Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What happened at the Jan 20, 2015 Council meeting: The lowering-the-bar-for-small-business-grants and the regulate-golf-carts meeting.

To access the agenda, Council staff analysis, and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link. At only 32 minutes long this is a short meeting. Not much of interest is on this agenda and there is no controversies or discussion of any legislation. You do not need to watch this meeting. The confirmation of appointees to Boards and Commissions passes, all of the resolutions pass on the consent agenda,  no bills are pulled off of first reading, and the two bills on 2nd reading pass.

BILL NO. BL2014-896 on third reading is deferred once again. It would rezones 238 acres in east Nashville to allow accessory dwelling units on properties in the rezoned area.
BILL NO. BL2014-990 on third reading passes without discussion. It modifies the eligibility requirements for obtaining small business economic development incentive grants. You are probably aware of the incentives we have provided to companies like Bridgestone and HCA. Metro also has a similar program for small business but it has been little used since most small businesses can't meet the requirement. This lowers the requirements. If a small business creates ten new jobs that pay at least 80% of the salary of the annual average salary for all occupations in Nashville, the city will pay the company $500 per job created.  I really do not like this, but since we do for big business it is argued we should do it for small business.
BILL NO. BL2014-991 on third reading passes. It modifies the metro code to remove the requirement that public construction projects pay Davis-Bacon prevailing wages.  This is to comply with a State law that prohibits paying that wage.  It is about time! We should not have been paying higher than market wages anyway.  This will save some money on future pubic construction projects. The Council earns no merit for doing what the State forces them to do.
BILL NO. BL2014-993 on third reading passes unanimously without discussion. It is more unnecessary regulations and restraint of trade. There is service downtown that moves people in vehicles that resemble golf carts. While this bill has some non-objectionable things like insurance requirement, it requires new people who want to enter the business to get a "certificate of necessity," as if there is ever a "necessity" for such a vehicle. My position is that anyone who wants to should be allowed to compete and let the market sort them out. It I were in the Council, I would have voted against this. I would vote against any bill that requires a certificate of necessity in order for one to enter a business. 
Here is The Tennessean's report on the Council meeting:  Nashville lowers bar for small-business incentive program.

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