Saturday, November 24, 2018

What happened at the Nov. 20 Council meeting: Policing for profit passes, Monroe Harding rezoning passes, Police Community Oversight Board explained.

This is the video of the Council meeting of Tuesday, November 20, 2018. The meeting is just a little less than three hours long. If you are going to watch it, it will make a lot more sense if you can follow along with an agenda. To access a copy of the agenda, the staff agenda analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link.

The minutes of the meeting are not yet posted so I do not know which  members were absent for this meeting. I will update this post and supply that information when the minutes are available.

I have already reported on what I consider the two most important items on the agenda. They are these:

Civil asset forfeiture aka "policing for profit." The Council approved Metro's participation in the civil asset forfeiture program, Resolution RS2018-1486 .  I am disappointing and think it is immoral for Nashville to participate in this program.  The argument in favor is that metro not participating will not make the program go away and besides we need the money. I am not going to rehash my explanation and arguments against it. For more on this issue see  Policing for profit and guilty until proven innocent to continue in Nashville, and Please tell your councilman to oppose "policing for profit" and to support innocent until proven guilty and due process.  To view the council discussion see timestamp 1:20:50 - 1:43:50.

Bill BL2018-1370 is the bill that allowed Monroe Harding to move forward with the sale of their Glendale Lane campus. Under threat of even having more of their property rights stripped away, Monroe Harding was bullied into accepting the plan which reduced their property rights. For more on this issue see Monroe Harding forced "compromise" passes the Council, clearing the way to sale the property.
After the prayer and the pledge of allegiance, there are a couple ceremonial presentations of memorializing resolutions and at 15 minutes into the meeting the council gets down to business.

The vice mayor lays out the process for selecting members to the police oversight board, which was approved in public referendum in the recent election. See timestamp 21:00 - 1:09 for the vice mayors explanation of the process and council discussion. For anyone wanting a better understanding of this issue, the Council discussion is informative. To serve on this board or to sign a petition nominating someone to serve on the board, one does not have to be a registered voter and can be of any age. The only requirement is that they be a resident of Davidson County. A certain number of the board members must be nominated by a "community organization," but the term is not defined. I assume anyone or any group of people could call themselves a "community organization." Four members of the board must be from an economically distressed area but that term is not defined. This is an ill-conceived charter amendment and I would not be surprised if a court or the State legislature does not nullify or mortify it in some way. The deadline for submitting nominating petitions for board members is December 18. See Community Oversight Board Information for more information.

Only two people speak during the open comment period. Neither had anything inflammatory to say. One called for transparency in the Amazon and similar deals. There were no surprises in confirmation of mayoral appointees to boards and commissions. They were all affirmed. The other items of interest are the following bills on Second Reading.
Bill BL2018-1283  essentially says that Metro cannot use the proceeds from sale of surplus property to balance the budget.  While it seems to make sense that one should not use one-time money to fund on-going cost, as we did this year, I am not sure that this flexibility should be taken away. There may be times when the city needs to do this. The bill passes without discussion on a voice vote.

Bill BL2018-1334  tweaks the ticket tax for the Major League Soccer Stadium.This would raise the overall price of attending a game and may suppress attendance. It is deferred indefinitely.

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