Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What happened in the Metro Council on April 16th

At only 35 minutes this is a very short Council meeting. To see my commentary on the agenda and a link to the meeting agenda and the metro council staff analysis follow this link

There are a couple resolutions that were apparently late resolutions because they are not on the printed agenda.

Resolution 666 is a resolution by Gilmore that asks MDHA not to implement a policy charging tenants for utilities that were previously included in the rent.  She withdraws it because MDHA has told her that they have chosen not to implement this new policy. This is a shame. Many years ago for a short time I worked in the public housing section of MDHA and would go to tenants homes in the dead of winter and find widows open when it was below freezing outside. When people get an unlimited amount of something for free they do not conserve. If we have a good conservative council member on the council or even one with a little common sense, they should come back with a resolution urging MDHA to implement the policy. Rent could be rolled back by the amount of rent now going to pay utilities and the tenants should pay their own utilities. Those on zero rent could still get it free, or give then an allowance for utilities and if they spend less, let them keep the money. We should give public housing tenants a little bit of decision making responsibility. Stop treating them like children or idiots! 

Councilman Ronnie Steine has a late memorializing resolution honoring the state of Israel's 55th anniversary.

A Resolution by Councilman Bedne asking TDOT to widen a portion of Nolensville Rd is defered indefinitely because TDOT has already put this project in the budget.

All other resolutions pass on the consent agenda and all bills on first reading pass.  Bill 423 on first reading is discussed however, which is very unusual. Bills do not go to committee until after first reading and are not analyzed by staff. First reading is just a formality to have the bill introduced. This is a bill that would swap some Metro land for some State land. The land that the School for the Arts sits on and the land that will be the site of the future STEM charter school located on the old Tennessee Preparatory School site would be swapped for the old Ben West Library site. Metro now
owns the library and the State owns the TPS site. No one makes a motion to kill it but Councilman Mitchell makes an argument against it. (see 15:42 to 23:20 in the video) He argues that it is an uneven swap but his real motivation seems to be to speak out against charter schools. There is some concern about tearing down the old library because some consider the building architecturally significant and there is also some concern that there is a deed restriction that requires the site to be used as library or revert back to the heirs.

There is no discussion of the bills that are on Second Reading.

Bills on Third Reading:
BILL NO. BL2012-292 would liberalize the policy on home recording studios gets a Planning and Zoning committee report of 6 for to 4 against a one meeting deferral.  It is deffered one meeting to allow more discussion.

The cable TV bills pass with no "no" votes or discussion.

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