Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What did the Council do on Oct. 20,2015: Council leadership positions elected. Karen Johnson elected Pro Tem.

This is a relatively short meeting at 53 minutes long. For a link to the agenda, the Council staff analysis and my commentary, follow this link. 

The first order of business following the prayer and pledge of allegiance are a couple of a non-controversial memorializing resolutions. These were not listed on the agenda. What is going on? There was no explanation. While this occurrence of consideration of memorializing resolutions not listed on the agenda was not a problem, memorializing resolutions are often very political. Consideration of resolutions not on the agenda is a dangerous practice. 

The next order of business was Elections and Confirmations. Karen Johnson was elected in an uncontested election to the position of Speaker Pro Tem. She will be the council member who conducts meetings in the absence of the Vice Mayor. Karen Johnson is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet and I think that was a good choice. If I were in the Council, I would have supported her. 

In a contested elections between Steve Glover and Burkley Allen, Allen was elected to the position of Chair of the Planing, Zoning and Historical Committee of the Council which also gives her a seat on the Planning Commission. She has worked hard to advance bills such as Nashville's DADU ordinance, in-home recording studios, authorization of temporary vacation rentals and others. These type bills are complex and controversial and require a lot of work on the part of the Council member. I really like Steve Glover and admire the stand he has taken on some controversial issues but I think this was a good choice for this position.

Jason Potts was selected in an uncontested election to head the Traffic and Parking Committee of the Council which also gives him a seat on the Traffic and Parking Commission. Council members John Cooper and Bob Mendes were elected unopposed to seats on the Audit Committee.

 Several people were nominated to fill seats on the Industrial Development Board. I lost count but it looks like eight or nine people were nominated to fill four vacancies. The election from among the nominees to fill the positions will occur at the November 3, 2015 council meeting. Members of this board control a lot of money.  Ms.Talia Lomax-O’dnea was confirmed as Finance Director.

All resolutions and bills on First and Second reading pass.  Michael F. Jameson's employment  as Special Counsel and Director of the Metro Council Office is approved. There were no controversies or much discussion of any of the legislation. I would like to have seen some opposition to RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-25 which simply forgave and overpayment of a pension to an employee but it didn't happen. I think overpayments should be repaid but on very generous terms.

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