Saturday, April 29, 2023

Nashville Mayoral Candidate Alice Rolli with @DanMandisShow

Businesswoman Alice Rolli is running as a Republican for Mayor of Nashville. Dan Mandis discusses what her plans are for the city & what we can improve.

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Friday, April 28, 2023

Williamson County Republican Career Women event, May 11


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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Poll Watcher Training May 6

Poll Watcher Training: To monitor and protect the sanctity of our upcoming elections, we need YOU to train up and be a poll watcher in Davidson County! DCRP First Vice-Chair Laura Nelson and former Chairman Jim Garrett will conduct poll watcher training on Saturday, May 6, from 9:30am-11:30am at The Glock Store (1930 Air Lane Drive). The training is free, but the service you are doing for your neighbors and party is priceless. Another class will be held in west Nashville in late June.

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Bellevue Breakfast Club meets May 6. Speaker is Jack Johnson

 Jack Johnson
DCRP Chairman Lonnie Spivak will host the next Bellevue Breakfast Club on Saturday, May 6, at 8:30am at The Royal Range (7741 Highway 70S). Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson will be the guest speaker, just in time to give a fresh review of all the ups and downs of this year's legislative session.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Why the Titans stadium deal is a good deal for Metro taxpayers.

Courtney Johnston
by Metro Councilmember Courtney Johnston, District 26, April 26, 2023 - The Stadium Deal – Why?

 When I ran for office in 2019, one of the main reasons I ran was because I saw a critical need for fiscal responsibility within our government.  If you’ll remember, in 2019 we came dangerously close to being taken over by the State because we didn’t have a balanced budget.  Property taxes were raised in 2020 because of decades of poor fiscal management.  I’ve seen many agreements that metro has entered into over the last couple of decades that were poorly put together, poorly thought out and/or poorly executed.  When this happens, the collateral damage is you, the taxpayer.  Because everything comes back to money and when the government needs it, they get it from you by raising taxes.

The current lease with the Titans and the Sports Authority is a good example.  While the revenue sources for the debt service (bond payments of principal and interest) are sufficient, what wasn’t contemplated in this financial arrangement was money for repairs, maintenance and capital improvements which we are obligated to pay for under the current lease.  When a structure is 5 and 10 years old, that’s not a big problem.  But as that structure ages, it certainly becomes one.


Currently, we are likely in breach of contract as we, since 2018, have not been able to fulfill our contractual obligation to pay for needed maintenance and repairs.  In order to continue to host events there, the Titans had to pay for those projects.  So, we owe the Titans $32 million today.

 In addition to the $32 million we owe the Titans for what they’ve paid for, our consultants estimate additional immediate stadium repairs totaling $362 million, plus an additional $235 million in repair projects over the remaining life of the lease (possibly to 2039).  That’s a total of $597 million in repairs and maintenance we’re obligated to and DOES not include a renovation.  Understanding that our current total debt capacity is $368 million that creates a total funding deficit of $229 million and a total annual debt service deficit of $22 million. Most if not all debt issued would require a General Fund backstop (that’s our checking account that your property taxes funds).  Also, just because our capacity is $368 million, that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s fiscally responsible or wise to max out that capacity and doing so would eliminate the opportunity for other needed capital projects like sidewalks, libraries, affordable housing, etc.

Our current lease also puts us on the hook for an immediate stadium renovation sufficient to keep the stadium on par with the current condition of “comparable facilities”, plus additional renovation projects over the remaining life of the lease (possibly 2039) consistent with future improvements to comparable facilities.  Given the current condition of comparable facilities and multiple renovation projects in various stages of planning, Metro’s outside consultants estimated that taxpayers should be prepared to fund between $1-2 billion of renovation projects over the remaining life of the lease. We can disagree on the price tag the consultants have given.  But we can’t disagree on the fact that we don’t have the money for even a percentage of this estimated price tag.  What happens when government needs more money?  That’s right.  Your taxes increase – not what I’m interested in doing at all.

