There's a Council Meeting Tonight!

If you haven't had the chance to early vote, be sure to vote on Thursday, August 6! Click here to find your polling location. Remember to wear a mask to your polling locations, it is required to enter the polling area.

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight at 6:00 pm… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

There's a public hearing tonight as well... Tune in to the meeting to call on any item to speak for or against the ordinance. 

COVID-19 Updates

To keep up-to-date on Metro's COVID-19 status, visit the Safer Nashville website. We are currently in a modified Phase II status. As for COVID-19 relief, two resolutions are sharing information on where dollars will possibly be spent. There has been a late file resolution from Council Members Johnston, Sepulveda, and Gamble, members of the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee, proposing that the mayor and finance director allocate $10 Million in CARES Act (COVID Relief) funds to be distributed to rent and mortgage payments and utility payments for individuals. The resolution adds that the United Way should be the distribution point for said funds.  Below, I will discuss the second resolution, RS2020-459, in further detail. 

Complete your Census Today!

Don't forget to complete your Census. You can visit 2020Census.Gov to complete it now. Davidson County currently has a response rate of, only, 59.8%. The Census is extremely important for our communities to receive much-needed investments. This helps funds to reach us from the federal government directly to your neighborhood. Williamson County (I'm not a fan of comparing ourselves to Williamson County) has a 75.6% response rate. When you are driving through the city on federal highways, think of the Census! If we need funds to increase lanes, fix that pothole, or add better signage and lights, the Census is what gives our representatives in the federal government to advocate for those needs.

Tornado Relief 

FEMA's grace period for tornado relief has Closed.  Please look at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville that are helping with disaster and emergency relief. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know need relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

Substitute RS2020-431 - A resolution requesting the mayor to "work with" representatives Community Oversight Board, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, The Equity Alliance, Community Oversight Now, Metro Human Relations Commission, and the Fraternal Order of Police to select the next Cheif of Police. 

RS2020-459 - $1.244 Million of the Metro COVID-19 Pandemic Fund will go to various non-profits.

  • $275,000 to YWCA for shelter and domestic violence support services for those impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $250,000 to In Full Motion, Inc. for mentoring, tutoring, ACT preparation, and afterschool and summer programs for at-risk youth impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $200,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN to provide for food distribution for the benefit of those impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $169,000 to Legal Aid Society of Middle TN & the Cumberlands for legal services and court advocacy for those impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $125,000 to FiftyForward to provide meals, financial, and community support for older adults impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Davidson County
  • $100,000 to Sexual Assault Center to provide professional care services to sexual assault victim-survivors impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $50,000 to Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) to ensure immigrant communities in Nashville have access to resources needed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $50,000 to Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors to enhance public safety and trust between immigrant communities and local government to ensure access to resources needed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • $25,000 to Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee to better facilitate healthcare coordination for low-income Nashvillians impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

RS2020-473 - Introduced by me, this resolution will recognize racism as a public health crisis and declaring a commitment to enact policies that unequivocally defend minorities and aim to eradicate the effects of systemic racism affecting black people and other minorities throughout Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.

RS2020-474 -A resolution to encourage the Ringing of the Bells on August 18, 2020, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in conjunction with the opening of Votes for Women at the Nashville Public Library. 

BL2020-300 - On second reading tonight, this ordinance will require construction to be restricted from the hours of 7:00 pm to 7:00 am, changing the time of restriction from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.   

BL2020-322 - An ordinance prohibiting the MNPD to hire officers that were previously fired or under investigation by another law enforcement agency for malfeasance or use of force. This bill would be added as law rather than an in-house policy of the police force. This bill is on Third and final reading tonight. 

BL2020-337 - This is a bill that would extend the contract with Gobbell Hays Partners to manage the Fairgrounds and Soccer Stadium area project. 

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700

Best regards,

Brandon


Get in Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble

"Freedom is not a state; it's an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society." - Congressman John Lewis

Thank you, Congressman John Lewis, for your leadership and a fearless attitude in your lifelong fight against racism. For your lifelong fight for equity and equality for all men, women, and children. For you always "Getting into Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble"... Thank you!

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight at 6:00 pm… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

Trash Collection

I have received several communications from you regarding trash collection. Over the past month or so, many residents throughout the entire city, have received poor service regarding our trash collection. If you haven't heard from me directly, I want you to know that I, along with my colleagues on the Metro Council, am working to correct this situation. The company that manages this contract is Red River Service Corporation. The Metro Council has filed a Resolution (RS2020-455) requesting the Director of Public Works and the Department of Law to declare Red River Service Corporation and Red River Waste Solutions, LP to be in breach of contract, to rebid Red River’s contracts for waste collection, and to include stronger enforcement and penalty provisions as part of the Request for Proposals and resulting contract(s). I apologize for any inconvenience in your day-to-day activities. Thank you for reaching out and letting me know your concerns. I will continue to update you all as we move forward.

Metro Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program

The neighborhood traffic calming application period will be open from Monday, July 6, 2020, through Friday, July 24, 2020. In order to effectively deploy resources and provide a fair evaluation process, applications for traffic calming are only reviewed during specific time frames. While still accepting applications this summer, evaluation and selection of neighborhoods may be placed on hold until traffic patterns normalize and we can safely gather for public meetings.

