Map Link: http://www.woodsamphitheater.com/visit/
Address is 4225 Whites Creek Pike
A right-leaning disgruntled Republican comments on the news of the day and any other thing he damn-well pleases.
This is a short meeting at only 40 minutes long. If you want to link to the staff analysis, agenda and my commentary follow this link.
After the Pledge and prayer, the first order of business is a recognition given to CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates. The presentation is made by Councilman Westerholm. CASA trains volunteers to speak for abused and neglected children caught in the court system and helps them find safe and permanent homes. I am a little familiar with the program. I once had a volunteer working with me at my place of employment, trying to start a support group for single mothers seeking to get child support. Unfortunately, this effort never was successful. This same volunteer was also active in CASA and I learned from her some of the heart breaking cases in which she was involved. CASA does important work. This is a well-deserved honor. If someone is looking for meaningful volunteer work, I think working with CASA would be very rewarding.
Confirmation of appointments to boards and commissions are all approved. All resolution on the consent agenda pass. Three resolutions listed below were not on consent:
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1215 appropriates $2,573,300 to various departments and includes $1 million to fund an economic incentive grant for the TV show Nashville. Supplemental appropriations are how equipment and repairs are paid for and how departments with cost overruns get more money. Included in this resolution is $250,000 to host the League of Cities Convention in 2015. This is the first I had heard of this. I think this is money well spend. It brings thousands of locally elected officials from all over the country to Nashville and lots of exhibitors that do business with cities. Nashville shows them a good time and showcases what we are doing right in our city. They will spend a lot of money while here but it also raised the profile of Nashville.Bills on First reading pass unanimous as is the custom. Everything on Second and Third reading pass and none of the bills are of much interest. Almost all are rezoning bills or bills concerning acquiring or abandoning easements or letting signs protrude over a sidewalk.
The controversial part of this is the $1 million for Nashville. As it turns out it apparently is not controversial, at least not in the council. It passes unanimously. Nashville has been good advertising for Nashville, no doubt, but things like that are hard to measure. Also, having the program filmed in Nashville has helped develop the film industry in this city. However, I do not support another million to subsidize the program. Nashville has been renewed for a third season. If at this point they were to film the program elsewhere, the skylines and scene footage would still be Nashville and the title would still be Nashville. We would get the advertising benefit even it was filmed in Atlanta or Hollywood. The staff analysis says the filming of Nashville adds $40 million to the economy in spending on salaries, good, and services. In a way, this is not much different than when we pay a company to stay in Nashville or to locate to Nashville, but I don't much like that either. I think it is time to pull the plug on subsidizing 'Nashville' but the Council passes this bill without discussion.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1216 appropriates $3,959,500.00 to various other departments and it passes unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1217 authorizing the execution and delivery of an economic development incentive grant agreement between The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Music City Productions, Inc. which is the paperwork for the $1 appropriated in 1215 above and it passes unanimously.
This video has been removed because it is one of those that start automatically, and I find those very annoying. You can follow the link to view the video. I wish the Libertarian Party well in this effort to secure ballot access. Rod
By Todd Walker. Sep 15, 2014 NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Four years after the Libertarian Party of Tennessee filed its first lawsuit to get on the ballot, the group is still fighting for access in a state that has some of the most restrictive ballot access rules in the country. In a lawsuit filed last month, the party claims Tennessee laws violate its members' constitutional rights to free speech, association and equal protection. (link)
Actually it's now Judge Blackburn.
The election is over and the people of my district said clearly they are satisfied with my work on their behalf. Find something else to bitch about.
Tennessee Republican Party
State Executive Committee District 19
To Mark Winslow
Today at 10:33 AM
Mark, I just now found your email.
The election may be over and you won but that still does not make what you did right. I do not see how in good conscience you could work to elect a Democrat and defeat a Republican and still serve on the Republican Party Executive Committee. Please do the honorable thing and resign your position with the Party.