 We also owe about $30 million on the bonds that paid for the current stadium.

 The long and short of it is, we’re in a pretty serious financial bind and the only way to stay in the current lease would be to raise your taxes pretty significantly.


As I said, we’ve been in breach since 2018 and that’s how long metro administrations have been trying to figure out what to do.  At some point in 2021, the State (who sits on a comfortable $2 billion surplus) said – If you build a domed or enclosed stadium, we’ll chip in $500 million.  Plus we’ll give you authority to increase the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) by 1% which can be dedicated to YOUR debt service.  That’s quite a bit of money considering that last year alone, the entire HOT totaled almost $2 billion…  Well now we can see a light at the end of the tunnel!  Then the Titans chimed in and said - If you build a domed/enclosed stadium, we’ll forgive the $32 million you owe, we’ll pay off your $30 million bond balance and we’ll pick up the tab for the balance of the cost to build – current estimate of their contribution is $840 million.  Now we have the makings of a deal.  So the notion that metro is bailing out the Titans or subsidizing a billionaire is patently false.  The truth is, the State and the Titans are bailing metro out by contributing to and enabling revenue streams for us to build an asset that only we own.


The proposed plan benefits from $1.35 billion dollars in up-front funding from the State and the Team:

  • 500 million state contribution
  • $840 million from the Titans, plus responsibility for cost overruns, plus any increase in the stadium project budget between now and commencement of construction
  • The proposed plan benefits from a new 1% hotel occupancy tax revenue stream. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, a 1% hotel occupancy tax generated approximately $18.6 million

Compared to the existing lease, Nashville taxpayers will pay less, and assume fewer obligations and liabilities under the proposed plan.

  • The proposed plan eliminates Metro’s obligation to fund any capital expenses at the Stadium other than from dedicated revenue sources. Under the existing lease, Metro is required to provide annual funding of $1,000,000 from the general fund and $4,000,000 from the water/sewer PILOT.
  • Releasing the areas of the Campus surrounding the New Stadium from encumbrances creates enormous economic benefit from the future development rights – including ground rent payments, property taxes, local option sales taxes and other revenues.
  • As owners of the public land, Metro will enter 99-year ground leases for all developable land. Tenants will not only make lease payments but will also be required to pay ad valorem property taxes as if they owned a fee interest in the land – all to the benefit of metro’s General Fund
  • The Water & Sewer PILOT revenues total $4 million annually. Once the PILOT is no longer pledged to Stadium bonds, Council could allocate it to another purpose such as to affordable housing or transit. Or – return it to YOU the ratepayer!
  • Under the current lease, Metro makes available 6,250 parking spaces to the Team for their exclusive right to use and retain all revenues from event days. Under the proposed lease, the Team is reduced to use and revenues of 2,000 parking spaces during Stadium events. Metro receives their use and revenues at all other times.
    • 3% ticket fee at $4 million average per year going to the general fund ($120 million over 30 years)
  • Development Returns: Up to $10 million per year to the general fund (up to $300 million over 30 years)
  • The new proposal also guarantees the Titans’ presence for the entire term of the lease through the non-relocation agreement.
  • A brand new, state of the art domed stadium that is ideally located near hotels and our entertainment district that will host a planned 49 events per year, including Super Bowls, Final Fours, College Football Playoffs and dozens of concerts and other major events.

