Monday, September 3, 2018

What's on the Council Agenda for Sept. 4, 2018: Other than fairgrounds, the Edgehill Conservation overlay, establishment of a Tax Increment Financing study Commission, a government efficiency study commission, and not much else.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. Here is a link to the Council agenda and the staff analysis for those who want to watch the Council meeting and follow along.

The most important issue before this council is the MLS stadium and the future of the fairgrounds. There is one resolutions and there are three bill regarding these issues on the agenda. I have explained those in a separate post at this link: Council to decide fate of fairground at September 4th meeting.  This is going to be close. If council members vote on Third reading the same way they did on Second the fairground will be saved, but a lot could have happened since last meeting. To see how voted to support the fairground property giveaway, follow this link; to see who voted to save the fairground follow this link.

Below is a summary of other things on the agenda.

Confirmation of appointments to Boards and Commissions: There are four appointments to boards and commission on the agenda and as always I expect the Council to rubber-stamp these appointments. Two are to the Charter Revision Commission and two are to the troubled Hospital Authority. The Hospital Authority which oversees Metro General Hospital has seen turmoil in the last year. About half the board resigned over that time. Metro General has had constant cost overruns and the board approved a contract extension for the General Hospital CEO without a  written contract or specifying the level of compensation for the director. Due to resignations the Hospital Authority, for a time, operated without the statutory number of doctors serving on the board. I hope the Council carefully examined the nominees but I expect they did not. 

Resolutions and bills on public hearing: There are  eleven bills on pubic hearing. I do not even attempt to understand the pros and cons of every zoning bill and they generally bore me and are of interest to only the people in the immediate vicinity of the rezoning. At public hearings almost all opposition come down to (1) concern about traffic, (2) water runoff and potential for flooding, (3) overcrowding of local schools and impact on infrastructure, (4) detrimentally changing the character of the neighborhood. You will hear the same arguments over and over. I only call attention to bills that I think will have an impact beyond the immediate neighborhood or are bills that have already been to the Planning Commission and have been disapproved by the Planning Commission, or  for some other reason are of interest. None of the ones on this agenda do I find of interest. 

Resolutions: There are only 16 resolution on the agenda. Initially all resolutions are on the consent agenda. A resolution stays on the consent agenda if it passes unanimously the committees to which it is assigned. Resolutions which receive negative votes in committee are pulled off of consent. Also any councilman may have a resolution pulled off of consent. Those remaining on consent are lumped together and passed by a single vote. Resolutions on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government, entering into inter-agency agreements over mundane things, appropriating money from the 4% fund, settling lawsuits, or approving signs overhanging the sidewalk. Except for the resolution related to the Fairground, none of these are of much interest.

Bills on First reading: There are nine bills on first reading. First reading is a formality that gets bills on the agenda and they are not considered by committee until after they pass first reading. They are all lumped together and pass by a single vote except in rare circumstances. I normally don't read them until they get to second reading.
Bills on Second Reading: There are only four. Here are the ones of some interest.

Bill BL2018-1314 establishes a Blue Ribbon Commission to identify government inefficiencies. This is a positive development. I do not expect it to be controversial. Maybe, it will do some good.

Bill BL2018-1315   creates a Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee. This is another positive development. Despite Nashville's massive growth, Metro is short of money. A lot of that is because the development was financed by Tax Increment Financing and the tax revenue does not flow into city coffers but goes to MDHA to repay TIF. 
Bills on Third Reading: There are 19 of them. Here are the ones of interest.
Second Substitute Bill BL2016-414   is a rezoning bill disapproved by the Planning Commission.  It changes from R6 to SP zoning for various properties along Elvira Avenue, Maynor Avenue, and Keeling Avenue, approximately 600 feet west of Anderson Place (4.86 acres), to permit a maximum of 180 residential units. I have no opinion on the merits of this bill and am simply calling attention to it because it is a disapproved bill and will require 27 positive votes to pass.

Bill BL2018-1245 is the controversial proposal to apply a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District to the Edgehill community. This is approved by the Planning Commission so it can pass with a simple majority and I expect it to pass. It only passed on one vote when before the Planning Commission and when on Council public hearing, a lot of people spoke on this bill both pro and con.
Bill BL2018-1280  approves the plans for a non-hazardous liquid waste processing facility to be located at 2832 Whites Creek Pike. This was controversial on public hearing and passed on Second reading by a vote of 21 to 12 to 3. I have no opinion on the merits of the issue.
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 it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site and you can watch it live on Roku. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video on this blog the day after or the day after that and provide commentary. 

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