The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, September 20th at 6:30 PM in the
Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. To watch the Council meeting,
you can go to
the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the
broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and are streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day on the Metro YouTube channel. If
you will wait, I will watch it for you and post the video and point out
the good parts so you can go to that point in the video and watch just
those segments. Also, I will tell you what I think about what happened.
Council meetings are really boring and I watch them so you don't have
If you are going to watch a council meeting, you really need the agenda and the Council staff analysis or you won't have a clue about what is going on. Follow the highlighted link to view the agenda. Here is my commentary and analysis of the agenda.
There are eight people up for confirmation to Boards and Commissions. These are people appointed by the mayor subject to approval by the Council. They will be rubber stamped as always.
There are no bills or resolutions on public hearing.
There are 14 resolutions on the consent agenda. Resolutions on "consent" are passed by a single vote of the council instead of being voted on individually. If a resolution has any negative votes in committee it is taken off of consent. Also any council member may ask to have an item taken off of consent or to have his abstention or dissenting vote recorded. These are the ones of interest:
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-380 ask Google Fiber and Comcast and everyone else involved in the process of facilitating the stinging of cable to make Google Fiber available in Nashville to play nice and make it happen. It says that "WHEREAS, industry stakeholders oppose BL2016-343," "the industry stakeholders, including but not limited to Google Fiber, AT&T, Comcast, and NES, are to come together in good faith and execute a Memorandum of Understanding to memorialize process enhancements that substantially eliminate the current backlog in make-ready work to facilitate the Google Fiber deployment and reduce the timeline for broadband deployment by all Internet service providers in Nashville. The stakeholders shall aim to complete the permit for each make-ready poll in 30 days and the subsequent make -ready work shall be completed within 45 days or less." This sets out what would be in the MOU and says that a minimum of 125 poles per week for a period of 18 months will be completed. The staff analysis says. "It is arguable that Metro Council does not have the legal authority to control how private companies address one another,much less mandate that they meet. Initiating a requirement making one private company liable to pay a penalty to another company is likewise problematic. It is anticipated therefore that a substitute resolution will be offered."
BILL NO. BL2016-343 is the “One Touch Make Ready” (OTMR) bill which would allow one company the right to work on a utility pole and move all of the cable that must be moved in order to accommodate a new company adding a cable to the utility poll. This is being proposed to accommodate Google Fiber, which is trying to provide high-speed Internet to Nashville. Other companies, such as Comcast, do not want anyone but their own people moving their cable. Also, there are labor contracts that complicate this. The Mayor's office has tried to work out a some agreeable accommodation but has not been successful. Google Fiber has threatened to abandon their plans for Nashville to get Google Fiber unless something can be worked out. After Louisville passed a similar bill, AT&T sued the city arguing that the city lacked authority to pass such an ordinance and they have threatened to sue Nashville if this passed. For more on this issue see this link, this link, and this and read the staff analysis of Sept.6. The bill passes by a vote of 32 to 7 on second reading on Sept. 6th is on third reading this meeting so, I am not sure why this resolution is on the agenda. it seems unnecessary.Bills on First Reading. There are 14 bills on First Reading but I usually don't review bills on First Reading. First reading is a formality that gets bills on the agenda. They are not evaluated by committee until they are on Second Reading. All bills on First Reading are lumped together and pass by a single vote.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-382 ask Live Nation Entertainment to implement anti-scalping controls for events conducted at Ascend Amphitheater. Ticket scalping has become a major concern everywhere. Individuals and companies using software programs often buy up huge blocks of tickets of popular shows and then scalp them at higher prices.
Bills on Second Reading. These are 14 bills on Second reading and these are the one's of interest.
BILL NO. BL2016-336 says that if a local company is competing with a company that is not local for a metro contract and the local company as Matching Low Bid with the company that is not local that preference be given to the local company. The staff analysis says that, "Historically, the Tennessee Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals have strongly disfavored local bidder preferences, citing the negative impact such preferences can have on competitive market forces," and that this bill may violate the Metro Charter and State law.
