Monday, September 30, 2019

Climate activists hold sit-in at Mayor Cooper's office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dozens of teens and young adults held a sit-in at Mayor John Cooper's office, demanding that he declare a "Climate Emergency" for the city of Nashville.

More than 100 members of the "Sunrise Movement" protested during the newly-elected mayor's first day in office for several hours Monday, and as of 4 p.m. were still there. (link)

Rod's Comment: I suspect that if Briley was still mayor he would have done it. I hope Cooper will not.  I suspect we are going to see more activity like this as progressives flex their muscle. I also would not be surprised if a memorializing resolution to this effect is not soon introduced in the new council.

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

What's on the agenda of the new Council's first meeting October 1?

Nothing of significance. Any legislation pending when the old council last met is now dead. If a bill had been deferred indefinitely, it would now have to be reintroduced to be considered, so the new council starts from scratch. None of the resolutions on the agenda are significant. They are routine things like accepting grants, and approving contracts and other mundane routine business. There are no progressive ideologically-driven memorializing resolutions on the agenda. The bills on First Reading all appear to be routine ordinances.

To view the agenda, follow this link. To view the agenda analysis, follow this link.

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Rep. Mark Green: Everywhere Joe Biden goes his son follows and gets millions of dollars

Click to watch
Click to watch

"Everywhere Joe Biden goes, his son follows and gets millions of dollars from the government.
In the case of China, it's billions. The American people want to know what happened here. The president is right to ask for an investigation."

"Joe Biden admitted to pressuring with a billion-dollar loan threat the government of Ukraine to fire an investigator who maybe was getting a little close to the $3 million payment that went to Biden's son, through two different countries. Maybe they were getting too close and that's why the billion-dollar bribe happened."

"That's O.K. to the Democrat party? Their concept of right and wrong is upside down. Biden is O.K., pressuring a foreign government with a billion-dollar loan to fire an investigator but Trump can't ask for an investigation into this corruption? It's crazy."

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Nashville schools board denies Rocketship charter school application despite district recommendation

by Rod Williams - Despite a recommendation for approval from the MNPS staff, the School Board voted against approving an application for a new charter school from Rocketship Schools. There were seven votes to deny it with only one member voting against denial of the application and one member absent.

James Robinson, Rocketship's Tennessee director, said the charter school network will appeal the decision to the Tennessee State Board of Education, which hears all charter school appeals. "We want to open this school in Southeast Davidson County because nearly all of the zoned schools in that area are at-capacity and low-performing, and we’ve seen demand from families who want a high-quality public school and have been willing to endure long commutes to attend our school on Murfreesboro Pike," Robinson said. "Despite the board’s decision today, we remain committed to moving forward with what’s best for Nashville families." (link)

Rocketship is a non-profit national network of public elementary schools operating in underserved communities. It has schools in  the California Bay Area, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Washington D.C. Nationwide it serves 18,000 students, 82% of whom are low-income and its schools rank in the top 10% of elementary schools serving similar students. In Nashville, Rocketship has two schools.  On the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System both schools earned overall TVAAS composites of Level 5, the highest level of growth.

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

The challenges Cooper faces as he takes office.

by Rod Williams - Today's Tennessean featured an article, Cooper's challenge begins in Nashville, in which the issues facing the new mayor are examined. The article is well worth reading.

The article examines the budget and Cooper's pledge to redirect more tourism dollars from the control of the convention center to the General Fund.  The article points out that this will not be easy to achieve and will probably require new State legislation.  The article does not mention that bond holders may also have to be placated.  People who purchased the bonds to build Music City Center had those bonds supported by revenue from the tourism development zone. I don't know for sure, but would assume bond holders would have to agree to any change in that arrangement that would make  their bonds less secure. 

The Tennessean article does not say this but it may be that Cooper cannot officially reroute tourism dollars but may be able to achieve the same objective by persuading the Convention Center Authority to pay more for the city services that serve the downtown area. I do not know when the term of the current board members expire but they serve a term of four years and are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Council. The mayor has the ability to influence the Authority. I fully support Cooper's objective of redirecting revenue from tourism but it may not be easy to make that happen and it won't be immediate.

One of the first issues facing the mayor is responding to the Comptroller of the Treasury's letter of early August in which the Comptroller pointed out that Metro's budget did not balance and required Metro to respond by September 20th with an explanation of how the city would balance the budget. The reason the budget did not balance was that it relied on money from the sale of city assets including Metro's parking meter system.  That proposed sale ran into widespread opposition and Mayor Briley announced the plan was being put on hold.  That left a major hole in the budget.  Briley did respond on September 20th saying he would look for other revenue and cut expenses but that the fate of Nashville's private parking deal and sale of its downtown energy system to balance the city's budget lies with incoming Mayor-elect John Cooper.  This is an issue that has to be resolved soon.

The article points out that Cooper plans to halt Briley's Under One Roof affordable housing plan and more importantly, in my view, reverse Briley's recent executive order calling on the State to repeal its anti-sanctuary cities law.  That executive order also, while not quite making Nashville a sanctuary city, came very close to doing so.  I am immensely please to see Cooper make this pledge. Repealing the Briley pro sanctuary city executive order is not only the right thing to do but will improve relations with the State.  Briley has already began the process of improving those relations. Right after being elected, he met with Governor Lee.  There are several issues in which Metro needs to cooperate with the State and Metro has been poking the State in the eye repeatedly. A more harmonious relationship with the State will benefit Nashville. Some of the new progressives will want to advance policies opposed by the State, however. After a short honeymoon, I suspect Cooper will clash with the new progressives. Thankfully, the mayor has the upper hand.

Other issues Cooper will have on his plate is the future of the Morris Memorial Building and the Church Street Park.