A Disgruntled Republican
home 292-8900, cell 509-3900, work 850-3453
Please visit my blog: http://adisgruntledrepublican.com
In case you do not know what this is about, see below.
|Mark Winslow, the member of the Republican|
Party State Executive Committee who works
to defeat Republicans and elect Democrats.
by Brian Haas, The Tennessean, September 3, 2014- Newly elected General Sessions Judge Melissa Blackburn is quickly making her mark as the head of Davidson County’s Mental Health Court.
Two weeks ago, she forced all five court employees to resign and reapply for their jobs. On Tuesday, she told two of them they would not be re-hired. .....
Blackburn’s transition into office included an Aug. 14 email sent to all Mental Health Court employees forcing them to resign by the following day, with a resignation date of Sept. 1. (link)
“All employees, if you wish, shall be eligible to reapply for positions with the court as part of Judge-Elect Blackburn’s evaluation of performance, efficiency and staff cohesion,” read the note, penned by Mark Winslow of SmithWaterhouse Strategies, a political consulting firm. (link)I am so disgusted by this whole episode that I am at a loss for words. One thing I am not going to do; I am not going to give any money to the Tennessee Republican Party as long as Winslow is serving on the State Executive Committee. I will not be attending the Statesman's Dinner or responding to party solicitations for contribution. I think only real Republicans should be sitting on the Executive Committee, not phoney Republicans who are working to defeat Republicans and elect Democrats. I don't know, but I would suspect that there is a way the Executive Committee could refuse to seat a member or remove one. They should. If this is the kind of Republican Party we have, that can allow a political mercenary-for-hire to have a seat on the Executive Committee, then I want no part of that Party.
Herbert Slatery III, Haslam’s chief of staff, picked as AG
Slatery, 62, is set to become the first Republican attorney general in Tennessee since Reconstruction when he takes over for Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr., who sought to keep his job.
Council meetings are less boring if you know what the Council is voting on. To get your own copy of the agenda and analysis follow the links.
There are four appointments to boards and commissions, but none are to the controversial and troubled commissions.
There are 14 resolutions on the agenda. At this time all, of them are on the consent agenda, which means if they pass the committee to which they are assigned unanimously and no one object they stay on consent and will all be taken together and passed by a single vote instead of being considered individually.
Below are the ones of interest:
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1215 appropriates $2,573,300 to various departments and includes $1 million to fund an economic incentive grant for the TV show Nashville. Supplemental appropriations are not unusual. That is how equipment and repairs are paid for and how departments with cost overruns get more money. There is a system in place to justify the request to the Department of Finance before the request ever gets to Metro Council. This is where it is important to have good people on the Budget and Finance Committee who can question expenditures if something looks out of line or unusual.There are only two bills on First Reading.
The controversial part of this is the $1 million for Nashville. Nashville has been good advertising for Nashville, no doubt, but things like that are hard to measure. Also, having the program filmed in Nashville has helped develop the film industry in this city. However, I do not support another million to subsidize the program. Nashville has been renewed for a third season. If at this point they were to film the program elsewhere, the skylines and scene footage would still be Nashville and the title would still be Nashville. We would get the advertising benefit even it was filmed in Atlanta or Hollywood. The staff analysis says the filming of Nashville adds $40 million to the economy in spending on salaries, good, and services. In a way, this is not much different than when we pay a company to stay in Nashville or to locate in Nashville, but I don't much like that either. I think it is time to pull the plug.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1216 appropriates $3,959,500.00 to various other departments. There is nothing unusual about this. I hope someone in B&F however takes a hard look at it.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1217 authorizing the execution and delivery of an economic development incentive grant agreement between The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Music City Productions, Inc. I assume this is the paperwork for the $1 appropriated in 1215 above.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1221 appropriates $7000 to match $7000 in a State arts grant to fund 12 big band dances in Centennial Park. I use to attend these dances with my wife Louella before she became too ill and I enjoyed them a lot. I wonder however, why should they be subsidized? Other music events are sponsored by advertisers or they charge admission. However, we subsidize golf and public art and other recreation and $7000 is not a lot of money. I would not vote against it but do wonder what is the logic in funding some music and not other.
