Wednesday, March 07, 2018

What happened at the 3/6/18 Council meeting: Rosenberg kills Charlie Tygert's appointment to Sports Authority, not much else of importance.

If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you really need a playbook. To access the council agenda, the staff agenda analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link

Newly sworn in Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner presides over the meeting.

Rosenberg kills Charlie Tygert's appointment to Sports Authority

Charlie Tygert
At the request of the administration, all nominees to Boards and Commission, all of which were made by former Mayor Megan Barry, are deferred until March 20th. The nomination of Charlie Tygert to the Sports Authority however is deferred indefinitely.

The appointment of someone to the Sports Authority is one of the appointments that require the approval by Council resolution.  Resolution RS2018-1076 is the resolution approving Charlie Tygert's appointment . An indefinite deferral kills a resolution. The committee vote was five in favor of the indefinite deferral, one abstention, and one voting "no."  Council member Sharon Hurt who was one of the sponsors of the resolution approving Tygert's appointment asked why the committee voted for the indefinite deferral. The Rules Committee chairman, council member Haywood, deferred to Councilman  Rosenberg. Instead of answering the question, Rosenberg said the deferral was "by rule" and there should be no discussion of the matter.

When the Rules Committee make a deferral recommendation then that item is automatically deferred. If instead of recommending an indefinite deferral, the committee would have voted against the confirmation, then it would have been open for discussion and a vote. This action tells me that Rosenberg is responsibility for denying Tygert the appointment. Why he would do that I don't know. Charlie Tygert is a former long-serving former councilman, first representing Bellevue and then serving as a Councilman-at-large. In my view, he is one of the best councilmen to ever serve the city of Nashville. He is smart, works hard and knows Metro government inside and out. Why Rosenberg would want to deny the city the free services of someone of Tygert's caliber is beyond me. I can only assume it is petty politics. If anyone has any insight as to what is going on, please post a comment. If anyone would like to tell me what is going on privately, please contact me.

Bills on Public Hearing
There  are 21  bills on Public hearing. Items on public hearings are all rezoning bills or related to planning and zoning policy. Most of the time, the only people who care about zoning bills are those who live near the proposed rezoning or those somehow involved. Rezoning hearings bore me and I don't even try to form an opinion on the merits each rezoning bill before the Council and skip though this part of the council meeting at double speed. I call attention to those that were disapproved by the Planning Commission or prove controversial or for some other reason I find of interest. 
Bill BL2017-938  by Councilman Stever Glover would exempt religious institutions from current sidewalk requirements, provided the religious institution is within the General Services District and does not abut an existing or planned sidewalk. It is deferred indefinitely by the sponsor saying he is working on other sidewalk bills that will address this issue in another manner.  In my view we need to do something like this not only for churches but other properties. At the rate we are building sidewalls it will be about 600 years or so before we build sidewalks in some areas of the county.  In the middle of nowhere, were there are no sidewalks, why should sidewalks be required in front of a church or any one single house.  It serves no purpose to have little isolated, unconnected, random sidewalks to nowhere. 

Bill BL2018-1096 by Councilman Scott Davis is a bill that would change the zoning on some property on Lischey Avenue and permit up to 13 multi-family dwelling units. It is an approved bill. It generates some public opposition. It passes.

Bill BL2018-1099   by Councilman Scott Davis is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. It would change from RS5 to SP zoning on property located at 207 Myrtle Street,  to permit up to four multi-family residential units. Several people speak against it. The bill is passed on Second Reading and sent back to the Planning Commission at the request of the sponsor. The sponsor says he will work to get the bill modified, by reducing the unit count. If the bill does not get a Planning Commission approval it will require 27 votes to pass on third reading. 

Bill BL2018-1100   by Councilman Swope is another disapproved bill.  It would change from R15 to SP zoning for properties located at 401 Kinhawk Drive and Nolensville Pike to permit all uses permitted by MUL zoning except Alternative Financial Services, Bar or nightclub, flea market, hotel/motel, mobile storage units and automobile parking. The sponsor asks for the bill to be passed on Second reading and he says he will continue to work with the developer to modify the bill to address the concerns of the residents. It passes.
Resolutions}There are 27 resolution on the agenda and most are lumped together and pass on the consent agenda. Most of them are routine things. These are the ones of interest.
Resolution RS2018-1054 would reduce the jailers’ fees authorized under state law that are assessed against misdemeanant prisoners incarcerated in Davidson County jails. We charge people for staying in jail even if they are jailed for a minor traffic violation. Until this issue arose, I did not know one had to pay for staying in jail. Often the fee is waived but it does not have to be and often it is not. According to the resolution, "although jailers’ fees are only assessed against persons actually convicted of criminal offenses, such fees may be assessed not only against persons serving misdemeanor sentences in county jails, but also against persons being held prior to trial on misdemeanor charges."  This resolution reduces the fee to $0. This is a good bill. It passes.

Resolution RS2018-1055 is "a resolution aimed at addressing and ending homelessness among students that attend Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools." The agenda does not link to the resolution and the staff analysis does not describe it but it seems pretty insignificant to me. Basically, it calls for several agencies to study the issue. Several council members speak on it. Some concern is expressed that this is already being studied and this is unnecessary. It passes.
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. All of them are lumped together and they pass by a single vote as is the norm.

Bills on Second Reading: There are 10 of them and none of them are of much interest.

Bills on Third Reading:  There are 15 of them. These are the ones of interest. 
Bill BL2017-1026 is a disapproved rezoning bill in Councilman Scott Davis district. I have no opinion on the merits of the bill but am pointing it out simply because it is disapproved and requires 27 votes to pass. This was on Third Reading last time and deferred to this meeting. Many of the applicants neighbors signed petitions supporting the rezoning. After considerable discussion the bill passes by a vote 31 in favor, 2 against of 4 abstentions.

Bill BL2018-1054  says that when metro enters into a lease. leasing to another entity a piece of metro property, that that lease must go before the Metro Council for approval and if the lease is for more than fifty years, it must first be declared surplus.This is a good bill. It passes on a voice vote.

Bill BL2018-1063 as amended,  is a bill to "require the Procurement Division to collect comprehensive data regarding the participation of subcontractors in the procurement process."  Currently, the Minority and Women Business Assistance Office (BAO) is authorized to collect information to monitor the Procurement Nondiscrimination Program. The information “may” include information regarding business ownership, supplier information, and subcontractor information. This changes the "may" to "shall."  In the past and probably still, I know this program was often abused. Sometimes a White contractor and a Black subcontractor may switch rolls to get an advantage as a minority-owned firm. The White guy may agree to be the subcontractor to the Black guy. Also, I have known of instances years ago, where a man would make his wife the owner of their family-owned construction company in order to gain an advantage as a women-owned business. I don't know if this would reveal those manipulations or not, but it may. I support this. It passes.

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