Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Tennessean: Nashville local hire amendment impractical (and illegal)

The Tennessean today featured an "Our View" editorial written by opinion editor David Pazas addressing the opinion from the State Attorney General in which he said the "local hire" charter amendment approved by Nashville voters on August 6th is invalid because it conflicts with State law.  The local hire amendment mandates that 40 percent of the work on Metro-funded construction projects exceeding $100,000 must be performed by Davidson County residents. Here is a link and some excerpts from that editorial:

 ....Days before the AG’s opinion, Mayor Megan Barry seemed to have recognized the difficulty of executing the measure because she ordered a delay to implementing it. ....
While the unemployment rate is 5.1 percent overall in Davidson County, that rate among African Americans is 9.9 percent.
Nearly 20 percent of Nashville’s 650,000-plus residents live in poverty. Of those, 16,000 are men between the ages of 18 and 44 — prime working years.
While a good job is a remedy to lifting those men out of poverty, it cannot be done unless they are able to do the job.
One positive consequence of Slatery’s opinion is that it avoided Metro the embarrassment and uncertainty of having the local-hire amendment nullified in the Tennessee General Assembly next year.
I am in agreement with this editorial. Hopefully this ends the local hire issue. I am unsure where that leaves us legally. Could someone still bring suit to force Metro to follow the charter or does an opinion from the AG end it?  Must a court rule it is illegal or is the attorney General's opinion sufficient?  Even if "local hire"  did not violate the specific law cited by the State Attorney General, it probably violated the Tennessee and U. S. Constitution.  I hope this ends it and we are still not under a cloud of uncertainty due to this charter amendment.

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