In discussing the financial issues facing the city, the article points out that in the current budget the school district requested $76.7 million in additional funding and received a $28.2 million increase.  Several members who were elected recently ran on a pledge to "fully fund" the Metro School budget.  That is giving the School Board a blank check to get whatever they request. While there may be a need for some additional funding for Metro Schools, to pledge to fully fund the school board request is irresponsible.  With the group of new progressives in the Council and the fact that the old Council came within one vote of voting to raise taxes, Cooper will have a lot of pressure placed on him to solve our city's financial problems before the Council votes on a new budget in July 2021.

The challenges are huge.  I wish Cooper good fortune, courage, and wisdom as he works to fulfill his promise of getting Metro's financial house in order.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Senator Marsha Blackburn Addresses Impeachment Inquiry

This week House Democrats gathered to announce their intention to begin formal impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump. The announcement was the culmination of a three-year witch hunt that started with a grudge they’ve held against the president since their chosen candidate failed to win the 2016 election.

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Speculating who may be the mayoral candidates in 2023

by Rod Williams - With Cooper not even sworn in yet, it seems a little early to be speculating who may be the mayoral candidates in 2023 but Nashville Post did so. They admit it is early and write: "Tomorrow, John Cooper will be sworn in as Metro Nashville’s ninth mayor. Today, we will wildly — and perhaps irresponsibly — speculate about who may be the 10th."

This is an interesting read, just to know who these people are and to see who informed observes think has mayoral potential. Those on the Nashville Post list are Bob Mendes, Matt Wiltshire, Carol Swain, John Ray Clemmons, Ashford Hughes, Renata Soto, Charles Robert Bone, Freddie O’Connell, Tanaka Vercher, Jeff Yarbro, Lonnell Matthews, Bob Freeman, Harold Love, Christiane Buggs, and Megan Barry. Follow this link to see what Nashville Post had to say about each of them.

Since we are engaging in wild speculation, I would add these to the list: Councilman Steve Glover, Sheriff Daron Hall, County Clerk Brenda Wynn, District Attorney Glenn Funk, and Register of Deeds Karen Johnson. Just as the Nashville Post does, this list assumes either Cooper does not run again or for some reason disappoints and is vulnerable by 2023.

Councilman Steve Glover is on the list because he won an at-large seat and has the support of Nashville's conservative voters. He has already won a county-wide race, so has county-wide name recognition. He has experience having served as a member of the School Board and two terms as a district council member in addition to the experience he will have as a Councilman at-large.  Carol Swain, should she run, would compete for some of the same votes as Glover. Swain came close to making the runoff for mayor in the recent General Election, but I doubt she would attempt a third run for mayor. I sort of doubt Swan would still be interested in four years. I would not be surprised if Carol Swain did not become a pundit on Fox News are get some other high profile position with a think tank or national conservative advocacy organization.  If Swain does run, she has a disadvantage in that she is a published pundit and scholar who has expressed very conservative views on national and philosophical issue that would alienate many moderates. Glover is conservative but has not taken strong ideological positions on issues that would alienate moderates.

Sheriff Daron Hall does a good job as Sheriff, is likeable and did not buckle to pressure to adopt sanctuary city policies.  He would have broad appeal except among the most progressive elements who want Nashville to become a sanctuary city.

District Attorney Glenn Funk keeps his name in the news and has done some grandstanding critical of the police department and that would help him with progressives, except he once had his picture made with the Confederate flag. Also, it was he who asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate Mayor Megan Barry’s affair. I think that would be a plus, even with progressives, if it matters at all by that time.

County Clerk Brenda Wynn.  She has served in her current position since 2012 and was the first African-American woman to win election to a constitutional office in Davidson County.  She is likeable, qualified and her office has been scandal-free. She has no strident political positions that would turn people off. She is Black and Nashville's population is 28% Black. I do not know what percentage of those who vote are Black but suspect it is greater than their percentage of the population.  My perception is that Blacks are more civically involved at the local level than the average person. My perception is that many new-comers to Nashville, who are mostly White, do not care much about local elections. I am sure many Blacks think it is time Nashville had a Black mayor. Among those on the Nashville Post list, at least four of them are Black, if they do not all run, then that leaves another opening for a Black candidate.

Karen Johnson, Register of Deeds, like Brenda Wynn and several others on the Nashville Post list is Black, which I think will be an advantage for a candidate. Karen Johnson is a former district Council member and having been elected Register of Deeds has county-wide name recognition.  Karen Johnson is charming and personable and very attractive. Those are positive attributes for a candidate.

Other potential candidates may be Bill Freeman again, Stuart McWhorterLinda Rebrovick, or Howard Gentry again, or other Constitutional office holders. I don't know if any of the people I have named or any named by the Nashville Post have an interest in higher office or not. There are probably other potential candidates whose name I have not mentioned. If anyone has a name to add to the list please do.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Jim Cooper jumps on the Impeach Trump bandwagon.

by Rod Williams - I was not surprised to see Jim Cooper jump on the impeach Trump bandwagon. Cooper said: “It’s time for the House of Representatives to begin the impeachment process against President Trump. The President’s invitation to yet another foreign power—this time Ukraine—to undermine U.S. elections requires that Congress begin the process in our Constitution to levy formal charges against him. This is a very serious step, but the President’s continuing misconduct requires that Congress uphold our Constitution and the laws of the land. No one, not even the President, is above the law.”

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The Trump Impeachment Inquiry and summary of Ukraine phone call controversy.

By now probably everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi has called for an impeachment inquiry of President Trump and of the furor raised by a phone call Trump made to the president of the Ukraine.  If you got the news in bits and pieces or laced with lots of emotional partisan rhetoric, below is a good dispassionate summary of events from The New York Times.

My view of events so far, is that the Presidents actions are troubling, but not as troubling as was the Hillary Clinton shake down of foreign governments when she served as Secretary of State and no more troubling than Biden's successful effort to get a Ukaine investigator fired who was investigating his son. In other words, Trump is kind of par for the course.  Trump's actions should be exposed and disapproval expressed but his actions do not warrant impeachment.