Click here to be directed to the application. 

Tornado Relief 

FEMA's grace period for tornado relief has Closed.  Please look at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville that are helping with disaster and emergency relief. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

In early June, we lost a public school champion in Ms. Anna Shepherd. She was the MNPS School Board Chair and served as the School Board Member for District 4 - Donelson, Hermitage, and Old Hickory areas. Tonight we are electing to appoint a new school board member to complete the current term.

RS2020-440 State of Tennessee General Assembly adopted Public Chapter 760 wherein a direct appropriation grant in the amount of $10,000,000 was made to The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to provide funds for one-time expenses for information technology hardware upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades, road projects, public safety, and COVID-19 response, offsetting the loss of local revenues or supplementing local revenue.

RS2020-442 - A resolution amending certain provisions of Substitute Resolution RS2017-910 relating to the construction, improvement, and maintenance of a Major League Soccer stadium and further amending the ground lease between The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by and through the Board of Fair Commissioners, and Nashville Soccer Holdings Development, LLC for the construction of a mixed-use development at the Fairgrounds Nashville.

RS2020-453 - This resolution is asking the mayor and finance director to consider revising the tax levy due to the revenue report filing. The revenue in the city does not have as great of a loss as we forecasted, and this resolution would ask for the tax levy ordinance to be revisited.

RS2020-456 - A resolution condemning the practice of increasing tenant rents as a result of the recently-enacted property tax increase over and above the apportioned amount of taxes for that particular rental unit.

BL2020-235 - This is an ordinance that will increase permit fees for Special Events. It will also change the amount per permit depending on an attendance scale. For instance, currently, an expected permitted crowd in downtown Nashville of more than 500 attendees cost $100 (NFL Draft). This bill would require an event expecting 500 or more attendees to pay $2,300 for a permit. Again, the cost will be on a scale based on the number of expected attendees.

BL2020-329 - An ordinance amending Chapter 2.44 of the Metropolitan Code to prohibit the use of chemical weapons such as tear gas by law enforcement officers within the area of the Metropolitan Government. I believe this legislation will be withdrawn by the sponsor.

There are also several Bills on Second Reading regarding sanitary sewer mains and alleys.

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700

Best regards,

Brandon


3rd Quarter of 2020 - Whew!

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight at 6:00 pm… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

This has been an extremely unprecedented and busy year... Thank you for bearing with me as we navigate all that has been thrown our way. During the last meeting, the Council voted to approve the budget proposed by CM Mendes - a $1.06 tax increase. You can visit the property accessor's site to find your current assessed value and visit the Trustee's office site to calculate your property taxes. 

I voted yes for CM Mendes' budget, the one that passed. As I mentioned in our last talk, the budget would definitely have a tax increase. We had a total of six proposals, 1.) the mayor's budget, 2.) CM Mendes' budget one, 3.) CM Mendes' budget two, 4.) CM O'Connel's budget, 5.) CM Glover's budget, 6.) CM Benedict's budget, which all included a tax increase. By the time we made it to the final budget hearing, there were only three budgets in play that we could vote to accept, the mayor's, CM Mendes budget two, and CM Glover's budget. The budget I chose CM Mendes' budget due to funds flowing to areas of need such as parks, education, healthcare, and community assistance programs. 

District 21 Capital Improvements

One of the areas I have been focused on in our district is capital improvements. Some of you may have seen a few of the improvements in your community recently... new/updated sidewalks, bike lanes, new pavement, park updates... and a few of you are wondering where is this happening because you don't see it in your respective neighborhoods. I want you to know, I have received your thoughts and I am working to add these improvements throughout the entire District. For instance, during the budgeting process, our District was approved for several paving upgrades. 

Here is a list of Summer 2020 paving projects...

  • 28th Ave N - from Charlotte to Jefferson St.
  • 19th Ave N - from Jo Johnston Ave to Cartwright St
  • 34th Ave N - from Clifton Ave to Indiana Ave
  • Cartwright St - from 19th Ave N to the Dead End
  • Indiana Ave - from 32nd Ave N to 34th Ave N
  • Torbett St - from 32nd Ave N to 34th Ave N

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has included a grace period for registration for the March 3rd tornado. You can call them at 1(800)-621-3362 or visit Fema.Gov. Also, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville are helping with disaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

RS2020-407 - This is a resolution approving to receive a grant from the State of Tennessee for $1,870,794.01. This grant is from federal CARES ACT (COVID-19 Relief) that will fund the Metropolitan Action Commission, to address community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

RS2020-410 - This resolution is approving and accepting a grant from the State of Tennessee from the CARES ACT that will provide WiFi access in local libraries across the county.

RS2020-412 - A resolution accepting a donation of 15,000 N95 masks for use by first responders and healthcare workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic from Home Depot to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by and through the Office of Emergency Management, for the use and benefit of Metropolitan Government departments.

RS2020-430 - A resolution recognizing the late Anna Jenesse Shepherd for her service to Nashville.

