUBSTITUTE BILL BL2017-801 would require a report from the Department of Public Works regarding obstructions or excavations which close or occupy any portion of the public right of way for a period in excess of six (6) months. This substitute makes the bill less strong or imposes less red tape than did the version before substituted. Not a bad bill as it now stands.

BILL BL2017-867 would strengthen the hand of the government in punishing those with overgrown lots  and BILL BL2017-868  would strengthen the hand of government in punishing those who repeatedly violate property standards laws.
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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Friday, September 29, 2017

Former NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning will not run for U.S. Senate

I have heard the rumors and thetr has been much speculation that former UT quarterback Peyton Manning may seek Bob Corker's senate seat. It appears he will not. This is from a Tennessee Republican Party communication:

With a now open Senate seat, there is a lot of buzz around who will run to replace Senator Corker. A name in the mix was former NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning who recently spoke at the Senate Republican retreat and was seen playing golf with President Trump and Senator Corker earlier this year. Unfortunately for those hoping Peyton would run, in an interview with Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone he said, "I certainly have an interest in politics and in our country. I just have zero interest in being a politician."

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Gov. Bill Haslam May Seek Bob Corker's Senate Seat

Gov. Bill Haslam May Seek Bob Corker's Senate Seat

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Congress should fund Community Health Centers

Funding is running out for community health centers and without action by Saturday about 2800 community health centers would close across the country and eliminate access to about 9 million patients. Altogether, community health centers serve about 27 million people and about 70% of the funding comes from Congress. (link) It is anticipated that the funding will pass and it should.  Bitterness over other health care policy and partisanship should not endanger this safety net.

Unless one works in the non-profit sector or has been without insurance themselves, they may not know about community health centers.  For the homeless, the poor ineligible of medicaid (or prior to the Affordable Care Act for those who were denied insurance due to preexisting conditions), the safety net was community health centers. In the debate over health care, emergency rooms were often mentioned as the health care safety net for those without insurance and having worked with low-income people most of my life, I know that that is true. That is often true however because of poor decision making on the part of the poor rather than that being the only choice. Even when Tennessee had the generous Tenncare program that was bankrupting the State, many poor still went to emergency rooms instead of making doctors appointments.

In Nashville there are a variety of these free clinics. Some of them specialize in specific types of services and limited service such as clinics serving people with HIV or clinics serving children in a school setting, but some are like the Vine Hill Clinic that provides a full range of services. The clinic accepts Medicare, Medicaid (TennCare) and most private insurance is accepted but those without insurance are  charged under a sliding scale model based on what they can afford. It is not free for everyone and clients are required to prove financial need in order to receive free services or services at a reduced cost. No one is denied service because they cannot afford it or do not have insurance.  This center covers services such as checkups, treatment, pregnancy care, immunizations, child care, prescription medicine, and mental and substance abuse treatment.

My view of health care is that we should institute reforms that provide a free market solution for most people, a subsidized high-risk pool for those with preexisting conditions but income to otherwise afford insurance, and community health clinics for everyone else.  Unless we have a complete federal government take over of health care and end up with some sort of National Health Service, we will still need clinics like Vine Hill for those in need.

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There will be a public meeting on Thursday, October 5th at 6:00 pm at the Fairgrounds in the Creative Arts Building that will be VERY important to attend with your RED SHIRTS.  

The proposed 'Fair Park' and MLS Stadium - using approximately 45 acres of the fairgrounds to provide seven (7) soccer fields, as well as a professional soccer stadium which will use 10 acres - will change the course of the fairgrounds and may possibly violate the Metro Charter and impede the existing uses of the facility and ultimately result in the demise of the existing uses: Flea Market, race track and State Fair. 

Attending this meeting is imperative to listen to the proposal and voice your concerns about the park & stadium.  

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tax Reform: Framework is Pro-America

More jobs, bigger paychecks, fairer taxes

Diane Black
Diane Black
Washington, D.C. , Congressman Diane Black Press Release- Today, the Trump Administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance released the unified framework for fixing the tax code, last updated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. The framework will deliver a modern code built for growth, supporting middle-class families, protecting jobs and delivering fiscally responsible tax reform to spur the economy. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the following statement:
This is a truly historic opportunity for our country. The current tax system – last updated 30 years ago – forces taxpayers to pay astronomical rates and fill out complicated, unnecessary forms. Americans deserve better. Our goal from the beginning was to create a simpler, fairer and flatter system, and I believe we have done just that. This framework lowers taxes so Americans can keep more of their paychecks and families can spend less time filing papers. It will allow our own families in Tennessee to plan for the future with certainty that their hard-earned money will stay in their pockets.