My view of the political impact of these developments, is that it helps Trump.  It shines light on the corruption of Joe Biden and his son, which harms Biden's chances of getting the Democrat nomination for president and I think Biden would have been the strongest challenger to Trump. Also, I think people will see the impeachment attempt as wasting time and a petty vindictive effort to overturn the results of an election. It will backfire.  Rod

The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What We Learned So Far Today

By The New York Times
Hello, and welcome to a special edition of the Morning Briefing.
President Trump today.Doug Mills/The New York Times
Less than a day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, there are several big developments:
  • A call log released by the White House shows Mr. Trump pushing the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to consider investigating former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • A Justice Department official told The Times that after a whistle-blower raised concerns, two top intelligence officials referred the complaint for a possible criminal investigation into the president’s actions. The Justice Department concluded that there was no basis for a criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s behavior.
  • In the call, Mr. Trump alluded to American aid, while not explicitly linking his request to unfreezing it, the document shows: “I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time.”
Click here for the reconstructed transcript. The five-page document distributed by the White House includes a cautionary note indicating that it was “not a verbatim transcript” but instead was based on “notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers” and national security staff. Senior administration officials said voice recognition software was also used.

The scandal so far

  • Mr. Trump urged Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden and his younger son, Hunter — both directly and through Rudolph Giuliani, one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers. Mr. Biden is a leading candidate to be the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nominee.
  • As vice president, Mr. Biden pushed the Ukrainian government in 2015 to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, whom the U.S. and other Western nations saw as an obstacle to reform because he failed to bring corruption cases. At the time, Mr. Biden’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings.
  • Mr. Trump and his allies have insinuated, without evidence, that Mr. Biden was trying to protect the company from prosecution. An investigation into him, even if it were unfounded and turned up no evidence of a crime, could damage his campaign prospects by suggesting wrongdoing.
  • The White House froze more than $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine this summer; it had been intended to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian territorial aggression. Mr. Trump has given conflicting explanations for the freeze.
  • An intelligence official filed a whistle-blower complaint last month about the president’s actions. The inspector general for the intelligence community deemed the complaint “credible” and “urgent” and forwarded it to the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, under a law that says such complaints must be shown to Congress within a week.
  • Mr. Maguire refused to share the complaint with Congress, saying the Justice Department disagreed with the inspector general’s conclusion that its subject matter was covered under the law that requires disclosing such complaints to Congress.
  • The complaint’s full details remain a mystery, as does the whistle-blower’s identity.

What’s next?

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement on Tuesday that the House was beginning an impeachment inquiry was momentous, but practically, it didn’t change very much. In fact, the House Judiciary Committee had already opened a related inquiry in July.
  • Six House committees are pursuing investigations of political malfeasance. They will bring that evidence to the Judiciary Committee, which could then recommended articles of impeachment to the full House.
  • There’s a distinct possibility that the House, now controlled by Democrats, will vote to impeach President Trump.
  • But when the case goes to the Senate, the president has an advantage. With the chamber under Republican control, and a two-thirds vote needed to remove him from office, that seems unlikely to happen, at least for the moment.

What are the Republicans saying?

Republican lawmakers and the president stuck to their position that Mr. Trump didn’t offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements or threaten him. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Some Republican leaders tried to shift attention to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of “trying to weaken the president.”

What are your questions?

Our top editors and reporters are ready to answer your questions about the road ahead. Ask here.

Impeachment 101

Impeachment does not remove a president from office; it’s more akin to an indictment on charges of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Here’s the process:
  • House committees that are investigating the president on impeachable offenses will send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.
  • If the evidence is deemed sufficient, the House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.
  • If a majority of House members vote to impeach, the case moves to the Senate, which holds a trial and then votes on whether to convict the president. A two-thirds majority is required to remove the president from office.

A brief history

This is only the fourth time an American president has been the subject of an impeachment inquiry. And though two presidents have been impeached, neither was removed from office by the Senate.
  • Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached, in 1868, over his attempt to fire Edwin Stanton, his secretary of war, who favored a tougher approach toward the post-Civil War South. He was acquitted by the Senate.
  • Richard Nixon faced impeachment in 1974, on charges relating to Watergate, a scandal that connected him to a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the subsequent cover-up. He resigned as it became clear that he was about to be impeached.
  • Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, after it was discovered that he had lied while testifying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He was acquitted by the Senate.
Morning Briefing
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Energy Independence for a Strong Nation

Rep. Phil Roe
by Congressman Phil Roe - Last December, the United States became a net exporter of oil – breaking an almost continuous 75-year streak of dependence on foreign oil and is now the world’s 8th largest oil exporter. This was not always the case. I remember serving at the DMZ in Korea, where we only had heat 3 hours a day because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries barred oil exports to the U.S. for our support of Israel – also known as the Oil Embargo of 1973. Today, we are no longer forced to rely on regimes that do not always have America’s interest as their foremost concern.

Iran is believed to be responsible for attacking a Saudi Arabian oil refinery last week, with drone and missile strikes that severely damaged the world’s oil largest supplier. The good news is our energy independence reduced the impact that these attacks could have had. If that attack had taken place in the 1970s, the price of oil would have skyrocketed. Even still, these attacks left the international benchmark for oil prices up nearly 15 percent on Monday, the largest single-day jump in nearly 30 years. These attacks reminded us of the importance of energy independence and not depending on the Middle East to power our nation.

It’s difficult to understand why we would want to reverse this remarkable revolution, but last week, House Democrats took their best shot with legislation aimed at blocking American oil and gas development. Three separate bills would have collectively blocked oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The land Democrats targeted in ANWR is only 1/10,000th of the total acreage, but could result in 10.4 billion barrels of oil, lowering energy costs and promoting economic growth across the country. The prohibition on the sale of oil and gas leases on the OCS and the Gulf of Mexico would block billions of dollars in revenue for the Treasury. Lease sales are also the primary funding source for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is vital to funding projects that preserve our natural resources and promote outdoor recreation.