RS2020-431 - A resolution requesting Mayor John Cooper to include a representative from the Community Oversight Board, a representative from community organizations and advocacy groups, and a representative from the Fraternal Order of Police on a committee to select the next Chief of Police.

BL2020-148 - This ordinance would remove Metro from any contracts with private prison operators.

Substitute BL2019-48 - The bill would permit limited home-based businesses throughout the metropolitan area. 

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700

Best regards,

Brandon


Voting on the Budget Tonight

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight at 6:00 pm… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

Council votes on the Budget Tonight

Tonight, we will vote on a budget that WILL raise your taxes... I want to be honest and upfront about this. The question that the council will answer, is how much will the tax increase be. As we've discussed over the last several weeks, there were 6 total budget proposals for consideration. Each one proposed some sort of tax increases. The mayor proposed a $1.00 increase, CM Mendes, Budget and Finance Chair, proposed a $1.06 and a $1.00 increase. (Side note* The mayor and budget chair, by charter, propose the only budgets that can be amended by the council.) CM Benedict proposed a $1.16 increase in her budget, but she has now formally withdrawn her budget from consideration. CM O'Connell and CM Glover have tried to find ways to lessen the increase, yet still, they both have increases proposed at $0.37 and at $0.68 (with an additional wheel tax increase to balance his proposed budget - this makes total spending for a family with two cars a bit more than the proposed budget by the mayor). Again, as you can see, each budget will offer a tax increase of some sort. 

Yesterday, the budget and finance committee met to review 153 pages of amendments to the proposed budget. Click here if you are interested in reviewing the amendments. We will be discussing these as a full council body tonight. Let me know what your thoughts are.

As of now, it seems that the mayor's budget and the $1.06 substitute budget from CM Mendes will be the budgets that are highly considered. CM O'Connell's budget will have to be approved by Metro Finance department to be structurally balanced, if it's not approved, it will be removed from consideration. CM Glover's substitute needs a wheel tax to pass before it will be balanced. BL2020-299 is the ordinance that must be passed to implement CM Glover's budget and is on third reading tonight.

Moreover, we will vote on a budget tonight that will be in place for the 20-21 fiscal year. I will be casting my vote for the budget the best fit the needs for all of District 21.

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has included a grace period for registration for the March 3rd tornado. You can call them at 1(800)-621-3362 or visit Fema.Gov. Also, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville are helping with disaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

RS2020-388- One of the recommendations from the 37208 committee was to evaluate the fines and fees structure of Metro's criminal justice system to understand its impact on residents, the cost to the city, and opportunities for reform. This resolution asks the mayor to continue the study regarding the reduction or elimination of the Metropolitan Government’s reliance on fines and fees collected by or through the criminal justice system and make such a study available as a publicly accessible document.

RS2020-391 - The Hale family has given back to Nashville for years. This resolution is to honor the life and memory of Tia Barbour-Hale and to recognize her contributions to Nashville.

RS2020-393 - This resolution recognizes the month of June as Pride Month in Nashville. This resolution comes on the heels of the announcement yesterday regarding the Supreme Courts' decision on LGBTQ rights in the workplace.

BL2020-286 - This is the mayors budget... We will be discussing the budget with substitutes I described earlier and the amendments to the mayor's budget or any of the substitute budgets.

BL2020-323 - CM Sledge's ordinance models the "8 Can't Wait" recommendations. These recommendations have been adopted by MNPD.

BL2020-235 - Simply, this bill will increase Special Event fees. 

BL2020-300 - Will add more structure around the time of day construction can take place. This ordinance will only allow construction between 7:00 am - 7:00 pm.

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700

Best regards,

Brandon


Meeting Re(Adjourned)

There is a Special Adjourned Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

The work continues

What a week we've had... Last week, we held our regularly scheduled meeting which did not adjourn until 5:15 AM the next morning. We are not planning to be that late tonight. 

Below, I want to share 6 quick points...

  1. The budget (which we've discussed in detail) will be on 3rd and final reading next week June 16.
  2. Nashville will begin full deployment of Body-Worn Cameras for Metro Police Department.
  3. The mayor has delayed proceeding from Phase 2 - Phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan due to an increase in cases throughout the county. Remember to be safe, wash your hands.
  4. I will not be entertaining any new requests for rezones until we have spent time in Phase 4 (final phase) of the city's reopening plan.
  5. Metro Schools have a framework for reopening in place. This is a 3 tiered situational approach. Also, the city has purchased 90,000 netbooks and computers for students in need to allow for home learning.
  6. I will continue to fight against racial injustices. 

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has included a grace period for registration for the March 3rd tornado. You can call them at 1(800)-621-3362 or visit Fema.Gov. Also, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville are helping with disaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

BL2019-8 - This bill is on public hearing if you are interested in speaking for or against this bill be sure to call in while it's being heard during tonight's meeting. This bill, if passed, would call for sidewalk allocations in the sidewalk fund will stay in the District where construction is happening to be spent throughout the district.

BL2020-277 - This bill proposes the opportunity for non-conforming properties damaged in the March 3 tornado to be rebuilt as it once stood.

BL2020-299 - This bill will raise the license tax... for renewing and receiving your license plate. $66 to $116 and $55 to $80.