As a unified government, we worked with President Trump and the Senate to craft a framework benefitting every income level, especially the middle class. Our reform also delivers the lowest tax rates in modern history for businesses so job creators can provide bigger paychecks to their employees and incentivize hard work. By simplifying the system and getting the government out of the way of our free-market economy, America is made more competitive on an international scale and the potential for unprecedented job creation is unleashed. We believe this will be a catalyst for more jobs, bigger paychecks and fairer taxes – this framework is pro-America. Plain and simple.
The full framework can be found HERE, and a one page overview can be found HERE.
Visit for more information.

Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. A nurse for more than 40 years, she serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Who will replace Senator Bob Corker

While Andy Ogle was already an announced candidate for the U. S. Senate, now that Senator Corker has decided not to seek reelection we can expect other contenders to jump in the race. Speculation abounds about who may enter the race. Today's Tennessean gives a run down of the status of several being mentioned as candidates (link).

According to The Tennessean these are potential candidates and this is the status of their position on running for the office.

  • Gov. Bill Haslam, Unclear.
  • U.S. Rep. Diane Black,  Out. She is running for governor.
  • U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Undecided.
  • Andy Ogles, In.  
  • State Sen. Mark Green,  Undecided.
  • Joe Carr,  Undecided.
  • Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, Unclear.
  • Former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Out.
  • Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Out.
  • Dr. Manny Sethi, Undecided. Unknown to many, he is an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
These potential candidates are running for governor and have said they are not candidates for the Senate seat: Beth Harwell, Randy Boyd, Bill Lee and former state Sen. Mae Beavers. 

These are a list of potential Democrats and their Status:
  • Karl Dean, Out. He is running for Governor.
  • Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, Out.
  • James Mackler, In.
  • Bill Freeman, Undecided.
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Out. 
  • Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Unclear 
  • Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Out  
For the Nashville Post analysis of who may run and a little about who some of them are follow this link.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Senator Corker to not seek reelection

Senator Bob Corker
Statement from Senator Bob Corker - After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018.

When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms. Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult. But I have always been drawn to the citizen legislator model, and while I realize it is not for everyone, I believe with the kind of service I provide, it is the right one for me. I also believe the most important public service I have to offer our country could well occur over the next 15 months, and I want to be able to do that as thoughtfully and independently as I did the first 10 years and nine months of my Senate career. 

Serving the people of Tennessee in this capacity has been the greatest privilege of my life. And as I spent the month of August traveling across our great state, I was reminded that we live in a unique place full of people who care deeply about the direction of our country. I am grateful to the people of Tennessee for the opportunity to serve my state and country. I have been fortunate to do so with an extraordinary staff, and I want to thank them for their incredible dedication. I know that we will continue to have an impact for the remainder of our term, and I look forward to finding other ways to make a difference in the future. Finally, I want to thank my wife, Elizabeth, and our family, who have made many sacrifices in allowing me to serve. Nothing I have done would have been possible without their love and support.

My Comment: I am disappointing to see Senator Corker reach this decision but I respect it. In my view, Senator Corker is one of the best men to ever have served in the U. S. Senate. He is smart and thoughtful and always has a mastery of the facts and is always well prepared. He is one who does his homework. I have watched him in committee meetings televised on CSPAN and he always makes the comments or ask the questions that I wish someone would say or ask. 

Senator Corker was widely and unjustly criticized by some conservatives for his role in the Iran deal. Some have accused him of collaborating with President Obama in bringing about the Iran deal. That is simply not accurate. Since Iran sanctions were imposed by the UN and administrative action, the Obama administration could undo those sanctions by UN action and administrative action. The Iran deal did not have to be submitted to Congress as a treaty. Corker worked to at least give the Senate a chance to stop the deal. He tried with all his might to stop the Iran deal but could not get the votes to make that happen. Bombastic talk show host smeared and attacked Corker for his role in the Iran deal when he should have been honored as a hero for at least trying to stop it. 

Senator Corker, thank you for your service and may God bless you.

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GOP Chairwoman McDaniel Stands Behind President Trump's Remarks On Standing During The National Anthem

GOP Press Release, Statement of CHAIRWOMAN MCDANIEL: I think the President of the United States, the commander in chief, the person who has to make the decisions as to whether we send our men and women in harm's way, the person who sees the flag draped caskets when they come back to this country has every right to say we should stand for our flag and our national anthem. I can't think of any person who takes that more seriously than the President of the United States and he's done exactly the right thing and I think he speaks for a lot of people across this country. He's not shutting down free speech, of course not. There is free speech. People have the right to do whatever they want from a free speech capacity. But I have the right and the president has to right to say, I disagree with how you’re doing it. This isn’t the right venue.