Affordable energy is essential for economic growth and Americans’ well-being. To help make energy more affordable – and create more jobs – Congress should enact a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy policy that includes oil, gas, coal, wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear and hydro energy. When we use our natural resources, we should be innovative in order to be environmentally-responsible. We can achieve that goal without losing our energy independence and American jobs. Instead of looking for real solutions, we are spending time discussing the “Green New Deal,” a resolution whose authors described the plan as a complete overhaul of the U.S. economy and an embrace of socialist principles. A plan that achieves “net-zero” emissions in 10 years would require the U.S. to stop producing oil, natural gas and coal – the fuel for 80 percent of our economy that provides jobs to thousands of Americans. This would devastate our economy.

As an avid outdoorsman, I love East Tennessee’s natural beauty. It is our duty to protect our natural resources, like the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains. Energy exploration can be complementary to protecting these resources, and it’s critical to our nation’s energy independence and to our national security. Rather than implementing more burdensome regulations that drive up costs and destroy jobs, I believe there are several realistic, commonsense changes we can and should pursue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayers money and promote job-creation.

When I served on Johnson City’s City Commission, and then as Mayor, we worked to cap the gas coming out of our landfill – mostly methane, a significant greenhouse gas – and used it heat and cool the Mountain Home VA Medical Center, instead of burning it off into the atmosphere. We also audited all public buildings for energy efficiency and established a “Green Team” to work with entities on ways to be more environmentally friendly. Johnson City was also the first municipality in Tennessee to offer curbside recycling and we replaced stoplight and streetlight bulbs with energy efficient bulbs that save energy and taxpayer money. There are commonsense measures that could reduce emissions without sacrificing what is the strongest economy in the world. It's clear energy independence is critical to our economy, our national security and American families. Given the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia, I hope my Democrat colleagues will soon join us in working towards energy independence.

Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is physician and co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and a member of the Health Caucus. Prior to serving in Congress, he served as the Mayor of Johnson City, Tennessee.  

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Dr. Manny Sethi advocates health care reform at First Tuesday speech.

Dr. Manny Sethi at First Tuesday
by Rod Williams - Yesterday I attended the First Tuesday luncheon and enjoyed hearing from our guest speaker Dr. Manny Sethi.  This is the first time I had ever heard Sethi speak and I was very impressed.

In a contested race, if there is more than one acceptable candidate, I don't commit early.  I want to hear from all of the candidates before I decide who I am going to support and weigh all of the factors that go into my decision, but I must say, Dr. Manny was very impressive.

What I liked most about Sethi was his passion for health care reform and firm ideas of what changes need to be made in the American health care system.

I have been disappointing with the Republican response to Democrat proposals for health care reform ever since Hillarycare was proposed in the early 90's. Most recently, I have been disappointing by the Republicans failure to repeal and replace Obamacare after years of pledging they would do so. For a while, Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress but could not replace Obamacare.

Face it; Republicans have no health care plan.  All Republicans can do is defend the status quo or the pre-Obamacare status quo.  The status quo is not working and it was not working prior to Obamacare.  The status quo is not acceptable.  Americans spend more on health care per capita than any other advanced country and we have worse outcomes than most.  It is true that we have some of the best healthcare for difficult operations and we do not have long wait periods for selective operations, but on most metrics we do not excel.

Not only is American health care not very good, it is getting worse. Obamacare may have given more people health insurance but it did not bend the health care cost curve as was promised; cost continue to rise and that is not sustainable.  Too many people are without health insurance and too many households have bankruptcies because of exorbitant health care cost.  Health care is the only product we buy that one buys without having any idea what it will cost you. The price of health care services depends on who is paying the bill, as much as what service is delivered. Americans may pay a hundred times the price for what the same drug cost in other countries.  I am convinced that unless Republicans offer real market-orientated solutions as alternatives to Democrat proposals, we will end up with a single-payer health care system and government rationing of health care.

I did not record his speech or take good notes of Dr.Sethi's comments yesterday and I am relying on memory, but he addressed the deficiencies of  our system of health care.  He spoke of a need to support preventive care and said the way we compensate doctors is wrong.  He said we pay doctors for treating decease but not for keeping people healthy.  He said medical schools do not emphasized the importance of diet and living a healthy lifestyle.  He says too many doctors to not get to know there patients and establish a relationship that shows the doctor cares. He said when the doctor has a relationship with the patient, often the doctor can convince the patient to quit smoking or change their diet. He says one of the most costly and deadly deceases is diabetes and it is largely preventable.

Dr. Sethi spoke about the need to create a vibrant individual health care market place with the ability to purchase insurance across State lines. I agree.  I want to learn more about how Dr. Sethi proposes to make that happen and I do not want to put words in his mouth, but it is my believe that we must transition away from employers providing insurance and getting the tax deduction for doing so, to a system in which the individual gets the tax deduction for purchasing insurance.   One should no more get their health insurance from an employer than they do homeowners insurance or auto insurance or groceries.

Dr. Sethi has a compelling life story. His parents legally migrated from India to the United States and settled in Coffee County Tennessee where both of his parents were physicians and where he was born and raised.

Dr. Sethi described himself as an outsider conservative. He has never ran for any public office before.  He said that in addition to focusing on health care reform, other areas of emphasis would be supporting fixing the the immigration crisis along the southern border and combating the opioid epidemic. Dr Sethi is the founder of the preventative health nonprofit organization Healthy Tennessee. Sethi has traveled across the state holding health fairs and clinics and providing health education.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Picnic celebratng Davidson County Republican victories

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Blackburn, Ernst Lead Bicameral Bill to Protect Migrant Children from Human Traffickers at Southern Border

Marsha Blackburn
Press release, WASHINGTON, D.C. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the first two Republican women to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, have introduced legislation to combat asylum fraud and protect children arriving at the border from falling victim to human trafficking. S. 2420, the End Child Trafficking Now Act of 2019, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to require a DNA test to substantiate the familial relationship between an alien and an accompanying minor. The legislation will prevent drug traffickers and gang members from trafficking children.

