Thursday, March 23, 2017

What happened at the 3/21/17 Council Meeting: new storm water fee passes, new animal protections, not much else.

This is a pretty boring council meeting. Everything you would expect to pass, passes. There are no surprises. You really do not need to watch this meeting. To access the agenda, staff analysis, and my commentary on the agenda follow this link.
Here are the bills I found of interest: 

RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-566  by Scott Davis expresses support for the Medical Cannabis Access Act currently pending before the Tennessee General Assembly. This was on the agenda the last two meetings and deferred. I strongly support this memorializing resolutions. This was not on consent. It is substituted and passes on a voice vote. There was a little discussion but of little significance.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-587   request that the Metropolitan Department of Codes Administration seek diverse candidates that are inclusive and representative of Nashville’s local demographics and languages when filling existing vacancies and adding additional personnel to enforce property standards. This passed on the Consent agenda.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-591 appropriates  $3,897,200 to the Fairgrounds for administrative purposes. $2,5 million would be to fund the Summer Youth Employment program. $2.75K of this appropriation is revenue generated by the Fairgrounds above the amount budgeted for the year. This would pay overtime and other miscellaneous expenses. This passes on consent.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-616  by Councilman Steve Glover would adopt a policy to set a percentage limit on the amount of debt service to pay General Obligation bonds in the budget.  This seems like a prudent measure. While times are good for Metro now, they may not always be so good.  Our debt obligations and pension obligations could force the city to raise taxes in hard times unless restraint on indebtedness is not exercised. This would set a maximum debt service limit of 10% of the operating budget. This was not on consent. At the request of the sponsor, this was deferred two meetings.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-617  ask the police department to ask for more money
additional officers, salary increases, and additional police vehicles and motorcycles in the FY2018 budget proposal. I think this is bad idea. They will ask for more money without being prodded. Also this circumvents the established process.  This was not on consent. There is some discussion. Councilman Sledge makes the case against this. Weiner also argues against it and says we have a process and this resolutions puts the cart before the horse. It passes on a machine roll call vote of 22 in favor, nine against and three abstentions.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-618   requesting the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly to introduce and enact legislation to increase penalties for the desecration of places of worship or burial. This is now a Class A misdemeanor which is the most serious class of misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. This passes on consent.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-619 honors the life of State Senator Douglas Henry. This passes on the consent agenda. I assume that at a future council meeting he will be honored with the presentation of a scroll.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-620 recognizes Tommy Lynch upon his retirement after having served 46 years working for Metro Government. This passes on consent.
Bills on Second Reading. There are 15 bills on Second Reading. Most of them are abandoning unneeded sewer easements and water easements and other routine business. There are a couple that deal with how people must provide for their pets protecting them from bad weather. One of the bills would extend animal protection laws county-wide, whereas now they only apply in the Urban Services District. This animal control bill pass.  If you want to know more about this topic read The Tennessean report, Nashville moving toward stronger animal control rules.

These are the other  bills of interest.

BILL NO. BL2017-581  would grant full investigative authority to the Metropolitan Auditor in order to allow for independent audits and reviews of all Metropolitan Government departments, boards and commissions as well as the performance of contracts by entities that contract with the Metropolitan Government. It passes with little discussion.
BILL NO. BL2017-588  would amend the graduated storm water user fee schedule. This fee is part of one's water bill and pays for the handling of storm water runoff. Those with larger homes or other impervious surfaces greater than 2,000 feet would pay more under this change. This passes on a voice vote.  No one speaks against it. To read The Tennessean coverage of this issue, follow this link.
Bills on Third Reading: These are 24 bills on Third Reading and not much that is of interest. Most are rezoning bill and they have all been approved by the Planning Commission. Here is this one of interest. 

BILL NO. BL2016-483 would require the police department to provide a quarterly report to the Council on how many traffic stops were made and what happened as a result of the stops. such as how many pat downs and how many searches and the race of the person stopped. It is deferred one meeting.

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