East Bank Development and Opportunities:

  • The current lease does not permit Metro to develop the campus and encumbers all of the parking areas surrounding the existing stadium. With no change, the stadium will remain surrounded by seas of empty asphalt for the foreseeable future, and area sales tax captures will remain minimal.
  • The status quo is the continued use -- exclusively for parking -- of prime riverfront property that compromises one of metro’s most important and valuable assets. 
  • The proposed new lease frees up the majority of the property for redevelopment, allowing enormously beneficial uses that include:
  • Affordable housing opportunities - By retaining land ownership, requiring development partners to include affordable housing, and dedicating parcels to achieve deep affordability. The development RFQ has been issued and includes affordable housing criteria.
  • A high-capacity transit boulevard development with multi-modal connections;
  • Park space and greenways (providing saturation capabilities for areas in a base flood elevation);
  • Riverfront enhancements
  • Emergence of four (4) distinct East Bank neighborhoods
  • A Master Developer will be competitively selected to oversee development within the campus.
  • While 50% of the local option sales taxes in the campus-area sales tax zone apply to stadium construction and related infrastructure, the remaining 50% will be paid to Metro -- 2/3 of which would be allocated to Metro Public Schools.
  • Revitalization of the East Bank has been a priority of East Nashvillians for 40 years. Council members recently received a letter from six (6) generations of East Nashville Council members and Mayor Bill Purcell relaying their constituents’ long-standing hope for this redevelopment.
  • The new stadium will be LEED Gold certified.

Community benefits:

  • The current lease does not produce any revenue that Metro can use directly for community benefit. Without a change, that remains true for the indefinite future.
  • Releasing the areas of the Campus surrounding the New Stadium from encumbrances creates enormous economic benefit from the future development rights – including rental payments, property taxes, local option sales taxes and other revenues.
  • Again, while 50% of the local option sales taxes in the area sales tax zone applies to stadium construction and related infrastructure, the remaining 50% will be paid to Metro.
  • The Nashville Needs Impact Fund will provide resources to non-profits addressing public education, public transit, affordable housing, and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • o $1 million from the Titans ($48 million over 30 years)
  • The Team has committed to at least an $18/hour minimum wage for full-time employees. (See, Titans Economic Inclusion Plan, included in the ONE Community plan).
  •  The Sports Authority receives five (5) days use of the stadium, rent-free, for civic-oriented events.

So, under the proposed agreement, unless you go get a hotel room downtown, or purchase a ticket to an event at the stadium and buy items while you’re at the stadium or patronize a business on the 65 acres we get back and can develop which will bring in hundreds of millions in property and sales tax revenues for generations, Davidson County residents will not spend ONE PENNY on the new stadium. 

 I said earlier that metro has historically not done a very good job of negotiating good deals.  Probably one of the better bond issuances we issued was for the Music City Center (MCC).  The revenue streams for that project were incredibly strong and devised such that tourism paid for tourism – meaning not from our general fund.  Where that deal fell short was failing to contemplate how excess revenues would or could waterfall and how metro’s general fund and all Nashvillian’s could enjoy some of those excess revenues.  This is why in 2019, the MCC was sitting on a very healthy unrestricted cash reserve.  For this deal, we have NOT made that mistake.  In fact, the vast majority of time has been spent on creating a waterfall that, among other things, sustainably and responsibly funds a repairs and maintenance fund and a CapX (capital improvements fund) so that we don’t find ourselves in this same situation 30 years from now. 

We’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time working on this deal having the East Bank Stadium Committee convene first back in July of 2022.  We’ve had 39 public meetings including 4 community meetings across the county.  We’ve asked SO many questions of the administration and metro’s advisors comprised of folks from Goldman Sachs, Hilltop Securities, Inner Circle Sports, Venue Solutions Group, and Greenberg Traurig.  Many of those questions can be found here: 

We have a big problem and this is a big deal, clearly worthy of this kind of time and attention.  I’m so proud of this agreement and how hard we fought to make what was really good even better for Davidson County.  I’m so relieved to have the ability to shift this liability away from you and also improve such an important part of our city for all to enjoy, not to mention benefit financially for generations to come.  This is why I’m voting YES.

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Nashville council approves new $2.1B Tennessee Titans stadium, to open in 2027

 By Jon Styf , The Center Square, April 26, 2023 - The Tennessee Titans will have a new $2.1 billion stadium in 2027 after the deal to fund the stadium was approved by Metro Nashville’s Council on its third and final vote at a special meeting that stretched into Wednesday morning.