By Chris Butler, Tennessee Watchdog, NASHVILLE — Let’s try making sense of this, shall we? Nashville
officials offer subsidized housing to local artists on the pretense it’s
the only way to keep artisans in the city. They live in the Ryman Lofts, in one of Nashville’s most expensive areas downtown. These same city officials have given away nearly $1.5 million in
taxpayer money so out-of-state artists can create abstract art that only
hard-core art connoisseurs may appreciate.
Attention Nashville City Hall: We have local resources for this kind of thing.
And why is it the taxpayers’ job to fund any of this, especially art?
|Photo courtesy Nashville Metro Arts Commission|
The School Board produces great agendas including most of the handouts that the Board gets. To view your own copy of this 35-page agenda follow this link. This meeting is a little less than 2 hours long.
The first order of business is electing the new chair and vice chair. Dr. Gentry is elected Chair, the other candidate being Jill Speering. Elissa Kim is elected Vice Chair in an uncontested election.
The Director's Report where Dr. Register presents his bold plan for improving Nashville's "priority Schools" starts at time stamp 59:31 in the video. Priority Schools are failing schools that are under threat of being taken over by the State if they do not improve. Priority Schools are schools that rank in the bottom 5% of all Tennessee public schools. Register analyzes the state report pointing out the good and the bad in the report. He calls for a goal of eliminating all priority schools in Nashville within the next three years. There is a period of Q and A with the board. The discussion ends at time stamp 1:46:09.
He says we must have three strategies to turn around failing schools: Great leaders, great teachers, and innovation and collaboration. He says to get great teachers in priority schools we need to consider incentives to attract teachers to the those schools. He calls for developing transition and conversion strategies and an East Nashville Corridor Strategy which would make the East Nashville corridor an all-choice zone where parents could sent their child to any school of their choice and where some schools are closed or consolidated. We cannot continue business as usual, he says.
One of the highlights of this meeting is comments by Elissa Kim. She is so enthusiastic and animated that it is contagious. She says that one school had an incredible 33 points of academic growth this year and that this should chance one's conception of what is possible. She says Cameron went from a failing school to an award school. See 1:26:13 - 1:30:02.
Resistance to the plan is voiced by Amy Fogge and Will Pinkston.
In my view, the plan laid out by Register is exactly the right course of action. Unfortunately it appears some on the board would rather provide excuses for why schools fail rather than change the way we do things.
To read the Tennessean article reporting on this meeting see: Jesse Register calls for swift shake-up at struggling schools. The schools most vocal supporter of School Choice, Elissa Kim, praised the plan while anti-choice zealot Amy Frogge and her two allies, Will Pinkston and Jill Speering, were critical.
Since this meeting, Dr. Register's plan has created a lot of discussion. Below are other recent news articles and editorials generated by Register's proposal.
Metro Schools Director Jesse Register answers questions from The Tennessean
Register Calls for Closing, Chartering, Mandating Choice for East Nashville schools
An editorial by Mayor Karl Dean: 'All hands on deck' only way to transform schools
While much of the wording in the president’s speech was good, the substance of how we accomplish what he laid out is what matters. I believe the president is exercising poor judgment by not explicitly seeking an authorization from Congress where consensus can be reached around a substantive plan of action and support can be built for an operation that he has described will take several years.I agree with Senator Corker. I basically liked what President Obama had to say. I wish he would have had a little more fire in the belly. I liked VP Biden's "Gates of Hell" speech better. I wish Obama would have said we are at war with ISIS and those who share the philosophy of radical Islam. I did not like that he said ISIS was neither Islamic or a state. ISIS may be a perversion of Islam, but obviously it is Islamic. While most of the worlds 1.6 million Muslims do not advocate a violent take over of the world and killing apostates and imposing Sharia law, a significant minority do. Saying ISIS is not Islamic is on the same par as are those who claim Islam is not even a religion.