“It is horrifying that children are becoming victims of trafficking at our southern border,” said Senator Blackburn. “By confirming a familial connection between an alien and an accompanying minor, we can determine whether the child was brought across the border by an adult with nefarious intentions. The current crisis at our border is multifaceted and requires a holistic approach. By tackling these problems piece by piece, we will get this situation under control.”

“During my visit to the southern border this summer, I heard directly from Customs and Border Patrol agents about children who are tragically being trafficked across the border by illegal immigrants who falsely claim they are related. These children are being used as a ‘passport’ to get across our border, and this needs to stop. One way to address this problem is by having DNA testing in place so we can ensure that an unaccompanied minor is actually connected with the person claiming to be their family, and not being used as an innocent pawn to skirt our immigration laws,” said Senator Joni Ernst. 

Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05) is leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Senators Blackburn and Ernst are respected leaders in the fight against human trafficking. Their knowledge and insight will help us achieve our common goal of ending the exploitation of children on our southern border,” said Rep. Gooden. 

False Family Ties Fuel Fraudulent Asylum Claims and Child Trafficking. More than 5,500 fraudulent asylum claims have been uncovered at the Department of Homeland Security since May 2018. Earlier this year Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) implemented a pilot program that found 1 in 5 claims of kinship were proven fraudulent. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported that unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border are especially vulnerable to trafficking, as coyotes, drug cartels, and local gangs force children to serve as mules and perform sex acts. As a precaution, CBP now administers pregnancy tests for women as young as 12 upon arrival at most centers.

Amend Law to Require DNA Tests and Penalize Traffickers. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with DHS, to administer DNA tests for all adults accompanied by minors claiming a familial relationship without legal documentation at a port of entry. To deter asylum fraud, the bill requires DHS to immediately deport alien adults if they refuse a DNA test and mandates a maximum 10-year prison sentence for all alien adults who fabricate family ties or guardianship over a minor. If family ties or legal guardianship cannot be proven with the accompanying adult, the Act requires HHS to process the child as an unaccompanied minor under current law. The Act allows proven family members to move forward with the immigration process in accordance with current procedures.

End Child Recycling. Traffickers rely on loose asylum laws to use and reuse exploited children to cross the border. To address this cyclical abuse, the Act criminalizes “child recycling,” which happens when the same child is used repeatedly to gain entry by alien adults who are neither relatives nor legal guardians.

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Nashville's New Mayor Seeks A Better Relationship With State Leaders

WPLN - Nashville Mayor-elect John Cooper says he wants to improve the relationship between the city and the heavily Republican state legislature. He says it's been "needlessly hostile" in recent years.
So one of Cooper's first acts after winning in a landslide last week was to have lunch with Republican Gov. Bill Lee.(link)

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How the search that led to the hiring of Dr. Joseph Shawn was manipulated and how Shawn steered contracts to his friends.

An article appearing Afternet explores the school leadership disaster and how "Private companies work an insider game to reap lucrative contracts."  Examples from across the nation of school systems that are manipulated by education consultants are presented.  Consultants get their candidates put in decision making positions, then these people award contracts to others connected to the consultants that recommended them. The story of Nashville's experience with Joseph Shawn is presented starting about paragraph twenty in the article. Readers may know bits and pieces of the story.  This article ties the pieces together.  Below are excepts:

One of the first school districts to become entangled in the conglomeration of firms Wise and Sundstrom assembled was Nashville, which in 2016 chose Jim Huge and Associates to help with hiring a new superintendent. The following year the board hired Shawn Joseph, whom Huge had recommended.

Shortly after Joseph arrived in Nashville, according to local News Channel 5 investigative reporter Phil Williams, he began pushing the district to give $1.8 million in no-bid contracts to Performance Matters, a Utah-based technology company that sells “software solutions” to school districts.

Williams found Joseph had spoken at the company’s conference and he had touted the company’s software products in promotional materials while he was employed in his previous job in Maryland. Williams also unearthed emails showing Joseph began contract talks with Performance Matters two weeks before he formally took office in Nashville. What also struck Williams as odd was that despite the considerable cost of the contract, district employees were not required to use the software.

In addition to pushing Performance Matters, Williams reported, Joseph gave an “inside track” to Discovery Education, a textbook and digital curriculum provider and another company he and his team had ties to from their work in Maryland. With Joseph’s backing, Discovery Education received an $11.4 million contract to provide a new science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) program even though a smaller company came in with a bid that was a fraction of what Discovery proposed.

By June 2018, Nashville school board member Amy Frogge was questioning Joseph about possible connections these vendors might have to ERDI. A district audit would confirm that ERDI’s affiliated companies—including Performance Matters, Discovery Education, and six other companies—had signed contracts totaling more than $17 million with the district since Joseph had been hired.
Frogge also came to realize that all these enterprises were connected to the firm who had been instrumental in hiring Joseph—Jim Huge and Associates.

“The search that brought Shawn Joseph to Nashville was clearly manipulated,” Frogge told Our Schools in an email, “and the school board was kept in the dark about Joseph’s previous tenure in Maryland and his relationships with vendor companies.”

Frogge said some of the manipulation occurred when the search firm told school board members that disputes among current board members—over charter schools, school finances, and other issues—indicated the district was “‘too dysfunctional’ to hire top-level superintendents and therefore needed to hire a less experienced candidate.”
I hope the school board has learned a lesson and is never shamelessly manipulated like this again.

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1st Tuesday, Friday Sept. 20th, guest speaker Dr. Manny Sethi

From Tim Skow: 

1ST TUESDAY Members, frequent guests and friends 

Nashville's Metro elections have concluded and we have victories to celebrate!! Several of the winner 1ST TUESDAY supported are joining us on FRIDAY ! 

NOW ... comes the race that local Republicans and Tennesseans around the State REALLY CARE ABOUT ! 

As of this week the stage seems set. ''The REPLACE LAMAR RACE'' is leaping into full swing !!

