Monday, February 4, 2013

What is on the Council agenda for Feb 4, 2013

This should be a short Council meeting.

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, or at least it used to be that way. For the  last couple council meetings, the agenda has not linked to the analysis.  You can find the analysis at this link: Metro Council Agenda 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.

There are nine bills on public hearing. Most of them are zoning issue that would impact no one except the immediate neighbors of the proposed rezoning, except for BILL NO. BL2013-354. This ordinance would delete the "historic home event provisions" in their entirety and would create a new use called “special events center” to be permitted in the mixed-use, office, and commercial districts, and permitted with conditions in the mixed-use neighborhood and commercial neighborhood zoning districts. These events would not be allowed in residential zoning districts.

I really don't know what the impact of this would be, however I hope someone is paying attention. There are some old historic homes in Nashville which are permitted to act as bed and breakfast facilities and to host events such as weddings and receptions and corporate retreats.  Some of these old homes are so grand that it not allowed to operate in this capacity they would probably deteriorate and eventually become condemned and be lost forever. I live in a neighborhood with one of these historic homes that operates in this fashion. Some neighbors have relentlessly tried to prohibit it's operation, opposing horse-drawn carriages delivering brides to the home for weddings, counting cars to try to catch the venue violating the valet parking requirements and timing the required ending time of events to insure events end by the required time. I actually think having this historic home in my neighborhood is a plus, but some neighbors try to drive them out of business. I hope this ordinance is not an attempt to destroy the operation of these historic homes. The ordinance was deferred by the planning commission at its January 24, 2013 meeting so we can expect it to be deferred by the Council.

There are twelve resolutions all of which are on 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, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. However, any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda.

The resolution amending the Capital Improvements Budget and Program is on the consent agenda (RESOLUTIONNO. RS2013-558) and the bonding authority for additions to the Capital Improvements (RESOLUTIONNO. RS2013-559). These acts authorize and fund the improvement to the rear of the Bridgestone Arena which will now be across from the front of the new Music City Center and the relocation of the central police precinct, which is now located in the Bridgestone Arena on Broadway.  Given that we have already built the new conventions center, in my view, these improvements seem reasonable. I do not expect them to be pulled off of the consent agenda. I don't see any opposition.

Bills on First reading almost always pass. There are twenty bills on first reading. They are considered as a group and are seldom discussed. First reading is a formality that allows the bill to be considered. Bills are not assigned to committee or analyzed by council staff until after they have passed first reading.  I have not analyzed the bills on first reading, but will before second reading.

Bills on Second Reading. It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place.  There are only three bills on second reading and none of them are of any importance.
Bills on Third Reading: Third Reading is the final reading. If a bill passes third reading it becomes law unless it is vetoed by the Mayor, which has only rarely happened. Below are the bills of interest on third reading.

  • BILL NO. BL2012-320 is the bill that would reduce the health insurance benefit to future former Metro Council members. This benefit currently costs Metro approximately $300,000 per year. Due to term limits there are a growing number of former metro council members. This cost is going to continue to increase. This bill passed second reading by a vote of 25 to 13.
Here is how council members voted on second reading:
"Ayes”- Barry, Steine, Garrett, Tygard, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Pridemore, Jernigan, Glover, Stites, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Allen, Baker, Langster, Weiner, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Blalock, Dominy, Todd, Mitchell (25);
"Noes”- Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Bennett, Pardue, Moore, Gilmore, Evans, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell (13).
If a the "ayes" lose four votes either by absentees, abstentions. or flip-flops, this could fail. This is a good bill and needs to pass.
Memorializing Resolutions: There are no memorializing resolutions. 

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