 

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700

Best regards,

Brandon


Black Lives and Budgets Matter

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

Black Lives do, indeed, matter!

Just think if we did not have cell phone footage today... For years injustices in America have been overlooked, overshadowed, and just blatantly covered up. Over the past several years, injustices on people of color have played out in the media via phone footage, body cameras, and other video-recording devices. George Floyd was killed in my old neighborhood in Minneapolis. This was the neighborhood where I often walked, ran, and biked. The neighborhood where I would try to "beat the yellow light" to get to work on time during busy mornings. A neighborhood I thought was safe. Unfortunately, the safety I thought was there, was not. 

You see, there are many situations where I could have been George Floyd, Tamir Rice, or Ahmaud Aubry. Where people saw me a threat simply because I am Black

The message in all of this is simple... I MATTER! I know that many of you are weary and just as tired as I am. You may be wondering what you can do to make a change.  If not, I hope you can find it, we need everyone in this fight.

I implore you to keep the passion for change beyond the next few weeks and months. So often, the hurt of these tragedies fades... at least until the next time. But if we want change, true change, that cannot happen. We all have to do our part, no matter how big or small. There is a poem, "The Race", that tells us no matter if you when or lose, you only really lose if you do not try.

The Budget is Here

We will be discussing the proposed budgets tonight. We've been having this conversation for quite some time now, and we are nearing the final decision on what Nashville's budget will look like next fiscal year. I explained that there are five proposed budgets that we will be considering. As of today, there are six, but we may dwindle back down to five as CM Benedict may withdraw her substitute budget. CM Mendes has introduced two budgets, one that would have a similar $1.00 proposed tax increase such as the mayors, but with different spending. The second proposes a $1.06 tax rate increase. Click here to see the difference in approach that CM Mendes is using for his two budget options. 

We also have CM O'Connell's proposal to increase taxes by $0.37. Again, his budget cites federal government assistance that will have to be secured to enact his budget. I presume, he will share more information with us tonight.

CM Glover also has a proposed budget. I don't know much about it, however, he has mentioned multiple times that he will be cutting spending. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how this will affect the current services (and many may think the lack thereof) that we are receiving now.

This may help you understand some of the decision making as we move forward through the process to our final vote on June 16. We have a choice to choose a substitute, either CMs Glover, O'Connell, Benedict, and the two from CM Mendes. However, we can only amend, make changes by law, to Mayor Cooper's current proposed budget, or to either option 1 or 2 from CM Mendes. The only amenable budgets are the Budget and Finance Chair or the mayors budget. I hope this helps you as we continue to walk (slowly) to the finish line.

I know that you have heard a lot about the proposed tax increases being due to the tornado and Covid-19 pandemic, but keep in mind the city was in need of an increase prior to these two disasters. Therefore, I strongly believe all substitutes will have an increase in the tax rate. As of now, each one that I know the most about will have a tax increase.

I will be encouraging my colleagues to choose a budget that will add investments directly in District 21 and nearby areas. Also, a budget that will help teachers and other MNPS employees. The Minority Caucus will be working to invest in the Community Oversight Board and activating MNPD body-worn cameras and using COVID-19 dollars to be spent directly with Nashvillians other than paying city expenses.

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has included a grace period for registration for the March 3rd tornado. You can call them at 1(800)-621-3362 or visit Fema.Gov. Also, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville are helping with disaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight: (Not much here other than budget)

BL2020-298 - The capital improvements budget will be on second reading and will have a public hearing.

BL2020-286 - This is essentially the initiation of the city budget. It's on public hearing tonight as well.


Investments in District 21

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. 

Budget Season is Heating Up

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, here is the link for the 2021 Budget Book proposed by the mayor. Schedule time to read the book, as this is a 690-page document. 

I've received several questions regarding the budget timeline (or when is the budget vote?), and I wanted to answer those questions. 

  • The mayor presented his budget to the council on April 28.
  • The budget book was sent to the Council on Friday, May 8.
  • Council began hosting public budget hearings for each department on Monday, May 11, and will continue this week.
  • Substitute budgets were due by Wednesday following the Friday we received the mayor's budget book.
  • A budget has not been finalized, and five substitute budgets have been filed and proposed.
    • We will not be able to see these substitutes until the first meeting in June.
  • Here's a brief analysis of the five substitute budgets...
    • 1) Mayor Cooper's budget includes a $1.00 increase in tax revenue and doesn't call for any city employee furloughs or layoffs. It also doesn't give any raises that have been promised to the city employees.
    • 2) CM Mendes' substitute has not been shared publicly, and we will see his budget when the agenda is released for the first council meeting in June. If he does provide his alternate budget prior, I will follow up with you.
    • 3) In CM Glover's substitute budget, we may see a decrease from the mayor's $1 increase, but he still proposes an increase in taxes of 20% or less. 
    • 4) CM Benedict agrees with the mayor's budget but sees an opportunity to increase from $1.00 to $1.16 with taxes to include the raises promised for teachers and city employees.
    • 5) CM O'Connell, similar to CM Glover, would like to lessen the blow of a $1.00 increase to a more modest $0.37 tax increase. He also cited using a federal government opportunity for funds to close the gap in lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Moving forward, these are the only substitute budgets that will be considered. Council members have the opportunity to file amendments to the details in the budget (where dollars are spent and how in each department's budget).
  • The Council will vote on the final budget in June - the last meeting in June.
    • There will be a public comment period at the first meeting in June.

