Thursday, November 3, 2011

Highlights of the Nov. 1 Council meeting

Meet the candidates for Judge, LED signs in the neighborhood
 I watch the council meetings so you don't have to. Below is the video of the November 1 meeting.


All ten candidates seeking to be the Council's choice for judge to fill a General Sessions Court vacancy appeared before the Council's Rules, Confirmations and Public Elections Committee on Tuesday prior to the Council meeting.  The Council's selection of a judge is to fill the seat of the late Leon Ruben who died Friday October the 7th after a long illness.  Leon Ruben who was himself appointed by the council, took the bench in 1981. I was serving in the council at that time and voting to fill this vacancy was the first really hard vote I had to take. I voted for Leon Ruben. Leon Ruben was really a nice guy and I never heard anyone have a bad thing to say about him. He was well respected by his peers and the public.  Judge Ruben, who was Jewish, always volunteered to work Christmas eve and Christmas day so the other judges could have those days off. Judge Ruben also had a big Micky Mouse collection and always wore a Micky Mouse necktie.

I do not recall who the other candidates were, these many years later, but I recall how heavily I was lobbied. I was lobbied by forces for all the candidates.  Different supporters of my candidacy for the Council and friends I had made put pressure on me to for vote this or that candidate. I had to end up disappointing some powerful people. 

I know the new council members will be under a lot a pressure and will be lobbied hard to support this or that candidate.  Watching who votes for which candidate may tell you something about the various factions in the council, although a lot a alliances are temporary and factions tend to be fluid.

The Tennessean's coverage of the candidates appearance before the Council is in a link below.  The article list all of the candidates and a little about each.  I really don't know who all of the candidates are, but would guess John P Brown III would be a favorite due the fact that his father was a Judge and I would suspect that former Councilman Mike Jameson, since he served with some of the current council members, would be a strong contender.  I am surprised that no sitting council member is running for the position. The Nashville Bar Association will conduct a poll among its members and report the results to the Council. To be eligible to serve, a person must be at least 30 years old and have practiced law for at least five years. The Council will fill the vacancy at the next council meeting on November 15th. Link

The big issue of the night was a proposal for an LED sign in front of Temple Baptist Church in Bordeaux. (see video starting at 39:28) Temple is a large, influential,  predominantly Black, church.  Two members of the Council, Councilman Walter Hunt and Councilman Lonnell Mathews, attend the church. Two people spoke in favor, one a church member and the other a nearby neighbor.  Several neighborhood activist from across the county argued against it, arguing the proposal sets a bad precedent.  The bill was recommended for disapproval by the Planning Commission. It passed Council on second reading but will require a two-thirds majority on third reading and may have a difficult time passing. Here is the Tennessean's report on the issue.

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