Saturday, September 28, 2013

What's on the Council agenda for October 1st with commentary

The Metro Council agenda and staff analysis for October 1st is available at these links: Agenda, Analysis. If you know what the Council is voting on it is still boring but not quite as boring. This should be a really short meeting. All issues have already been resolved and there is not anything controversial on the agenda.

Elections and Confirmations: There are position to fill on the Industrial Development Board, the Charter Revision Commission and the Transportation Licensing Commission. I see no reason that any of these appointments should be controversial but even if there was a reason they would all be approved unanimously anyway. The council does not take its responsibility of filling positions on Boards and Commissions seriously and always approves the Mayor's appointees.

Bills on Public Hearing: There are seven bills on public hearing. All of them are zoning bills and should be of interest to only nearby neighbors except for BILL NO. BL2013-513 which is a massive rezoning effecting hundreds of properties that borders main street and Gallatin Rd all the way from downtown to Briley Parkway. The compromise bill seems to satisfy everyone and I do not expect opposition, but one never knows. This rezoning has been in the works a long time. For more information on this issue, follow this link.

There are eight resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda. A resolution is put on the consent agenda if it is likely to be non-controversial and it stays on the consent agenda if it passes 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. I see nothing on the consent agenda that concerns me.

Bills on First reading almost always pass. 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 carefully reviewed the bills on first reading, but will before second reading. There are nineteen bills on first reading.

Bills on Second Reading: It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place. There are eight bills on second reading. I see nothing on second reading that is very controversial. The following items are interesting:

BILL NO. BL2013-526 and Bill NO. BL2013-527 establish a Metro Injury-on-duty clinic and approve an entity to operate it. It looks like it has been a deliberative process to reach this point and it appears this will save the city money. Apparently this mode of operation is successfully used by major corporations. These are good bills.

Bills on Third Reading: Third reading is the final reading and when a bill passes final reading it becomes law unless vetoed by the mayor and that almost never happens. Most of the bills on third reading this time are really boring things like abandoning easements and accepting easements. The bill below is the only bill on third reading I find of interest.
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2013-543 would allow business sponsorship within Metro Parks. Current law prohibits advertising in Metro Parks and this has been interpreted to prohibit sponsorships. This is a good bill. As an example of how this bill would work, by letting companies but their logo on doggie poop bags, that could save the city $30,000 a year. That is only one example of how this bill will bring private money into the park system.

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