Here is the video of the Council meeting from Tuesday, October 16th. It is less than an hour long. Below are the highlights.
Nominations are accepted to fill a seat on the Health and Educational Facilities Board. Council member McGuire nominates Walker Batts and CM Todd nominates Susan Kenny.
At 3:47 Council Tygard takes off his sports coat and puts on a Predators sweat shirt to make a presentation honoring the coach of the Predators.
The election of the Juvenile court judge starts at 8:33 in the video. The selected candidate will replace Betty Adams Green, a longtime juvenile court judge who announced her retirement in August. Each of the nominees is given five minutes which includes introductory speeches by a supporter, testimonials and comments by the candidate. The nominees are Shelia Calloway, who had received the most recommendations in a survey of 560 members of the Nashville Bar Association; Sofia Crawford, who currently serves as a Judicial Court magistrate; and Carlton Lewis, who had the support of former Juvenile court judge Richard Jenkins.
The vote was by machine vote and the vote total is Galloway 9, Crawford 18, and Lewis 11, necessitating a run-off. The final run-off vote was Crawford 25 and Lewis 13. Here is how they voted.
Voting for Crawford:
Barry, Steine, Garrett, Tygard, Banks, Bennett, Pridemore, Jernigan, Glover, Stites, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Allen, Baker, Weiner, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Blalock, Dominy, Potts, Bedne, Todd (25);
Voting for Lewis:
Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Moore, Gilmore, Langster, Johnson, Dowell, Mitchell (13).The President declared that Sophia B. Crawford was elected Juvenile Court Judge for a term expiring August 2014.
I observe that except for Bo Mitchell, almost all of the votes for Lewis, who happens to be African- American, were from the African-American members of the council. I don't know that race had anything to do with the vote, I am simply making an observation.
Positions like this can be hard fought. Whoever the Council selects to fill the vacancy is almost guaranteed to be reelected by the public and most likely has a job for life. Various factions line up behind this or that candidate and councilmen may be lobbied heavily by supporters and constituents for the various candidates. I suspect that people thought Calloway was the favored candidate. I really do not what was going on behind the scene to give the vote to Crawford. If anyone can shed some light on this contest please post a comment. This election process ends at 26:25 in the video.
All resolutions on the consent agenda passed. Bills on the consent agenda pass as a group without discussion. All resolutions were on the consent agenda.
ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-241 by Councilman Dwayne Dominy on second reading which would require the annual contract for services between Metro and the Chamber of Commerce for the Partnership 2020 economic development program be approved by resolution of the council, was deferred two meetings and rereferred to the Budget and Finance Committee.
Partnership 2020 is a public-private partnership developed by the chamber whose purpose is to recruit new businesses to the Nashville area. Metro’s appropriation for this program in recent years has been $300,000 a year. While the program serves a ten county area, Metro funds a greater share of the program than the other nine counties combined. Many feel that Metro funds the program, yet the bulk of new relocations to the Nashville area go to surrounding counties. This is a good bill that needs to pass.
Health care for ex-councilmen. The council passed by a vote of 19-17 on second reading, a proposal that would end Metro’s policy of offering former two-term council members subsidized health care in the city’s health care plan. The bill was supported unanimously in committee yet opposed on the floor, but no one spoke in opposition. The machine vote was as follows:
“Ayes” Barry, Steine, Garrett, Tygard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Jernigan, Stites, Claiborne, Allen, Weiner, McGuire, Harmon, Blalock, Dowell, Todd, Mitchell (19);
“Noes” Maynard, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bennett, Pridemore, Stanley, Tenpenny, Moore, Gilmore, Baker, Evans, Holleman, Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Bedne (17); “Abstaining” Langster (1).This bill will be voted on on third reading at the council’s next meeting, on Nov. 13. I, as a former council member, have benefited from this program but think it should be ended. At one time, there was little turn over in the Council so there were few former council members. With term limits there is greater turn over and more former council members. This is an expensive benefit. Also, the salary of a council member is considerably greater than it was in the past when this benefit was made available and health care is more costly.
The council gave final approval to a Green Hills rezoning ordinance that will permit a new office building in the Burton Hills office park. A large crowd turned out two weeks earlier at a public hearing, many expressing concern about the traffic impact of the development. The council approves the proposal with no discussion.
The Council approves expanding the locations where one may have a micro brewery.
Councilman Standley had on the agenda two memorializing resolutions proposing that it be “a top priority” “the replacement of the entire fleet of public buses powered by diesel combustion engines with hybrid-electric buses." In my view, no bus should be replaced until it has outlived its useful life. These two ordinances were deferred until the second meeting in November.