The final vote was 26-12 for the stadium project with Council member Delishia Porterfield voting for the bill in order to attempt a procedural reconsideration of the vote that would have created another vote on the bill at the council’s May 2 meeting.

The attempt failed on technical grounds after four hands were not immediately raised to support the reconsideration and Vice Mayor Jim Shulman called on another council member.

The stadium deal will include $760 million in revenue bonds from Nashville’s stadium authority and $500 million from the state of Tennessee along with $840 million that will come from an NFL G-4 loan, personal seat license sales and the Titans.

The plan includes what is estimated to be $3.1 billion in captured taxes to pay an estimated $1.4 billion in debt service on the revenue bonds and pay for everything from future capital expenses to maintenance to infrastructure such as parking decks around the project.

The tax capture includes a year-round 1% Davidson County hotel tax, 100% of state and local sales tax for sales at the stadium, a $3 ticket tax for stadium events and 50% of state and local taxes in a 130-acre zone drawn around the new stadium. The deal also includes the demolition of Nissan Stadium.

Council member Ginny Welsch and those who argued against the deal said that Nashville could do better and that the urgency on getting the deal passed was manufactured.

“If we pass this tonight, we are tying the hands of a new mayor to a lame duck," Welsch said.

Tuesday night’s meeting began with nearly five hours of public comment on the deal. Everyone from Tennessee State football coach and former Titans running back Eddie George to hospitality business owners to Titans staff spoke in support of the deal while many more Nashville residents came to the meeting to speak against the deal.

Time was extended by nearly an hour from the initial four-hour public comment period to allow everyone in the line to speak for two minutes apiece.

Council member Zulfat Suara said that she was voting for the deal to help Nashville residents and she believed that the new deal would protect the city’s taxpayers from having their property taxes used for a stadium and instead the deal uses money from the state and tourists paying sales tax to pay for the stadium.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Nashville council followed Titans lobbyist letter on $2.1B stadium deal votes

Renderings of new proposed Titans stadium
By Jon Styf, The Center Square, April 24, 2023 - Lobbyists for a new $2.1 billion Titans stadium sent an email to Metro Nashville council members on the morning of the second reading of a bill about the project detailing the Titans’ position on 28 amendments to the deal that were heard at that night’s meeting.

The email and documents were acquired and posted by Nashville residents opposed to the deal Monday.

A final vote on the stadium deal will be part of a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday special meeting on the bill that will follow four hours of public hearing on the stadium project.

The bill cannot be amended on third reading without the council’s rules being suspended, something that can be blocked by the vote of just two of the 40 council members.

The majority of council members voted along with the Titans’ preference on all of the amendments last week, with the Titans not showing a preference on one amendment from Council Member Freddie O’Connell on moving Titans rent funds from the Nashville Needs Impact Fund to the city’s general fund.

“We have indicated our support where possible, yet many of these have been introduced by long-time opponents to the plan and are designed to undermine the deal as negotiated or re-trade on key pillars,” Lobbyist Sam Reed of Jigsaw wrote. “The problematic amendment language ranges from sloppy and unnecessary to downright illegal with the potential to kill the deal. While our opposition may seem too widespread, our position is that if language is bad and/or unnecessary, then we don’t want to risk unintended consequences that could impact the deal overall.”

Council member Bob Mendes, chair of the East Bank Stadium Committee, was the sponsor of many of those amendments. At one point during the meeting, Mendes said it wasn’t necessary for him to explain one of his amendments because the Titans and lobbyists supported it.

Key among those opinions was team opposition to an amendment from council member Brendan Taylor that would have sent an estimated $360 million over 30 years to the city’s general fund.

The amendment had passed on a 19-18 vote at the council’s April 4 meeting before the second vote on the overall deal was pushed to April 18, when Council Member Jennifer Gamble offered a Titans-preferred amendment that cut that estimated number to $120 million over the life of the new lease.

“Regardless of how you feel about CM O’Connell’s amendments, it is CRITICAL that the Gamble compromise Amendment #27 passes first, regardless of what any councilmember might say on the floor to the contrary,” Reed wrote to council members in bold lettering.

Reed wrote that, after Taylor’s amendment passed the Titans and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. “engaged” with those in the local music and events industry about the amendment.

“Nashville’s music and events industry were unified in pushing back on such a high additional rental fee (10% on every ticket) saying that passing on such a high fee would have a chilling effect on the 49 planned events annually,” Reed wrote.

Experts have said the estimates of non-NFL events at the stadium have been inflated.

During that time, the CVC sent several letters to council members with the names of concert promoters saying they were against the amendment, though Live Nation’s name was later removed from one letter. 

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Gov. Lee’s Full ‘Tennessee: Leading the Nation’ Agenda Passes

From Representative Susan Lynn, April 24, 2023, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Last Friday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee marked the close of the 2023 legislative session, which includes the successful passage of his $56.2 billion budget and full legislative agenda as outlined during his State of the State address in February.

“To prepare Tennessee for continued growth and prosperity, we’ve made strategic investments to cut taxes, strengthen our workforce, ensure educational opportunity and modernize transportation infrastructure across our state,” said Lee. “I commend the General Assembly for its partnership to pass conservative measures and maintain Tennessee’s reputation for strong fiscal stewardship.”

Lee’s agenda included the landmark Transportation Modernization Act, historic legislation that will create a new transportation strategy and invest $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities without raising taxes or taking on debt. 

The roster of budget and legislative priorities also dedicated $250 million to Tennessee’s Rainy-Day Fund, bringing totals to an historic $2.05 billion, and included significant investments in tax relief, K-12 education, Tennessee’s skilled workforce and conservation. Notably, Lee led a comprehensive school safety proposal to enhance physical security in public and non-public schools across Tennessee. 

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Beacon Center Young Professionals April Happy Hour, Tuesday April 25


Be sure to register HERE ahead of time to get FREE parking!

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Upcoming Tennessee Young Republicans events.

Upcoming Events

Save the date for these upcoming events!

Composing Courage with YR Nashville and Log Cabin Republicans

Apr. 25, 2023 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Nashville - RSVP HERE!

Wilson Co. YR and TPUSA (Turning Point USA): Farm Free, No ESG

with Romonte Hamer, Stephanie Nash and Hannah Faulkne

Apr. 25, 2023 6:00 pm

Bold Patriot Brewing, 410 39th Ave N, Nashville

YR Nashville and AFP (Americans for Prosperity) Mixer

May 4, 2023 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm 

Bold Patriot Brewing, 410 39th Ave N, Nashville

#SaveWomensSports with Riley Gaines

May 27, 2023 2:30 pm - 4:40 pm

Liberty Station, 850 NW Broad St, Murfreesboro

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Former Mayoral Candidate David Fox endorses Alice Rolli for Mayor

 “We’ve had too many leaders in our city come to believe that cutting special deals for large corporations is somehow the most important metric of Nashville’s success. But Alice Rolli, on the other hand, has proven time and again that mustering a grassroots army to defend the things that truly make Nashville a great place to live, is what it should be all about. For Alice, the right measure is not how many people or companies we pay to come here, but instead it’s the quality of life for all who are committed to make our city their home.”


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State legislature abolishes Nashville's Community Oversight Board

by Rod Williams, April 24, 2023- On Friday the State legislature passed bill HB0764 which abolishes community oversight boards in Tennessee and authorizes municipalities to create "police advisory and review committees to ensure the timely, fair, and objective review of citizen complaints and to make recommendations concerning such complaints." 