Meeting with the Mayor

On Friday, I met with Mayor Cooper to discuss how the $121M the city has received from the federal government for COVID-19 will be spent and I advocated for the much-needed capital investments needed in District 21.

During our meeting, we discussed how the fallout and impact of COVID-19 could have a long-term effect on several Nashvillians. For instance, many companies have suspended, not forgiven, payments due during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This means these dollars will still be expected to be paid from individuals that lost jobs or income due to the pandemic. Also, these families may have not recovered from this loss of revenue. My request was for some of the $121M to be used to directly help our constituents in the future. The mayor mentioned a few other options that he was thinking about using these funds for which include, hazard pay for first responders, overtime costs for city employees, new incurred costs for the Metro health department, and telelearning opportunities for MNPS students. He didn't confirm anything as of now, but I am working to learn more and find ways you have an opportunity to for relief with these funds.

Secondly, I discussed capital investments for District 21. I have been working with the city and the mayor's administration for several months, prior to the tornado and COVID-19, to receive capital improvements that are not listed in the capital spending plan. Some of these improvements were moving forward prior to March, and I am working to make sure that a few of these investments will happen in the coming year. I've requested projects such as paving in alleyways and roadways. Others have been adding more lighting in areas, this requires budget spending from both NES and Public Works. Lastly, traffic calming has been on my list as well. Many of you have asked for traffic calming in your neighborhoods and it's definitely needed in many areas. Please continue to send your thoughts and areas you see improvements and I will continue to advocate for you.

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has included a grace period for registration for the March 3rd tornado. You can call them at 1(800)-621-3362 or visit Fema.Gov. Also, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville are helping with disaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

RS2020-318 - This resolution is accepting $121M from the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help municipalities recover from the financial burden caused by the pandemic. There is an amendment that requires the finance office and mayor's administration to submit a plan to the council prior to any expenditures of these funds.

RS2020-328 - Is a resolution declaring the intent for the city to not incentivize any companies for economic development for a period of one year. Meaning, we will not approve any for-profit incentive funds unless it pertains to a few affordable housing opportunities within the one-year period.

BL2020-224 - This bill is on second reading, and will require a 90-day written notice to residential tenants of the sale of a property prior to the closing. CM Hausser has an amendment that will be discussed on the floor that may pass that will amend the bill to be a written notice 90-days prior to the intent to sell and a five-day notice of a purchase agreement moving towards a closing day.

There have been many attempts to look at fee structures during this tax season. The city has several areas, where fees have been a limited cost for companies, organizations, and individuals. BL2020-235 begins to look at the fee structure and increase fees for special events throughout the city. These fees will be based on expected attendance.

We have been discussing Substitute BL2019-78 since the beginning of the term. This bill would require non-owner occupied short-term rentals to have a minimum distance from schools, churches, daycares, and parks. 


Tornadoes and Taxes!

Today is very special! Not because we have a historic council meeting that will include a virtual public hearing, nor that we are deep into tax discussions following the Mayor's whopping 32% tax increase proposal. No... This day is so much more special than all of this! It's my beautiful wife's Birthday! 

Happy Birthday, Damita!

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. There are items on Public Hearing tonight... I've included a few steps below that will help you join if you are planning to speak on any agenda items.

1. Tune into the meeting via live streaming on Nashville.gov, by watching on cable TV
(Comcast channel 3, AT&T Uverse channel 99), or watch on the Roku Metro Nashville
Network Channel.
2. Wait for the Vice Mayor to announce when your item is ready for live call in.
3. Dial 629-255-1931 and wait for operator assistance.
4. You will be asked if you are calling for the current bill on public hearing.
5. Mute your TV or live stream when it is your turn to speak.
6. Once your time begins, state your name, address, and whether you are for or against the
bill. You will have two minutes to speak.
7. During your public comments, you will receive a 30-second warning before your time limit
is up.

Mayor Cooper's Proposed Budget

On Tuesday, April 28, the Metro Council met with the Mayor and he presented a proposed budget to the members.

Click here to watch the presentation. Click here to review the presentation deck.

The complete proposed budget will not be available until later this week, once it is available, I will send you the link immediately. I plan to review the actual budget and briefly share what this proposal plans to fund in the coming weeks. 

