Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Council meeting of 1/15/2013 with summary, commentary and video notation

At only 36 minutes, this is an extremely short and boring council meeting. You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda and follow along at this link: Metro Council Agenda. Usually the Council agenda links to the Council staff analysis, but for some reason is does not do so this time.  To view the analysis go to this link: CouncilAnalysis.
Carter Todd, President pro tem of the Council conducts this council meeting in the absence of the Vice Mayor. The invocation is offered by Victoria Blalock, daughter of Council member Davette Blalock. This is so sweet. She looks like she is only about nine or ten years old. She does a great job.
Resolutions: The consent agenda passes. All of the agenda resolutions are on the consent agenda except 558 and 559.  Resolution 558  is the amendments to the capital improvements budget which adds the Bridgestone improvements, the relocation of the central police precinct and a water project. Resolution 559 authorizes issuing  $110,000,000 in general obligation bonds to provide funding for various projects in the mayor’s proposed mid-year 2013 capital spending plan which includes those projects listed in Bill 558.  Bill 558 and 559 are deferred one meeting. These bills will require 27 votes to pass, but I suspect it will get them.
All bills on first reading pass, as is normal.
Bills on Second reading:
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2012-283  passes on a voice vote. It is the new Metro Solicitation bill that would impose new regulations on commercial door-to-door solicitors. (Readmore about this issue.)

Bill NO. BL2012-291 by Councilman Stanley amends the Metro zoning code to provide that the conversion of material into a fuel product or asphalt is not a permitted as part of a recycling facility. Councilman Stanley explains his bill and defers it indefinitely. (see 12:51-16:43)

BILLNO. BL2012-292 is the bill would permit home recording studios in residential neighborhoods. It is deferred until April.

BILL NO. BL2013-338 by Tygard and Dominy says that no sole source contract for the purchase of goods or services in excess of $250,000 may be entered into unless the contract has been approved by a resolution adopted by the council by twenty-one affirmative votes. Unfortunately, this bill is amended to exempt contracts  for development services, which means the city's contract with the Chamber for Partnership 2020 will not have to have Council approval. This is too bad. This is still a good bill but does not address the serious issue of Partnership 2020. 

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. (see 18:02-20:38)

BILLNO. BL2013-339 and BILL NO. BL2013-340 are more incentives to private business to get them to stay or relocate to Nashville. They pass without discussion.  Councilman Stites has been an outspoken opponent on these types of bills having opposed the Dollywood-Gaylord water park deal and the HCA Palmer property deal. I expected him to take to the floor opposing this one, but he must have gotten tired of fighting a lonely battle. I have reservations about these types of deals. This will motivate other companies to threaten to leave Nashville unless bribed to not do so and make any company thinking about moving to Nashville to expect a handout to do so. See below to read The Tennessean's report on these bills. 

Council give Amsurg deal to stay in county

 The Tennessean, Jan 16, 2013 - A Nashville-based health care company is one step closer to landing $2.3 million in tax incentives from Metro government to accommodate an unusually short headquarters relocation: further down a hill within the same Green Hills office park.
Though the latest proposal generated no discussion Tuesday, council members pressed members of Dean’s economic development team for details Monday in committee.
Unlike past tax breaks, the AmSurg legislation contains no “performance milestones” that tie tax abatements to the ability of companies to produce jobs. (link)

There are no interesting Bills on Third Reading.  They all pass without discussion.  

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