My Comment:  I totally agree. I am 100% with President Trump in calling out those who dishonor our flag.

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Please stand for our national anthem

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Sign petition to let Vanco and other companies know not to trust SPLC’s list of “hate groups.”


Dear Rodney,

Recently, Vanco Payment Solutions—an online donation site by which many different organizations use to accept donations—cut off services from a Louisiana-based Christian group called the Ruth Institute. It did so because the Ruth Institute was supposedly “flagged” for “being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.” The sole evidence for the Ruth Institute’s connection to hate? It appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups.”
As we recently  reported however, the SPLC is a hyper partisan organization which unfairly smears mainstream conservative Christian groups. Sign here to let Vanco and other companies know not to trust SPLC’s list of “hate groups.”

More and more organizations are waking up to SPLC’s libelous attacks on Christians, but there is still so much work to be done! Large corporations like Apple and J.P. Morgan still donate to SPLC and media like CNN are still citing SPLC as an authoritative source on hate groups.
It is true that SPLC lists some bona fide evil organizations like the KKK and neo-nazis on its list. But, and this is a big “but,” the SPLC also claims that many Christian groups are also so-called “hate groups” for nothing other than their belief in the Bible!  Take the Ruth Institute for example. It is a Catholic non-profit whose main goal is to protect children from broken and dysfunctional families! This group represents the opposite of hate:  genuine love for kids stuck in the negative side effects of the sexual revolution. But, because the Catholic theology of the group does not approve of the new liberal sexual orthodoxy, SPLC has listed it as “hateful.”
Of course, that’s bunk. But listing it as such has caused Vanco to stop processing donations and will cause others to discount the Ruth Institute before ever hearing its persuasive arguments about what is best for children—never mind the mountains of scientific evidence saying that children need both mothers and fathers to strive.
Indeed, the SPLC has demonstrated over the course of its existence that it uses its platforms to bash and unfairly malign mainstream Christians and conservatives alongside disreputable extremists. As we recently reported, SPLC included many Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council on their list of “hate groups” for nothing other than their biblical view of marriage and sexuality.

Is this really the type of close-minded bigotry against Christianity that Vanco and other companies want to promote? Sign this petition now to demand Vanco reinstate the Ruth Institute and stop using it to discriminate against Christians.

Gregory Mertz and the entire CitizenGO team 
P.S. The SPLC is the self-styled “premier U.S.  non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists.” What they fail to mention is that they lump anyone who disagrees with them politically into that list. Even the FBI and the U.S. Army have “deleted the [SPLC] from the[ir] lists of legitimate ‘hate crime’ resources” because it is so politically motivated.

CitizenGO is a community of active citizens that seeks to defend life, the family and fundamental rights worldwide. To find out more about CitizenGO click here or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. This message is addressed to If you do not wish to receive emails from CitizenGO, click on this link.
To contact CitizenGO, do not respond to this email, reply at this link:

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Money list Franklin, Tennessee as the fourth best place to live in America.

Money list good schools, low taxes, employment opportunities, good shopping, the music scene, and southern charm and hospitality as attributes. To read the full story and a list of the 100 best places to live in America, follow this link.

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Metro Council Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on Regulation of STRP's (Airbnb, homesharing)

Metro government is on the verge of rolling back the rights of people who want to engage in home sharing.  While we do not yet know for certain what is in the final bill, it is apparently going to phase out all short term rental of  property except for the type where the space for rent is in one's own home. For those who have an interest in this issue, you may want to attend this committee meeting.

Metro Council Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on Regulation of STRP's

9/27/2017,  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Historic Metro Courthouse. 1 Public Square, Jury Assembly Room, Nashville, TN 37201
For more information please contact council-at-large Jim Shulman.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

State Senator Mark Green To Speak Tuesday At First Tuesday

From Tim Skow:

1ST TUESDAY Members and friends,

Senator Corker's announcement has stirred a myriad of political conversations, speculations, moved and for some ..... certainly turned over their apple carts!!

Image result for senator mark green
Senator Mark Green

IN THE MIDDLE of our state's ''Political Deck Being Shuffled'' is our featured speaker on Tuesday... State Senator Mark Green.

Tuesday's 1ST TUESDAY will be immensely insightful featuring on of the key players who knows 1ST-HAND what is really going on !!

Buckle your seat belts folks!!! Its going to be an amazing 10+ months till all August 2018 primaries!!

Make your plans, pass the word and secure your seats as 1st Tuesday Nashville! Hope to see you on Tuesday...

Tim Skow
Remember -- 1] parking under the building is $7
2] [as of now] our DEC meeting is Monday, DEC 4th w/ Marsha Blackburn

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