Joining us for his 1st visit to 1ST TUESDAY as a candidate to replace the retiring Senator Lamar

Dr. Manny Sethi
Alexander is Vanderbilt Trauma Surgeon, the notable DR. MANNY SETHI. Manny's accolades too are numerous to completely list. But it is fair to say that Manny already has the support of a small army of TN Republicans because he has earned them!! 

Manny's motivating issues are built around healthcare, the opioid crisis, border security and illegal immigration. Given Manny's parents LEGALLY immigrated to America, you will understand 1st-hand why issues related to this topic are so motivating to him. For more insights and details, please visit Manny's campaign website at 

As usual, doors at Waller Law open at 11:00. As usual, our Event is $20.00 for Members and $25.00 for Guests. As usual, lunch is at 11:25 with Program starting at Noon sharp. Expect a spicy Q&A with Manny that concludes at 1:00PM 

Mark your calendars, secure you seats at Firsttuesdaynash.. Then share this invite with those you know who are ready for a HOT 2020 !!!!! 

See you at 1ST TUESDAY on Friday, September 20th !! 

Tim Skow 

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Lamar Alexander has put his legacy at risk | Opinion

by Rod Williams, Guest columnist, The Tennessean, Published  Aug. 30, 2019 -

Alexander needs to bring the Restore Our Parks Act to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and pass this legislation once and for all.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has long been known as an advocate for Tennesseans. He’s represented our state as governor, president of the University of Tennessee and as the state’s senior senator for more than four decades. He’s a man born in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains who never forgot where he came from, and he has built a legacy of improving health care, education and our national parks across the nation. But all good things must come to an end. Early this year, Alexander announced he will retire at the end of 2020.

Yet if he leaves office without one final detail, there will be a gaping hole in his legacy.

Our national parks face a $12 billion backlog in deferred maintenance projects, including $162 million in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone. The backlog represents thousands of roads, bridges, bathrooms and facilities, and emergency response systems that are in dire need of repair. And with 318 million visitors in 2018, our national parks are only getting more wear and tear.

 Smokies improve local economy 

Alexander understands the importance of our national parks. Not only are they vast oxygen tanks for our environment, national parks improve the local economy around them. In 2017, visitors spent more than $154 million along the Natchez Trace Parkway, ending in Nashville. In Rutherford County, Stones River National Battlefield saw its fourth-highest visitor attendance in 2018. That same year, the Smokies drove $953 million in visitor spending to the East Tennessee and western North Carolina region. That spending supports local restaurants and hotels, tourist attractions, tour guides, fly-fishing companies, sports outfitters and other businesses that rely on the millions of people who go to the Smokies each year. Yet if we let our national parks fall apart, the unreliable bathroom facilities, closed roads and precarious trails will only drive away visitors and the money they spend. East Tennesseans understand the importance of getting rid of the backlog. Just look at Ian and Charity Rutter, who took the time to make the case for our national parks to U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett this past spring. As business owners in the Townsend community whose customer base includes a healthy number of tourists, they know the longer we wait, the harder it’ll be to restore our parks. 

Restore Our Parks Act introduced 

I know Alexander understands the importance of our national parks. He introduced the Restore Our Parks Act in 2018 to cut the backlog in half by creating a dedicated revenue stream that can help fix our parks. He’s talked about getting rid of the backlog during his visits to the Smokies, during congressional hearings and even on social media. Several members of Congress, including Tennessee Reps. Phil Roe, Chuck Fleischmann, Burchett, Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper, have cosponsored a companion bill in the House.  Yet restoring our parks does not seem to be a priority to Alexander. Maybe it’s a sign Alexander has been in Washington too long. Maybe he hasn’t spent enough time in the Smokies over the last few years. Maybe he’s forgotten the region he came from. Maybe if he were running for re-election, he’d have gotten this legislation passed already.

Yet I don’t want to believe that.

I know Alexander cares about our community, and he wants to ensure our national parks remain a vital part of it for generations to come. That’s why, with just over a year left in the Senate, Alexander needs to bring this legislation to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and pass the Restore Our Parks Act once and for all. Anything less is a $12 billion broken promise.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

The cadre of new progressives elected to the Metro Council will have minimal impact on policy.

by Rod Williams - If the new cadre of progressives elected to the Metro Council could have their way, I would be concerned, but they can't.  Their impact on our city will be minimal. When the reality of what they can actually accomplish hits them, they will be frustrated.

We are not going to see Nashville become a sanctuary city. We are not going to see a $15 an hour minimum wage. We are not going to see illegal aliens vote in our elections. We are not going to see policies adopted that cause a proliferation of homelessness. In some progressive cities, homeless camps are not removed, laws against aggressive panhandling are not enforced and laws against minor infractions are not enforced.  The homeless are treated "humanely" and the number and visibility of the homeless increase. I don't see that happening in Nashville.

We are not going to see a total ban on short-term rentals.  We are not going to see a law that makes Uber and Lyft drivers and food delivery drivers employees, rather than independent contractors. We are not going to see inclusionary zoning or rent control. We could, but most likely will not, see higher taxes as a result of a more progressive council.

What we may see are symbolic things. We may see some outrageous things that will make you mad but they won't fundamentally change the city.  We may see an end to Council meetings opening with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. I doubt it, but it could happen. We probably will see a proliferation of meaningless memorializing resolutions. We will probably see memorializing resolutions advocating medicare for all, condemning Donald Trump, advocating Green New Deal policies, celebrating homosexuality, advocating the right to abortions and condemning abortion restriction, condemning immigration enforcement, and a bunch of others.  Memorializing resolutions express the opinion of the Council. They are not even signed by the mayor.  No one pays any attention to them.

We may see a ban on plastic straws and single-use plastic bags.  We may see increased conflict between Police and the Community Oversight Board and the Council siding with the Board.  We may see an attempt to trample property rights by the occasional down zoning of property. It will probably be rare and rarely successful. We may see the process of rezoing property slowed. 

