Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What happened at the 10-6-15 Council Meeting? No opening prayer. Mayor Barry addresses the Council.

To get a link to your own copy of the agenda and agenda analysis and my commentary follow this  link.

This is the first meeting of the new Council and is a very short meeting. Not much of significance happens except that Mayor Barry addresses the Council.  Being the first meeting of the new Council, there are no bills on Second or Third reading and none of the resolutions are of much consequence and bills on First Reading are routinely passed without discussion. This meeting is only 39 minutes long.

The first four minutes of the video is without sound, so you can join the video at time stamp 4:09 and join the mayor who has already started her speech. Mayor Barry addresses our sidewalk program and says the sidewalk plan has not been updated in some time and that one of the things she will address right away is updating the sidewalk plan. I commend her for addressing this.  I hope that this means we stop building sidewalks that go nowhere and we stop tearing up perfectly serviceable sidewalks and replacing them with brand new sidewalks and instead build sidewalk where there are now not sidewalks. Nashville has spend a lot of money on sidewalks and got few new sidewalks to show for it.

She addresses her decision to delay the implementation of the "local hire" charter amendment without addressing the opinion from the State Attorney General that said the amendment conflicted with State law.

The meeting usually begins with a prayer from a guest Christian minister, although there has been a Jewish Rabbi deliver the prayer and a Muslim Iman in the past.  Vice Mayor Briley started the meeting with a quote from Thomas Jefferson on the separation of church and State and a moment of silence.   He also said recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions "placed limits on prayer before legislative meetings."  It is unclear if the practice of started the meeting with a prayer is ended.

Don Jones who was previously the Council's legal advisory  prior to Jon Coopers, serves in that capacity for this meeting. I am not sure if he is just filling in or if he will be the Council staff attorney.

The Council adopts the 2011-2015 Council rules as temporary rules. The Council has 60 days to adopt 2015-2020 rules.

There is some discussion of  RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-13 which settles a law suit against the city due to a wrongful death of someone in the custody of the sheriff's department. From serving in the Council and years of observing the Council, I am confident the city never settles a suit against the city, if the city could win in the suit in court. Still, I think it is proper for the Council to get a good explanation of what happened and get assurances that corrective action has been taken so the incident that caused the suit does not happen again. 

Below is The Tennessean's report on the Council meeting:
Barry pledges new sidewalks plan in address to council

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