Not much that is controversial. Partnership 2020 issue. Expanding Nano breweries. Council should use caution before making replacing of good buses a priority.
You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link:Metro Council Agenda. From the agenda you can link to the analysis. Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just really boring.
I read the analysis and agenda for you so you don't have to. There is not much that is controversial on this agenda and I expect it will be a short meeting.
All of the eleven resolutions on the agenda are on the consent agenda which means they passed the committees to which they were assigned unanimously and are deemed non-controversial and will be considered all together and pass by a single vote, unless someone pulls them off of the consent agenda.
Have you ever attended the big band dances in Centennial Park? Louella and I used to attend and for a couple of seasons we attended faithfully. They are a lot of fun. Have you ever wondered how those free performances were financed? $5,900 comes from the state arts commission to the Metropolitan board of parks and recreation to supplement the Big Band dance program. Metro matches that grant with a $5,900 subsidy. Accepting this grant is one of the bills on the consent agenda.
All bills normally pass on first reading without discussion. One bill on first reading which will probably not be controversial but which is worth watching is BILL NO. BL2012-281. The effect of this bill is to bring the scandal-ridden Transportation Licencing Board under the authority of the Public Works department. The TLC will no longer be an independent agency and their employees will be employees of the public works department. This was a recommendation of the consultants who studied the department. You may recall that TLC inspectors were caught harassing drivers and impersonating police officers among other offenses.
ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-241 by Councilman Dwayne Dominy on second reading is a good bill that deserves to pass. It requires 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. 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 ordinance would require the grant contract with the chamber to be approved by the council by resolution receiving 21 affirmative votes. The contract would have to be approved by resolution annually before any funds are disbursed to the chamber.
BILL NO. BL2012-249 on third and final reading is a good bill that should not prove controversial. It passed second reading without opposition. It would permit "nano breweries" in mixed use and commercial areas. Now, microbreweries are permitted only in the downtown area or in industrial zoned areas if out side of downtown. Now one could not open a craft brewery establishment in 12th South or Five points, or Hillsboro Village or any of the other growing sections of town that might be good location for such establishments. It this passes, they could.
Caution! Caution! Councilman Standley is proposing two memorializing resolutions urging the school system and the MTA to make "a top priority program the replacement of the entire fleet of public buses powered by diesel combustion engines with hybrid-electric buses." Wait a minute. That is pretty ambitions and pretty strongly worded. In my view, no bus should be replaced until it has outlived its useful life. If however we were under a court order to clean up our air or we would have to halt construction, then that may be a reason for such a move, but as far as I know that is not the case. If this does not make economic sense we shouldn't do it. I hope these resolutions get serious discussion in committee. While a memorialize resolution simply expresses the will of the council and does not carry the force of law, I do not think the council should go on record with such a resolution. There are a lot of public needs. Is replacing serviceable buses with hybrid buses more important than other needs?