(*Note: These are the facts of the presentation, not my view as your councilman. However, I will share my thoughts briefly towards the end of this segment). The presentation highlighted Metro's current state of finances. Our balance is projected to be $12M at the end of the fiscal year, which is not where we need to be as a city of this size; compare this fund balance to the $132.5M we had in 2019. The presentation shares that we are projected to have a $192M loss in revenue in the 4th quarter of FY20 and a $280M loss in revenue in FY21 due to the March 3 tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To reduce the FY21 $280M loss, the mayor proposed $64M in new revenue that does not include increasing property taxes. A few of the items included in the $64M new revenue are an MOU with the Convention Center Authority that would net $35M along with a PILOT with the Convention Center to find an additional $15M in new revenue, and also a $10M revenue stream with a Metro Water PILOT program. This decreases the projected loss to $216M. As we move into the upcoming fiscal year, we will still have an additional $116M ($332M Total) of revenue needed to balance the budget. This is where we all come in... The proposal to balance the budget is to increase property taxes $1, increasing the current rate from $3.155 to $4.155 in the Urban Services District (USD -D21) and $2.755 to $3.755 in the General Service District (GSD). The Metro Trustee's office has a really nifty tax calculator that will help you calculate your current and proposed tax rate - Follow this link to give it a try

Along with the $1 increase in property taxes, the mayor proposed other reductions totaling $21M. A few of these proposed reductions include TIF refinancing of MDHA property that is projected to save $9.3M, a cut to longevity pay for Metro employees which is projected to save $3.9M, and also a $2.8M projected savings from department cuts (travel freeze, eliminate consulting studies, no body-worn cameras expansion phases). 

In the next step, the Council will receive the actual budget from the Mayor this week. We will delve deep into the proposed budget and host hearings for each department. The council will have until June to vote on a budget, possibly a substitute budget will be presented and we will vote on that budget. The Council will either vote for or against a substitute budget. If a substitute budget is presented and fails, the current proposed budget by the mayor will go into law. You, as a resident of Davidson County, have the opportunity to join us at the first meeting in June to share your thoughts on the budget (and please continue to send your thoughts now, before June). There will be several ongoing conversations regarding the budget and the budget process. You can follow along with the budget calendar here

As I mentioned earlier, this was a brief synopsis of the facts from the mayor's budget presentation. I do however want to share my thoughts based on the responses I've received from constituents... During the meeting with the mayor, when he proposed his budget, I was truly shocked to see a $1 or 32% property tax increase. This has been a tough year for Nashville, and we are feeling the pain of a tornado, COVID-19, and now a storm with gale-force winds that knocked out power throughout the entire county. Once I receive the actual budget this week, I will review and have a much better understanding of the current proposed budget. We can take a look at the proposal and make a few recommendations that will not lead to such a large increase. I do believe that we need to review our current tax rate and increase, but the current proposed rate seems to not be in the best interest of the constituents in District 21.

Tornado Relief 

FEMA has closed their Emergency Relief registration, but thanks to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville we still have the opportunity to find diaster and emergency relief from organizations that have received funds. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Rebuilding Together Nashville, The Equity Alliance, and Urban League of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

What to expect tonight:

Tonight's meeting will be managed virtually. We are having Public Hearing items heard for the first time since we began meeting virtually. The state passed a law that allows the Metro Council and other municipalities to meet electronically, therefore, our meeting will be via the internet and phone. 

Below, I've added a quick synopsis of tonight's agenda...

BL2019 - 7 - This ordinance is on Public Hearing. It will limit one STRP permit in certain two dwelling zoning districts. For instance, a R6 zoning (allows two dwellings on one lot) would only allow one STRP on the lot.

BL2019 - 79 - This is another STRP ordinance on Public Hearing. Owners of owner-occupied STRP's cannot list all of the home's rooms on their listing and the owner must stay on-site and not leave the home for over a 15 hour period during a stay.

Substitute BL2019 - 78 - This ordinance will require non-owner occupied STRP's to remain a certain distance from schools, churches, daycares, and parks.

BL2020-234 - An ordinance providing for the waiver of certain building permit fees for the repair or rebuilding of property damaged as a result of the March 3, 2020 tornado.

BL2019-196 - I'm in favor of this bill. It will add more parameters and detail in regard to noise from construction in residential communities.

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700


#NashvilleStrong, Indeed

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices.

The Metro Council held a Historic meeting on April 7, 2020, our most recent meeting. This meeting was conducted via WebEx. This was a highly unprecedented moment, but we have to continue working for you. During these times of uncertainty, we are striving to remain healthy and safe to allow us to provide the much-needed service to our neighbors and communities. I want to personally let you know that my colleagues and I are working together to ensure our city comes out of this pandemic and tornado disaster just as strong or even better than we were before. Please let me know how we can be of any assistance to those truly impacted by such unfortunate events in our community! Thank you for allowing me to serve District 21! We are #NashvilleSTRONG!

Tornado Relief still underway

Tornado recovery is still moving forward. Metro Public Works suspended bulk item pick up to regroup to protect their employees from COVID-19. They are now back on the ground working to remove large debris from streets and alleys. If you have any debris on your property, please try to get it to the alleys or the curbs. Make sure that there are not any vehicles or anything else blocking the path for Public Works from removing the debris. If you have bulk items that need to be removed please call HUB at 3-1-1 or visit hub.nashville.gov to request a pick-up.

