Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What happened at the 4/17/18 Council Meeting: nothing exciting, Committee investigating Mayor Barry dissolved, South Nashville Central Business Improvement District approved.

This meeting is only a little over an hour and half long. Nothing very important happens and their is little of controversy. At the start of the meeting, after the prayer and pledge, the Council takes a recess to have a group picture taken in Predator's jerseys. After that, there are a couple of presentations, one is honoring former vice mayor Jay West. Following that, then candidates for office are permitted to come to the lectern and introduce themselves. The Council does not start consideration of the agenda until 25 minutes into the meeting. To access the Council agenda, the Council staff analysis and my commentary on  the meeting, follow this link.

All appointees to Boards and Commission are confirmed by voice vote. At timestamp 32 the public hearings began. Below are highlights of the meeting.

Public Hearing. There are only two bills on public hearing.

Bill BL2018-1139  approving the Donelson Transit-Oriented Redevelopment Plan is substituted and deferred until May 15th.

Bill BL2018-1140  on Third Reading creates a South Nashville Central Business Improvement District. A district such as this creates a governing body which may impose additional taxes on businesses within the district for project within the district. This is a big deal. No one speaks in opposition and only one in favor. Because no one speaks on a bill does not indicate lack of interest. Often council members hold numerous meeting on a bill in their district before it ever reaches the Council and resolve any issues at that level. 
Resolutions of interest:

Resolution RS2018-1138  approves an amendment to a grant from the State of Tennessee to work with Hispanic victims of crime and their families who find the criminal justice system disorienting due to language limitations and cultural understanding.  The State grant would be increased to $969,421.00 and Metro's match wold be $123,618.00. This passes on the consent agenda.
Resolution RS2018-1149 is a resolution approving an application for a grant from the Greater Nashville Regional Council to The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, "to design, construct, and evaluate a spine of three major separated bikeways and one minor separated bikeway in East Nashville to connect communities, encourage active transportation, and decrease automobile dependence." Apparently, there had been quite a bit of interest in this issue and council members had gotten letters in favor and in opposition. The grant request would be for $1.29 million and the local match would be $287,000. To see the discussion see timestamp 50:28- 54:15. It passes on a voice vote with no audible "no's."
Resolution RS2018-1154 dissolves the Special Committee set up to investigate the wrong doings of Mayor Barry. This passes on the consent agenda.
Bills on Second Reading: There are six. Here are the ones of interest:
Bill BL2018-1111 would put under the purview of the Board of Ethical Conduct and the Standards of Conduct those who violate executive orders regarding rules of conduct. Currently this board only has authority to act on those who violate a section of the Metro code concerning standards of conduct. This passes on a voice vote.

Bill BL2018-1142  would require that 4% fund request resolutions affecting only a single Council district must be preceded by written notice to the Council member representing that district at least one week before the resolution is filed with the Metropolitan Clerk.This is deferred to the first meeting in August.
Bills on Third Reading
Bill BL2018-1122  reinstates a policy that requires the location of waste transfer stations be approved by the council by resolution prior to the applicant appealing the siting of the facility to the Board of Zoning appeal. This was the policy for twenty years, then in August 2017, Metro adopted a law that applied to how other certain sensitive uses are approved and inadvertently changed the policy for the approval of waste transfer station. This simply changes the law back to the way it was before and corrects a mistake. The bill has been misunderstood and created some confusion and concern. After some explanation, the bill passes on a voice vote.

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