At 2 1/2 hours this is a long meeting. I am not going to give a play by play description. I am only hitting a few highlights. To follow the meeting in the agenda and the analysis follow this link. To see how the Budget and Finance voted on the most important issues, follow this link.
The public hearing portion of the bills takes up the first one hour and 48 minutes of the meeting.
The bill that would put new restrictions on outdoor music events is differed until the first meeting in March.
The two resolutions that are not one the consent agenda are below. Discussion of the two resolutions not on consent start at time stamp 1:55:24.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-948 appropriates $13,100,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools General Purpose Fund to the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools General Purpose Fund Operational Account for the purpose of funding the purchase laptop computers, teacher technology training and a universal screener assessment for the implementation of Common Core testing, and an incentive program for teacher retirement. This is the bill by Bo Mitchell. It is deferred one meeting, which, I believe makes the second time it has been deferred. The bill was deferred "by rule" because Mitchell did not show up at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting or communicate what he wanted the committee to do with the bill. This bill will eventually be withdrawn or defeated.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-963 authorizes the issuance of $21 million in general obligation bonds! This is for the purchase of heavy equipment for various departments and $6 million for laptop computers to implement common core testing. The Metro charter calls for sitting aside 4% of the metro budget for the purchase of equipment and make repairs. This would be the first time the city, instead of using the that fund to purchase equipment or make repairs or other such things, will instead borrow the money to do so. Discussion starts at 1:56:30.
Charlie Tygerd speaks against it but does not vote against it. Councilman Josh Stites take to the floor speaks with passion and clarity against the bill. Stites says, "This is a symptom of a much Larger problem...We are leveraging entirely too much. ....Someday the music will stop." (see 1:59:45). Congratulation Josh Stites!
Only Councilman Stites and Councilman Standley end up voting against the bill. I am disappointed in several of the Councilmen who call themselves conservative and who did not vote against this bill. This was an opportunity to take a stand against irresponsible spending. I expected a few others to oppose this bill.
The memorializing resolution which calls for adding five additional early voting sites for the May election passes.
Here is the Tennessean's report on the Council Meeting: Council approves plan to borrow $6M for equipment for Common Core testing.