Friday, September 7, 2012

Update: What happened at the 09/04/12 Metro Council Meeting

Meeting of the Metro Council on September 4th, 2012

Councilman Carter Todd, just recently elected President Pro Tempore of the Council, conducts the meeting.

Most of the bills on this agenda are zoning matter which would interest no one except the people in the vicinity of the proposed rezoning. I am not going to comment on those unless they are exceptional for some reason.

BILL NO. BL2012-194, a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission, would rezone a piece of property off of Dickerson Rd. to permit a scrap operation and has a lot of public interest. Many people were in the chamber wearing distinctive shirts indicating their support for the project. A lot of people speak in favor including Jack Cawthon of Jack's Barbecue fame. Four speak against, including former Council Member and President of NEON, Pam Murray. The hearing last almost an hour and passes on a voice vote. I don't know how a developer is successful in turning out so many people to speak in favor of a junk yard, except that what is currently on the property is even more undesirable than the junk yard according to some of the comments. Something I don't know about must be going on here. (hearing starts at the 7 minute mark)

RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-395 which would appropriate $8,745,000.00 from the General Fund Reserve Fund for the purchase of equipment and building repairs for various departments passes, after it is amended to delete $400,000 for new electronic poll books for the Election Commission. The attempt to remove the money for the election commission is led by Councilman Matthews and is a presented as a response to the complications involved in using the new electronic poll books in the recent elections, which was the first time the electronic poll books were used.  A motion is made to table Matthews amendment and there is a 14 to 14 tie vote! Councilman Todd, who is presiding over the meeting votes "nay" to break the tie which means the tabling motion fails.

Back on the amendment, Councilman Garrett explains that the vote to defer is not a vote against the Election commission at all, that in fact, the Election Commission had asked for a two week deferral. That is confirmed by another Council Member and that changes the whole complexion of the issue. Instead of the amendment being a show of displeasure by the Council, the Amendment is now a friendly amendment. Councilman Tenpenny ask an important question, asking if the city would be financially liable if it failed to purchase the machines which had been ordered. He does not get a clear answer. However, Mr. Cooper explains a resolution to appropriate the money could come back as soon as in two weeks so that concern seem to be alleviated.  After all of the discussion, the amendment passes 24 to 2 (This discussion starts at 1:28)

BILL NO. BL2012-195 on second reading which would rezone to higher density over 200 acres in midtown in the vicinity of the proposed Bus Rapid Transit project passed by voice vote. (Thankfully, no one mentioned Agenda 21. Our Council is not as nutty as some Councils in other cities.)

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