We already have a policy that treats homosexuals as a preferred class in awarding contracts to businesses seeking to do business with the city. We may see more of this type of special treatment for the LGBTQ community. We may see policies that promote quotas for members of this community for employment with the fire department, police department, schools, and maybe all of Metro. We may see more displays of the gay rainbow flag on public buildings and a greater city-sponsored celebration of  homosexuality. We may see a more robust government celebration of all types of "diversity."

There are several reasons why I do not think this new bunch of progressives will have much impact on our city. One, John Cooper was elected and not David Briley.  John Cooper is a Democrat and probably a liberal democrat, but he is not a progressive social warrior.  One did not see John Cooper looking goofy wearing a pussy hat. Cooper has an agenda of getting our financial house in order.  I do not believe he is going to let his agenda get derailed by policies that could hurt our city. I don't expect Cooper to pick a fight with progressives either, however.  He probably won't veto a ban on single-use plastic bags for instance, but he is not going to let them adopt policies that cause a proliferation of homelessness, for instance.

Another reason the progressives will be frustrated is because there are a handful of  conservatives and pragmatic mainstream liberals on the Council. Conservatives like Steve Glover, Robert Swope, Courtney Johnston, Thom Druffel, Larry Hager, probably Robert Nash, and sometimes Angie Henderson will lead the push-back against the more radical proposals.  And then there are a bunch of liberal but mainstream pragmatic council members who are not going to want to pick fights with the State or who will not support the more  radical proposals that would harm our city.

Another reason, is that some policies cannot be changes by a city alone.  To change the way Uber drivers are classified, for instance, would require a change in State law.  Another reason that progressives will be frustrated is that there are non-profit national and state legal firms such as the Institute for Justice and the Beacon Center that will be watching if Metro violates property rights or the right to earn a living.  Institute for Justice has been active in Nashville before when the city tried to trample property rights. If Metro adopts policies that go to far, the city will be challenged in court.

Another reason the progressives will be frustrated is that the structure of our city government provides for a weak council and a strong mayor. The mayor has veto power and it takes two-thirds vote to override a mayor's veto. Cooper won his election in a landslide.  It will be extremely rare that the Council could muster a two-thirds majority against a popular mayor. It won't come to that, because when this reality sinks in the more radical proposals will not even move forward. 

Also, it will prove difficult for the Council to impose a greater tax increase than what the mayor proposes.  The way budgeting works in Nashville is that the mayor's budget becomes the city budget unless the Council passes an alternative budget. To pass a different version of the budget other than the mayor's budget, takes the vote of two-thirds of the Council. We may have a tax increase and with the new progressives in power it will strengthen the mayor's hand if he proposes a tax increase, but the progressive will not be able to pass a greater tax increase than what the mayor proposes.

The greatest reason the new progressives will be frustrated is that the State legislature keeps Metro on a short leash. The State has already weighted in when Metro tried to ban short-term rentals, when Nashville moved toward becoming a sanctuary city, when we tried to impose additional restrictions on businesses, and when the city considered inclusionary zoning. If Metro gets too far out of line, the State will yank that leash.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Look to these Council members to lead the push to make Nashville a more "progressive" city.

Last night's saw the election of quite of a few council members of the stripe we have never seen before.  Several "progressives" were elected.  It is not that the city government has not been dominated by Democrats ever since the Civil War.  It has. However, when I served in the Council in the 80's, many of the Democrats would call themselves "conservative Democrats."  About the only thing that could get one labeled "conservative" or "liberal', was how one stood on raising taxes and spending money.

Over time, the Democrats serving in the Council became more liberal and I suspect their views became more closely aligned with the typical national Democrat. Still however, few were outspokenly ideological. The Metro Council is a non-partisan body and for the most part, party identity has not been a factor. The most recent Council did move further to the left as evidence by some memorializing resolutions that were passed and the position of the individual Council members on issues such as favoring illegal immigration and a few other issues. Still, there were few people that one would point to as radical or liberal firebrands. Actually, there are only a few votes that one could point to and say, that person took a conservative position or a liberal position. I think with the new Council that may have changed. Why did this happen?

For one thing, the typical Democrat is much further to the left than a Democrat of the past. Another thing that happened is that Nashville has changed.  There are now probably more Nashvillians from other places than there are native Nashvillians. Many of these transplants are from places like California and they bring with them their California values or the values of where ever place it is from which they came. Many want to turn Tennessee into a place like the failed places from which they fled.

Another thing is that there was an organized push to elect progressives to the Metro Council. A few years ago, I heard that there was a concerted effort on the part of progressive forces to make Nashville "the San Francisco of the South."  I don't know the source of this rumor or if is is true and who would specifically would be behind it, but it sounds almost believable. It almost looks like Nashville was targeted.  Outside groups and local groups with a progressive agenda endorsed and funded candidates like never before.

Our Revolution  endorsed six candidates and they every one won. Our Revolution's stated mission is to "reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.” Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.  Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness."

These are the candidates supported by Our Revolution:

  • Zulfat Suara, Nashville Metro Council, At-large
  • Sharon Hurt, Nashville Metro Council, At-large
  • Ginny Welsch, Nashville Metro Council, District 16
  • Emily Benedict, Nashville Metro Council, District 7
  • Kyonzt√© Toombs, Nashville Metro Council, District 2
  • Brandon Taylor, Nashville Metro Council, District 
Another group that helped elect progressives is the Nashville Justice League.  It is a Political Action Committee composed of  several liberal organizations including the Equity Alliance Fund, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Votes, and the Central Labor Council. Their stated focus was on electing a more progressive Metro Council. A spokesman for the League said, "We’re going to fight for civil rights, immigrant rights and workers rights."  Below is a list of the people they endorsed.  They were not successful in getting Bedne or Lane elected but did elect the rest of their slate.
  • At-large: Bob Mendes, Sharon Hurt, Fabian Bedne, Burkley Allen, Zulfat Suara, and Gicola Lane. 
  • District 2: Kyonzte Toombs
  • District 13: Russ Bradford
  • District 16: Ginny Welsch
  • District 17: Colby Sledge
  • District 19: Freddie O’Connell
  • District 29: Delishia Porterfield
  • District 30: Sandra Sepulveda
  • District 31: John Rutherford
  • District 33: Antoinette Lee.

