Budget Season is Here!

There is a Metro Council Meeting tonight at 6:00 pm. We are back in-person this evening at the Music City Center - Please join us if you'd like... An agenda has been provided, and you can watch the meeting live via channel 3 or stream live on your electronic devices. Also, please do not respond to this email... You can reach me at [email protected].

~~~ Before we get started, I'd like to wish my beautiful wife, Damita, A very Happy Birthday this week! Please join me in wishing my better half a Happy Birthday!~~~

Mayor Cooper's Proposed Budget

On Thursday, April 29 at 10:30 am in the Music City Center, the City Council assembled for Mayor Cooper's State of Metro address (Click here to watch the State of Metro). It was a joyous occasion, as this was the first time Council Members have been allowed to congregate in person since last October. During the speech, the Mayor shared highlights in the proposed FY22 budget. Currently the recommended budget is $2.6 Billion a $180 Million increase over FY21 budget. By law, the Council must receive a proposed budget presentation by May 1 each year. Therefore, on April 30, the mayor shared the proposed budget with the Council. Below, I've listed a few highlights that I found interesting in the proposal...

Remember this is a proposed budget and is not yet been discussed by the Council - The first time we will have an opportunity to discuss this as a Council body will be at our next meeting, May 18 - The Budget Ordinance will be on first reading. If you want to get a head start on this conversation, you can review the current ordinance by clicking here - BL2021-736 - I will continue to share with you regarding the budget throughout the months of May and June.

  • The tax rate will remain neutral - For some, the tax rate will decrease. As for us, in District 21, a few are likely to see an increase due to the substantial growth (+59%) in property value from the property reappraisal performed. I discussed this in the most recent newsletter.  Others in our district may see a decrease or just stay even.
  • The forecasted cash balance will remain neutral - $306.4 Million - Remember, prior to the budget last year, the city's cash balance was $12 Million.
  • The Debt Services will increase by $6 Million for a total of $360 Million - The Debt Services amount will decrease by nearly 1% - This is a good thing - The city is proposing to have fewer debts than the year before, and the year before that and so on.
  • I will now discuss how the money will be spent - There's a large amount of funding slated for Education 
  • 38% of the budget will be spent on Education - The budget proposes to fully fund the budget request ($1,014,661,600) from the Board of Education, as well as, an additional $50 Million to increase teacher pay by an average of nearly $7,000 annually.
  • 20% will be spent on Public Safety & Criminal Justice 
  • 14% spending on Debt Services - Metro is poised and in a position to pay down our debt.

Also, I'd like to highlight an area that I'm very proud of... The Mayor announced, from the recommendation of the 37208 Special Committee - which I have the honor to Chair, that the Criminal Justice Fines & Fees will be reduced by 50%. This is outstanding, and I'm grateful to my committee for their hard work and effort.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Metro Public Health Department is allowing WALK-INS for anyone 16 years old and older.  Anyone under age 18 will be required to have signed approval from their parent or guardian.  For more information, click here.

What I've Been Up To:

  • I've been working with the mayor's office and Criminal Court Clerk Mr. Howard Gentry. We have been discussing the recommendation from the 37208 Committee to remove or reduce the criminal justice system fines and fees.
  • Scheduled a meeting for residents to meet their new precinct commander - That is folks in the Midtown/Centennial Park area of the District - This meeting is Monday, May 10 at 6:00 PM.
  • We hosted a neighborhood clean up on Saturday - We had a great turn out, and I am working with Mrs. Damita Beck-Taylor, District 21 Beatification Commissioner on bringing more clean up opportunities to your neighborhood as well.
    • Let me know if you'd like to host a clean up in your neighborhood.
  • State of Metro - I attended the State of Metro last week - I shared my thoughts on that earlier
  • The mayor has released the proposed budget - I have been working and fighting to ensure District 21 receives the capital improvements you all have asked for over the past year. I'm continuing to refine the budget conversations for us to see these investments.
  • I've met with both the Mayor and Mr. Kent Oliver to discuss a possibility of renovating and growing or building a new Hadley Park Library.
  • Please be on the lookout for information regarding a proposed round-a-bout update at Jefferson St. and 28th Ave N/Ed Temple Pkwy.

What's Happening Tonight

Representation is important - Please do not skip this note - We have a few Boards and Commission confirmations tonight. If you would like to be considered for an appointment or be elected to a Metro Government Board or Commission, please let me know. These are residents that help guide the decisions made in our city. Representation from all corners of the County means for equitable growth and decision making by all areas of government. Click here to learn more. This link will share the opportunities that exist within Metro Boards and Commissions.

BL2021-707 This ordinance would change the property zoning of a property located at 1407 14th Ave N from RS5 to R6A - It is on public hearing tonight. I'm the sponsor.

BL2021-716 This ordinance would change a current Specific Plan by amending it to only be used for a parking lot - The property is the Lexus dealership in Metro Center. I'm the sponsor.

RS2021-886 - A resolution requesting Mayor John Cooper, to the extent the Fiscal Year 2021 actual revenues exceed budgeted revenues, to provide funding for new public safety employees and for personnel to serve as project managers to assist the development community with navigating Metro’s approval and inspection process.

RS2021-908 - This is a resolution to approve the Economic Impact Plan for the River North Development, ie Oracle. To take a deeper dive into this proposed agreement, please follow this link. It explains, in detail, of what the conversations with Oracle have been.

BL2021-620 - This is an ordinance that will allow for an overlay tool be created for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU). One misconception that I have heard of this bill is that every residential district will have an overlay for DADUs, this is incorrect. This ordinance will only apply this as a tool for a community to apply to allow DADUs. The process will require property owners that want to add this overlay to go through the exact rezoning process each parcel or overlay rezone must go through. This will not be appropriate for all neighborhoods, but is extremely appropriate for others. 

BL2020-493 This ordinance reduces the length of recreational vehicles that can be lawfully parked on the street at night. Section 12.40.190 of the Metro Code prohibits a school bus, a recreational vehicle with a length in excess of 24 feet (whether a standalone RV or connected to another vehicle), or a dump truck of more than 54,000 pounds of gross weight from being parked on parked on any of the streets or alleys within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Government during the hours between sunset and sunrise. This ordinance reduces the maximum length of the recreational vehicle from 24 feet to 20 feet as it relates to the nighttime parking restriction.

BL2020-578 - This bill will change the preliminary plan for properties located at 1 City Avenue, 4, 5, 6, and 8 City Boulevard, 7 and 9 City Place, and City Boulevard (unnumbered) in the One City development to increase the maximum allowed residential units from 600 to 850 multi-family residential units.

Dates to remember:

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,



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