Thursday, January 10, 2013

Council meeting of 1/8/2013 with summary and notation

Council votes against Charter Schools, fair board to issue RFI, Council keeps lifetime healthcare benefit as it is.

This meeting is only 41 minutes long. Below are the highlights with notations of where to go in the video to see the good stuff. If you want to follow the action and relate it to the agenda, follow  Metro Council Agenda . From the agenda, you can link to the analysis.

Bills on public hearing: 

BILL NO. BL2012-264  by Josh Stites, amends the code by specifying that in regards to grandfather-in PUDs (planned unit developments which were approved prior to 1998 when the current code was adopted), “… when legislation modifying the planned unit development is approved by the metropolitan council that expressly includes provisions that are not consistent with the chapters of this code, such express provisions shall govern.”
While this may seem minor, this bill could keep someone from losing their property rights. With this bill, a property owner could develop according to a plan already approved, not the current code requirements. This applies to the development rights of the property, not building codes or fire codes. This passes unanimously without discussion. This is a good bill.
 BILL NO. BL2012-302 by Karen Johnson is an amendment to a portion of the Nashboro Village Planned Unit Development Overlay. I was never sure if this was a down zoning or not, but suspect it was. Anyway, if was deferred indefinitely. 
All of the other bills on public hearing were simple rezoning bills that would concern no one except the immediate neighbors. None of them seemed particularly controversial. 
Resolutions on the consent agenda including all memorializing resolutions pass and none are pulled off of the consent agenda. A resolution is on the consent agenda if it passed the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single voice vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. If one is present and does not ask to be recorded voting "no" then they are assumed to have voted "aye."  Any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda.

I am appalled that  RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-556 by Councilman Glover was not pulled off of the consent agenda and defeated. It opposes the creation of  a state charter school authorizer.  With the recent history of the School Board's refusal to approve Great Hearts Academy and Nashville losing a quality charter school and a major investment in education in our community, I think it is time to approve a State charter school authorizer. It is hard to believe that given the sorry state of education in Nashville, that there is not a single supporter of charter schools on our Metro Council! I am disgruntled and disgusted!
All Bills on First reading pass except for one which the sponsor withdraws

Bills on Second reading:
  • BILL NO. BL2012-293 by Dominy and others would require the fair board to "issue a request for information (RFI) to gauge interest from the private sector regarding the future operation of the fairgrounds property. The RFI is to assist the fair board in the identification of potential options to partner with the private sector to make significant capital improvements to the fairgrounds property in exchange for a long term lease of at least twenty-five years with a portion of the revenue generated on the property to be shared with the Metropolitan Government. The RFI should specify that the existing property uses (fair, expo center, flea market, race track and livestock exhibitions) are to remain, and should seek interest from the private sector for the long-term operation of each of these functions.”
Councilman Dominy moves for indefinite deferral, explaining that the fair board was willing to issue the RFI without this legislation and the bill was no longer necessary.  This is good news.  (See his explanation at 23"26.)
Bills on Third Reading:
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2012-283 is the new Metro Solicitation bill that would impose new regulations on commercial door-to-door solicitors. It  passed unanimously on second reading so thought would sail on through third reading. However, it does not. Not saying what the problem with the bill is, it is stated that there are "possible constitutional ramifications" with the bill. The sponsor tries to suspend the rules so the bill can be amended on third reading to address the issue, but there are objections to the rule suspension, so the bill cannot be amended. The sponsor successfully moves to rescind the passage on second reading and move the bill back to second reading. (To see this action go to 27:54)
BILL NO. BL2012-320 by councilman Phil Claiborne would have reduced the health insurance subsidy for future former councilmember's. Previously Councilman Claiborne had attempted to completely abolish the benefit but failed. This benefit currently costs Metro approximately $300,000 per year. Due to term limits, there are a growing number of former metro council members and former council members are younger than they were when this benefit was first awarded to Council members. This cost of this benefit is going to continue to increase. Councilman Claiborne explains that the present value of the current program is between $9 and $10 million dollars! 

Council Bedne moves to defer the bill indefinitely which effectively kills the bill. This deferral motion passes on a voice vote.  (See the discussion at 32:56) The proponents of this bill should have demanded a roll call, so we would know who was for it and who was not. (We do know how they voted on second reading however.) Councilman Claiborne did a great job in making his case.  Unfortunately, there are not enough council members who agree with him. He is to be commending for trying. If you listen to the discussion, you will see that there still may be a hope that this issue will be revisited.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment