Wednesday, October 18, 2023

What Happened at Last Night's Council meeting. How members voted on Accepting a Grant to fund School Resource Officers

From The Pamphleteer, by Megan Podsiedlik, Oct. 18, 2023- Things weren’t as dramatic as expected at last night’s Metro Council—no verbal brawl over Wally Dietz’s reappointment or overwhelming public clash over SROs—but much was accomplished during the three-hour meeting. Along with the normal business on the agenda, a few of the new council members finally tested their wings and took to the mic.  


  • Metro Audit Committee: Burkley Allen, Courtney Johnston
  • Planning and Zoning Committee Chair: Jennifer Gamble
  • President Pro Tempore: Zulfat Suara
  • Short Term Rental Appeals Board: Sean Parker, Mike Loyco, Nicole Williams
  • Traffic and Parking Commission: Quin Evans Segall 
  • Finance Director: Kevin Crumbo
  • Director of Law: Wallace Dietz
  • Stormwater Management Commission: Trey Lewis
  • Tourism and Convention Commission: Howard Kittell 
  • Work Release Commission: Shannon Musgrave, Jesus Gonzales


At long last, the council passed a resolution to accept state funding to cover the cost of MNPS’ existing SROs — but not without a lengthy discussion. 

Southeast Nashville council member Courtney Johnston stuck with her previous sentiment: “saying no to this does not get rid of the SROs. Saying yes to it does not add SROs.” She explained to the council that the decision was a fiscal one: “There are lots of things that I think are worth funding. This particular situation that we're looking at is nothing but a financial decision.”

Freshman council member Jeff Preptit had other ideas. “We should not be funneling our children through the prison industrial complex,” he stated. 

Robert Nash, who represents District 27, addressed Preptit’s line of thinking: “This is not serving as some pipeline to the prison system. With all due respect, my golly. We are the 40th largest school system in the country. Last year, we made thirteen arrests…. And most of those were for the bomb threats that you've heard about lately, or somebody bringing a gun to school. It's not about somebody getting a little disorderly in the hallway.”

Tom Cash, for his part, expressed discomfort with the fact that the decision was kicked to the council instead of remaining within MNPS: “What to do about SROs and being able to shift money, however it's done, from SROs to other things is a policy decision and it needs to be made at the school board.”

Council member Brenda Gadd then approached the mic and revealed her dislike for the solution of SRO placement in schools before signaling that she would be voting in favor of the funding: “I'll be supporting today's resolution because of the way it's funded: accepting state dollars and not expanding– not making the policy decision to expand SROs.”

Lastly, veteran council member Tonya Hancock reminded the council that the state is trying to do the city a favor. “I would just like to highlight for the benefit of many individuals in the community that might say ‘The state is always doing things to us,’ in this instance, they're actually doing something for us.”

Nashville Council faces first lightning rod issue, accepts grant for police in schools

by Cassandra Stephenson, The Tennessean, Oct. 18, 2023- Nashville's Council accepted a state grant for school resource officer salaries Tuesday — but not without sending a message:

The Council is not finished discussing police in schools, and several members are pushing for policy change.

The $3.4 million grant will partially reimburse Metro Police for the salaries of 62 existing school resource officers in Nashville's public middle and high schools. The Council approved the funding 23-12, with two abstentions.

Proponents of accepting the grant funds said it was a purely financial decision, supplanting Metro dollars already dedicated toward SROs with state funds.

Others said it's not so simple. "I see this more as the state trying to wash its hands of its responsibility to pass adequate gun reform legislation," District 30 Council member Sandra Sepulveda said ... "We asked for gun reform, plain and simple … and we got money for police officers in schools," At-large Council member Delishia Porterfield said. ... District 25 Council member and Civil Rights attorney Jeff Preptit took issue with the memorandum of understanding between Metro Police and Metro Nashville Public Schools ...
How members voted on Accepting a Grant to fund School Resource Officers

In favor: 
  • Burkley Allen
  • Quin Evans-Segall
  • Jennifer Gamble
  • Mike Cortese, 
  • Clay Capp, 
  • Tonya Hancock, 
  • Jennifer Webb, 
  • Jeff Eslick
  • Erin Evans
  • Russ Bradford
  • Jordan Huffman
  • Jacob Kupin
  • Rollin Horton
  • Sheri Weiner
  • Thom Druffel 
  • Courtney Johnston
  • Bob Nash
  • David Benton
  • Tasha Ellis
  • John Rutherford
  • Joy Styles 
  • Sandy Ewing
  • Jason Spain
  • Zulfat Suara
  • Delishia Porterfield
  • Olivia Hill
  • Joy Smith Kimbrough
  • Kyonzte Toombs
  • Sean Parker
  • Emily Benedict
  • Deonte Harrell, 
  • Ginny Welsch
  • Terry Vo
  • Jeff Preptit
  • Sandra Sepulveda
  • Brandon Taylor
  • Brenda Gadd

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