A group dedicated to electing progressive women, WTF (Women for Tennessee's Future), endorsed several candidates. All won except for Mina Johnson. Below is the list of people they endorsed:
Councilwoman Burkley Allen for Nashville Metro Council at-Large
Zulfat Suara for Nashville Metro Council at-Large
Kyonzte Toombs for Nashville Metro Council District 2
Emily Benedict for Nashville Metro Council District 7
Ginny Welsch for Nashville Metro Council District 16
Councilwoman Mina Johnson for Nashville Metro Council District 23
Sandra Sepulveda for Nashville Metro Council District 30
Councilwoman Nancy VanReece for Nashville Metro Council District 8
Erin Evans for Nashville Metro Council District 12
Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts for Nashville Metro Council District 20
Gloria Hausser for Nashville Metro Council District 22
Councilwoman Delishia Porterfield for Nashville Metro Council District 29
Another progressive group supporting candidates was LGBTQ Victory Fund.  There mission is "to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government."  All of the candidates they endorsed won. Below is the list:
  • Emily Benedict, District 7
  • Russ Bradford, District 13
  • Nancy VanReece, District 8
  • Bret Whiters, District 6
  • Zach Young, District 10.

Other progressive organizations that supported successful candidates included  Code Blue PAC and LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America).

If you look at the above list you will notice that many of the candidates were endorsed by multiple progressive organizations.  Unfortunately, there was no organized effort to elect conservatives or mainstream candidates to the Council. I think it safe to say, that if a name appeared on more than one of these list, they are safely far-left or "progressive."  Look to these Council members to lead the push to make Nashville a more "progressive city."

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What the Metro Council Isn't

Randy Foster
By Randy Foster - 1. Congress -- The Metro Council is the legislative branch of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Federal issues often impact local government, but rarely does the Council need to opine on the federal affairs of the day. If you want to reform healthcare or balance the federal budget, you should set your aim higher and leave the Council to those who want to affect local land use or decide how local government spends money.

2. The Tennessee General Assembly -- See #1 above. If your political interests run to regulating guns or outlawing abortion, you may find the Metro Council to be a narrow playing field.

3. A partisan body -- In the Council chamber, there are no Democrats and no Republicans (although partisan politics sometimes intrudes). Some might argue that the Council is primarily populated by members of the “Know-Nothing” Party, but I would disagree! The Metro Charter is clear that candidates run in nonpartisan races. Pragmatic, nonpartisan politics means that a new coalition is formed for each vote, and you will be surprised who your allies may be. The old saw that “politics makes for strange bedfellows” could have been written with the Metro Council in mind.

4. The Executive Branch of Metro Government -- Councilmembers do not fill potholes, mow weeds, operate parks, fix stormwater problems, pick up the trash, teach our children, put out fires, patrol our streets, lend out books, represent the Metropolitan Government in court, or do the thousands of other things that are the responsibility of the Executive Branch, i.e., in most cases, the Mayor. If you want to be Mayor, file a qualifying petition, pull several hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your mattress, and go for it!

5.A springboard to higher office (for most people) -- Walk around the committee rooms and common areas of the Council office, and you will see framed Council District maps surrounded by the faces of Councilmembers you’ve never heard of, who came and went with hardly a peep. A relative few have gone to the General Assembly with a few more going to positions on the bench. But no Mayors…no Congressmen. A Councilmember is well served by remembering the humbling fact that, if someone shows him or her respect, it is likely he or she was likely mistaken for someone else far more important.

6. A place to become famous or popular -- People will curse you, revile you, mistrust you, and say upon first meeting you that you are “bought and paid for.” Neighbors will line up on both sides of an issue with you squarely between the rock and the hard place. You family will wonder who you’ve become and will make a life without you. And for all this, you’ll be paid a whopping $15,000 a year before taxes and spend your life at Council meetings, committee meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Traffic and Parking Commission meetings, Greenway Commission meetings, ribbon cuttings, office hours, constituent meetings, 9/11 observances, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout awards ceremonies. Also, you’ll think your phone has grown to your ear, and you’ll read thousands of emails. Oh, and don’t forget the time you’ll spend reading analyses of legislation and all the mail that Councilmembers are heir to. If elected, you’ll find that only 39 other people will really understand what you’re facing, i.e. the other members. Treasure them!

7. Your personal fiefdom -- I am not the Earl of Sevenmile Creek (although I think it would be a pretty title). You will not be royalty or nobility. You will, I hope, be a servant of the people you represent. A lack of humility and communication can lead to disastrous relationships with your constituents. It has been frequently been said that you can vote for just about anything and not irretrievably alienate your constituents if you will (a) return your calls, (b) return your emails, and (c) not get crosswise with your constituents over zoning issues.

Service on the Metro Council is a high calling and a heady experience, and I am deeply honored and humbled to have been elected twice to represent my neighbors. Having tread for a while the path that the 13th Metropolitan Council will continue, I recommend to those who will follow me the ancient words of Proverbs 16:18 which could have been written for all politicians everywhere: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

 Randy Foster is a former member of the Metro Council. This was written by Randy several years ago but is as true now as then. I also once served on the Metro Council and agree with everything he says.  I wish every council member would read this essay, especially those newly elected members, and take it to heart.

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Steve Glover wins at-large seat!

Steve Glover

Big Win!

The four candidates that will join Bob Mendes on Metro Council are Sharon W. Hurt (15.30 percent of the vote; 40,300 total votes), Burkley Allen (13.18 percent of the vote; 34,723 total votes), Steve Glover (13.06 percent of the vote; 34,397 total votes) and Zulfat Suara (13 percent of the vote; 34,237 total votes).

All four incumbents in the runoff election lost. (link)

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