FEMA is still on the ground locally here in Nashville. There are two weeks left for you to for FEMA assistance. You have until Monday, May 4 to register. You can register by visiting the FEMA website at DisasterAssistance.gov or call directly at 800-621-3362 between 6 A.M. - 9 P.M. daily.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, we are not in this fight alone! Millions of dollars were collected for Tornado Relief by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville have received funds and are providing disaster relief to families in need. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, The Equity Alliance, and Urban Leauge of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

2020 Census... It's Important!

I know we've seen so much thrown at us over the past month or so... The 2020 Census is one more item to follow. I could simply just tell you to FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS, but I want to give you a little more information about why it is so important for us to do so. Responding to the Census is our civic duty, and it also affects the amount of funding our community, city, and state will receive from the federal government. The Census dictates how we can plan for the future. If we are not close to having an accurate depiction of the number of individuals living in our communities, specifically District 21, it will be hard for us to create a plan for the needs we have. This article from the New York Times is one of the more detailed articles I've seen that explains why it's important to participate in the 2020 US Census. If you haven't already, please find some time to complete your 2020 US Census, it won't happen again until 2030. 

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

As of yesterday, 4.20.20, Davidson County has 1,903 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 152 over a 24 hour period, along with a total of 20 deaths. As we continue to be Safer at Home, please remember that we are still working through uncertain times. There were several reports throughout the city and the country of people congregating. While our scientists continue to find an answer to the spread of this virus, we must continue to adhere to the Safer at Home order

The state of Tennessee has seen over 7,000 cases with Davidson County having the highest amount of cases reported. Meharry Medical College has opened a testing center, right here, in District 21. It is exciting to see Meharry working to provide access to our communities to provide testing for this pandemic. By having testing centers in the heart of our communities, we are giving our neighbors the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones. Historically, black neighborhoods have higher rates of health disparities and are more densely populated. Dr. Rashawn Ray, (a native Tennessean) at the University of Maryland, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institute, describes, in more detail, why it's important for black communities to have access to health care and coronavirus testing Meharry is providing.

Continue to wash your hands, clean any surfaces, and refrain from touching your face. If you must go out, wear gloves and a face mask. There are many tutorials on how to make your own face mask if you do not have one.

What to expect tonight:

Tonight's meeting will be managed virtually, via WebEx. Public Hearing items will be deferred and we will vote on essential agenda items. The state passed a law that allows the Metro Council and other municipalities to meet electronically, therefore, our meeting will be via the internet and phone. 

Below, I've added a quick synopsis of tonight's agenda...

RS2020-273 - Metro has properties available for sale. The properties were acquired due to delinquent taxes. This resolution will give Metro the authority to sell the properties.

RS2020-276 - This resolution will approve Meharry Medical College located in, District 21, to provide clinical experience opportunities for residents. 

RS2020-286 This resolution is requesting flexibility in rent and mortgage collection. COVID-19 has created an unprecedented amount of challenges. This resolution is thanking the companies, institutions, and organizations that have and will continue to work with families financially impacted by COVID-19.

RS2020-287 A resolution requesting the Mayor’s Office and the Metropolitan Department of Public Health partner with Meharry Medical College to seek grant funding to track, study, and report on the impact of COVID-19 on minority and rural communities.

BL2020-276 -This ordinance would establish that Metro creates an impact fee for new developments in Davidson County. The fee would be $1,500 for any new residential units and $5,000 fee for any commercial units developed; collected at the time of the building permit application submittal. 60% of the fees will be allocated to MNPS schools for capital improvements and 40% of the fees will be allocated to fund public infrastructure projects.

BL2020-277 - If passed, would amend the Metro Code to allow nonconforming structures damaged in the March 3rd, 2020 tornado may be reconstructed in accordance with the district bulk regulations in effect at the time of original construction regardless of the percentage of floor area damaged or destroyed.

BL2020-224 - I'm sponsoring this ordinance. If passed, This bill will require landlords to notify tenants of a pending sale of the property 90 days prior to closing. This bill is intended to increase the rights held by tenants/renters and allow for transparency regarding a tenant's future in their current home. 

BL2020-234 - An ordinance providing for the waiver of certain building permit fees for the repair or rebuilding of property damaged as a result of the March 3, 2020 tornado.

BL2020-149 (As Amended) - I'm in favor and a sponsor of this bill. This bill would require landlords to notify tenants of a rate increase 90 days prior to the increased rate begins.

BL2019-196 - I'm in favor of this bill. It will add more parameters and detail in regard to noise from construction in residential communities.

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700


Don't be a Vector! #StayHome

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight… An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices.

I'm Standing With You!

The month of March was a "Humdinger," that's how my mother put it! A one-of-a-kind, extraordinary, eventful month. As we continue to rebuild in North Nashville and across this County, we are also fighting a pandemic. With Nashville battling two wars, many residents are taking it all in stride. But not all, some residents are struggling to make ends meet. During the "Safer at Home" Executive Order, I am shopping with local Nashville business owners. I spoke with Chef Kamal Kalokoh at Riddim 'n' Spice, a local restaurant in North Nashville. His business was not affected by the tornado, but many of his customers/regulars were; leaving Chef Kamal with slower days and a new normal. 

