Monday, December 26, 2011

What happend at the Metro Council Dec 20: Happy Kwanza, subsidizing Lifepoint, deferring limo price-fixing fix, remodeling a church kitchen.

updated 12-27-2011
A boring Meeting: Happy Kwanza, subsidizing Lifepoint, deferring limo price-fixing fix, remodeling a church kitchen.

"The Metro Council, on a unanimous second of three votes, gave preliminary approval of millions in financial incentives to Brentwood-based LifePoint Hospitals as a way to lure the company’s headquarters and its 400 employees to Nashville." (link) This bill was substituted and re-referred to Budget and Finance. There was no discussion and I don't know what was in the substitute bill.

BL 2011-49, the bill that would undo the limousine price fixing bill the council passed in June, 2010 was deferred by the sponsor on second reading. The Transportation Committee voted 5-0 to defer until the second meeting in January, Public Safety voted 6-0 to defer two meetings, the Convention and Tourism committee voted 5-0 to defer indefinitely and suggested that a meeting be held to bring together all the stakeholders, and Budget and Finance voted "at the request of the sponsor" to defer 14-0.

More highlights.

In Communications from the Mayor, (see 5:30) he wished everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and a Happy Kwanza. Kwanza of course is the made up holiday created in 1966 by Marxist Black power radical and convicted felon Maulana Karenga. It is a Black-only holiday created to offer Blacks an alternative to Christmas since, according to the founder, Christianity is a White man's religion. I have never wished anyone a happy Kwanza and will not do so. I wish the Mayor had not.

Contrary to my predictions, resolutions RS2011-111, RS2011-112, RS2011-113, which would give a beer permit to three locations that already had a liquor by the drink license, did not have anyone speak in opposition. Good!

RESOLUTION NO. RS2011-59 which awarded $24,275 in federal stimulus pass-through funds to remodel a church kitchen and do some other stuff was not on the consent agenda but passed by voice vote with no discussion. No "no" votes were heard and no one asked to be recorded as voting "no"  and no one felt it necessary to explain their vote for this resolution. I find it hard to believe that not a single council member thought this was an inappropriate expenditure. To me, it appears to violate the spirit of the establishment of religion clause of the first amendment. I would have liked to have heard some discussion.

This was boring, boring meeting and lasted less than 39 minutes. I am all for efficiency and I realize that much of the work of the Council gets done in committee and I do not want Council members just grandstanding to get TV face time. However, is everything so non controversial that nothing is worthy of an explanation? Do all forty members think exactly alike? I am disappointed in our new Council. I expect someone to question, to explain, to object and to vote "no" at least occasionally.

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