BILL NO. BL2016-375 would prohibit more than three unrelated people from sharing a STRP among other things. This would eliminate renting the properties to a bachelorette group or any other group of more than three unrelated people. This would not apply to those who already have a permit for a STRP. This would not be enforceable and seems overly restrictive. I oppose this measure.
BILL NO. BL2016-381 says that an STRP permit applications shall be valid for sixty (60) calendar days from the date filed and shall expire if the application process has not been completed within that time. This seems unnecessarily restrictive and I oppose this bill.
BILL NO. BL2016-382 places more stringent restrictions on the number of STRP permitted. It reduces to only 1% of the properties the Not Owner-Occupied STRP permitted in any single census tract. I oppose this measure.
BILL NO. BL2016-385 requires members of the Metropolitan Council and other Davidson County elected officials and members of Boards and Commission to receive Sexual Harassment training. Ridiculous political correctness and unnecessary in my view.
Bills on Third Reading. There are 27 bills on Third reading. Here are the ones of interest.
BILL NO. BL2016-257 would make changes to the Short Term Rental Property regulations. If someone was caught operating a STPP without a permit, a "stop work" order could be issued and they could no longer operate their property as a STRP and would have to three years before they could apply for a STRP permit and they could be fined $50 a day for each day they were found to have operated a STRP without a permit. Currently if found operating a STRP without a permit, they must wait a year before they can apply. It is a little more complicated this however. It is amended so that those simply not in compliance out of ignorance can get in compliance but those willfully evading compliance would be severely penalized. It passed on a voice vote when on Second Reading. To see the discussion at last council meeting when this was on second reading see see time stamp 1:30:25 - 1:40:53 at this link.This is the update after reading the council staff analysis.
BILL NO. BL2016-343 is the “One Touch Make Ready” (OTMR) bill which would allow one company the right to work on a utility pole and move all of the cable that must be moved in order to accommodate a new company adding a cable to the utility poll. This is being proposed to accommodate Google Fiber, which is trying to provide high-speed Internet to Nashville. Other companies, such as Comcast, do not want anyone but their own people moving their cable. Also, there are labor contracts that complicate this. The Mayor's office has tried to work out a some agreeable accommodation but has not been successful. Google Fiber has threatened to abandon their plans for Nashville to get Google Fiber unless something can be worked out. After Louisville passed a similar bill, AT&T sued the city arguing that the city lacked authority to pass such an ordinance and they have threatened to sue Nashville if this passed. For more on this issue see this link, this link, and this and read the staff analysis of Sept.6. The bill passes by a vote of 32 to 7 on second reading so should pass without any trouble. This has been one of the most heavily lobbied bills before the Metro Council in a long time.
For more information on the council actions on this bill and to see how members voted on the motion to table and the motion to defer and the final bill, see this Tennessean article. To see the discussion that occurred when the bill was on second reading see time stamp 1:42:45 - 2:39:20 at this link.
BILL NO. BL2016-373 says that any advertisement for a STRP must include the permit number of the property. At first I thought this sounded reasonable but now I oppose this bill. The AirB&B website and similar websites do not actually have the ads placed there read by a real person. When the software that reads the entries sees a series of numbers, it assumes it a phone number. If a phone number of the person offering the property for rent was posted, AirB&B would not get their commission and the whole app business model would fall apart. This bill needs to be defeated. This could destroy completely the STRP business in Nashville. The staff analysis fails to address this concern with this bill.
BILL NO. BL2016-374 would require and affidavit from the permit applicant that is renting the property as a STRP does not violate any HOA rules or Condo rules. I oppose this. I do not think Metro should get in the business of ensuring people are abiding by private contracts and an HOA reg or Condo rule is a private matter and Government should not involve itself. This passed on a voice vote without discussion when on second reading.
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2016-378BILL NO. BL2016-378 is the bill that would substantially reduce the penalty for possession or
This bill was debated at length on Second Reading. For more on this legislation as reported in The Tennessean see this link. The bill passes on a voice vote with some audible "no's" on Second Reading so should pass with no difficulty. . To view the discussion of this bill on Second Reading see time stamp 2:42:24 - 3:20:28 at this link.