However, Nashville is a place of resiliency and resolve. It's also refreshing to know that we are not in this fight alone. Millions of dollars were collected for Tornado Relief by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and several organizations rooted in North Nashville have received funds and are providing disaster relief to families in need. Here are a few that are working now... Gideon's Army, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, Inc. (J.U.M.P.), Lee Chapel AME Church, New Covenant Christian Church, NAACP Nashville, Northwest Family YMCA, Catholic Charities of Tennessee - McGruder Family Resource Center, Tennessee State University Foundation, The Equity Alliance, and Urban Leauge of Middle Tennessee. These organizations jumped in on the ground floor and have committed to keep working until individuals in our communities are back to whole and better. If you or someone you know are in need of relief, of any kind, from the tornado, please reach out to one or several of these organizations to find the help you are looking for.

Did someone say Tax Increase?

On, Tuesday, March 31, during the 57th Annual State of Metro Address, Mayor John Cooper made the statement "Let me be direct. The budget ordinance that will be filed with the council in April will sharply increase the property tax rate from its current, historically, low level. The final amount will be determined with the best information available, but it will be substantial. And this is something we have to do."

Within our District, we have been hit extremely hard, with both the tornados and Coronavirus. I sympathize with the families that are most affected at this time. I have had an opportunity to speak with many constituents and on the local and state levels, we are working hard to make sure Nashvillians are taken care of. I understand discussing taxes at this time is hard and many are unprepared to think of anything more than what's in front of us at this time.

Earlier in the term, I wrote about the city's budget woes, and how we were steps away from being in receivership from state officials. Simply meaning that the state would pay Nashville's bills for us and direct revenue in the manner they see fit. The threat of receivership is one of the most serious any company or organization can face. Also, my first newsletter highlighted the tax conversation and how it will be an ongoing discussion throughout 2019 and 2020.

As we continue to fight two wars, our spending will increase to ensure the safety and health of residents. It has been calculated that Metro will lose $200-$300M in sales taxes for the fiscal year due to the tornados and the COVID-19 pandemic. I mentioned prior, that taxes will be at the forefront and will be discussed. Some say that "Timing means everything" and in this case, that is true. The timing with the taxes and capital spending plan actually came much earlier to the public. In the Council's effort to be transparent to the city, we began this conversation in February, for most, it was discussed in October 2019 when we began our discussions on the Capital Improvements Budget. We added items that we wanted to see in the Mayor's proposed Capital Spending Plan (which has been revised three times due to the tornados and coronavirus). Unfortunately, during those times, we were not aware that we will be facing such uncertain times as we are today.

While taxes are never an easy conversation, we must have this discussion. The city has a historically low cash balance and no rainy day funds. The federal government will help with relief, but it is a long process. It took nearly ten years for us to receive the final relief payment for the 2010 flood. 

The Metro Council will have to prioritize families. We must make sure that we are doing all that we can to ensure financial safety and well being of residents in Nashville. We are thinking of creative ways to provide relief for families in need as well as families that will be affected if a tax increase is in our near future. Conversations with the Trustees office, Financial Director are happening now to find a way to add tax freeze and tax relief to more families. We've currently extended the application period to close on May 6 for households to apply. We are taking deeper dives into areas that are vulnerable and find opportunities to create contingency plans for our neighbors in need.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

We are preparing to reach the apex of the Coronavirus between now and the next few weeks. I highly advise you to listen to health officials and stay home, only leave for any essential work or shopping. Dr. Hildreth has explained numerous times how important it is for us not to be vectors. We have found several cases of individuals that are asymptomatic, not having any symptoms of the virus but still having the virus. This is how we have seen the spread of this pandemic. I echo the sentiments of Dr. Hildreth, please be careful and don't be a vector.

Continue to wash your hands, clean any surfaces, and refrain from touching your face. If you must go out, wear gloves and a face mask. There are many tutorials on how to make your own face mask if you do not have one.

What to expect tonight:

Tonight's meeting will be managed differently, similar to our last meeting. Public Hearing items will be deferred and we will vote on essential agenda items. The state passed a law that allows the Metro Council and other municipalities to meet electronically, therefore, our meeting will be via the internet and phone. 

Below, I've added a quick synopsis of tonight's agenda...

BL2019-184 will require contractor bids awarded by the city to become effective no later than 30 days following approval.

BL2019-196 - I'm in favor of this bill. It will add more parameters and detail in regard to noise from construction in residential communities.

BL2019-78 - I will abstain from this vote, but if passed this bill will limit Non-Owner Occupied short-term rentals from being 100 feet from a church, school, daycare, or park. There is a proposed amendment that will remove churches from this list, it will have to be introduced tonight to be added as this is the final reading unless the bill is deferred. 

BL2020-117 - This bill will add the following subsection G to the current charter which will state; no parking shall be required for uses located on multimodal corridors, as designated in the major and collector street plan.

BL2020-149 (As Amended) - I'm in favor and a sponsor of this bill. This bill would require landlords to notify tenants of a rate increase 90 days prior to the increased rate begins.

Dates to remember:

  • All in-person meetings (large/small groups or one-on-one) that I have scheduled are postponed in light of the increasing COVID-19 concerns and will not be rescheduled until further notice. 

Lets Connect:

I invite all District 21 residents to reach out to me directly with any information or concerns in our community. Email is the best form of communication, but invite you to call me as well. My contact information is below.

Contact information: Email - [email protected] / Phone: 615.946.9700