The board authorized under this legislation would have substantially less power than Nashville's current Community Oversite Board. Metro Government describes the current Community Oversite Board's function this way:

The Board shall have the power to investigate allegations that Metro Nashville Police Department officers have committed misconduct against members of the public, as well as issue policy advisory and resolution reports assessing allegations of misconduct by the Metro Nashville Police Department, recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice, and have the option of establishing a monitoring program that provides an ongoing review or audit of the complaint process administered by the Police Department Office of Professional Accountability or equivalent internal affairs program in the Police Department. The Board may refer a matter to the Police Department Office of Professional Accountability and recommend that discipline be given within the parameters of civil service rules and regulations, and Police Department shall respond to disciplinary recommendations in writing. The Board has the option to forward resolution reports that produce factual findings of criminal misconduct and civil rights violations to the District Attorney, Grand Jury, or U.S. Attorney. The Board shall have all powers, including the power to compel, identified in Section 18.10 of the Metropolitan Charter. (link)

The newly authorized police advisory and review committees would have this function: 

The purpose of the committee is to strengthen the relationship between the citizens of the municipality and the municipal police department, to ensure the timely, fair, and objective review of citizen complaints while protecting the individual rights of police officers, and to make recommendations concerning citizen complaints to the chief of police of the municipality, the mayor, and the municipal governing body.

The Metro Community Oversight Board stacks the deck of the board with community activist. This must be the make-up of the current COB:

The make-up of the Board as set forth by Charter is as follows: 

• Seven (7) of the Board members shall be persons who are nominated by: 

  • community organizations; or 
  • private petition signed by fifty (50) Davidson County residents. 

• Two (2) of the members shall be persons nominated by Council Representatives, and

• Two (2) of the members shall be persons nominated by the Mayor.

The newly authorized police advisory and review committees would not have such requirements. This is what the new law says:

Committee members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by a majority vote of the municipal governing body, ... 

A committee shall not restrict or otherwise limit membership based upon demographics, economic status, or employment history. 

 To read the bill follow this link.

The Governor is expected to sign the bill. 

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Sunday, April 23, 2023

Gov. Lee's Red Flag proposal is Dead on Arrival

by Rod Williams, April 23- Governor Bill Lee has proposed a bill that he says is not a Red Flag law but is what most people would call a Red Flag law.  He calls it an "an improved Order of Protection law." The bill does not have a sponsor, so it does not have a bill number and is not posted on the State Legislatures website.  The State legislature got the proposal in the last days of the session and did not act on the proposal. Lee is calling the legislature back into session to consider the bill. (link)

Gov. Lee's proposal would allow the police to ask a civil court judge to remove firearms from people who were at risk of hurting themselves or others. Lee explains the bill like this:

... in Tennessee right now, if a husband threatens to hurt his wife, an Order of Protection would temporarily restrict his access to weapons to protect the spouse. If that same man threatens to shoot himself or a church or a mall, our proposal will provide that same level of protection to the broader public. We have a proven solution that gets to the heart of the problem – an improved Order of Protection law to save lives and preserve the Second Amendment. 

While the bill needs to be subject to hearings and debate and one needs to actually read the bill before having a firm position, based on what I know now, I think this is a smart and reasonable approach to help curtail gun violence.  Although, I would expect the impact to be minimal, it is one modest step that may help some. Unfortunately, it appears the bill is dead on arrival. The Wall Street Journal and other news source and people I have talked to tell me the bill is going nowhere. The WSJ reports:
Republican leadership blocked it in both chambers, leaving it without a sponsor or a bill number by the time the General Assembly adjourned Friday evening.

A Republican operative at the Capitol who was familiar with the recent discussions on the proposal said Thursday that “it landed with a thud” in both chambers. The Tennessee Firearms Association, a gun-rights group, had lobbied against the effort.

“It’s dead for the time being,” said Richard Archie, a member of the group’s board, on Thursday.

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