Dear Neighbors, I hope you're enjoying your summer with family and friends. It was good to see many of you last Friday night at the Full Moon Picking Party benefiting Friends of Warner Parks and the weekend before as I was out knocking doors with Erin O'Hara Block who is running to be District 8's next School Board representative. Hearing Erin's real-time responses to your questions about the myriad issues facing our school system and students made me all the more confident in my endorsement of her.
Early VOTING is underway for the August 4th Election at Howard School Bldg downtown, and starting the morning of Wednesday, July 20, all 12 early voting locations will be open through July 30. Green Hills, Bellevue & Edmondson Pike Libraries and Belle Meade City Hall are the closest early-voting locations to District 34. The first and last two days of early voting at these locations are usually the busiest. Review the schedule. Make a plan. Invite a friend or family member.
Mark your sample ballot (part of which is partisan, so decide ahead of time which ballot you will request when asked). The combination of partisan primaries for state & federal offices, state partisan executive committees, local judicial (most uncontested after contested May primaries), local school board races, Oak Hill City Commissioner only for those residents, state judicial retentions (26 votes to "retain or replace"), and finally the four Charter amendments, the latter of which are required to be printed/shown in-full, may look daunting, but you will be fine; simply allow some extra time on the day you choose to vote. If you're in line by the posted end time, you can vote.
You do not need your voter registration card to vote, but you will need a State-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license. Please note that some voting precincts, school board, state house & senate, and congressional district boundaries will have changed since previous elections. If you are planning to vote on August 4, you must vote at your assigned precinct between 7 AM & 7 PM, but before that time, starting July 20, you can vote at any of the twelve early voting locations. I encourage you to VOTE EARLY. Democracy requires intention and participation. Thank you very much for yours!
Please never hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 615-260-5530, if you have questions about my legislative work, my votes, or I may be of service to you.
As chair of the Charter Revision Committee of the Council, I encourage you to complete your entire ballot and vote YES ("For Ratification") ON ALL FOUR Charter Amendments.
THE CHARTER AMENDMENTS address 1) the process for amending the charter by petition 2) Metro Police hiring practices 3) Board of Health composition and 4) the creation of a Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure can be found on pages 11-17 of the digital sample ballot. Cassandra Stephenson of the Tennessean has written the most detailed explainer of the Charter Amendments here.
Amendment 1 is the most significant, but all four make important administrative changes. Our Charter was drafted in 1962/1963, merging the City of Nashville and Davidson County to create the first city & county consolidated government in the USA, and requires occasional updating. The Metro Council's Charter Revision Committee conducted a months-long deliberative process in concert with departments to prioritize suggested and needed changes and arrive at the four proposed amendments, voting unanimously in May to put them on the August ballot for your consideration.
Helpful summaries. I am grateful for the work of Charter Revision Committee members, and hope you'll read Vice Chair Bob Mendes' brief explainer with an emphasis on Amendment 1 here as well as Committee Member Courtney Johnston's explanation of Amendment 1 and others for insight and context as you prepare to vote.
Metro Council meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of every month.
Our next meeting is 6:30 PM on Tuesday, August 2.
Council meets on the second floor of City Hall/Metro Courthouse. View agendas here. The meeting is broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network (MNN) on Comcast Channel 3, AT&T UVerse Channel 99, live-streamed via Nashville.gov, and can also be watched via MNN's Facebook page.
Meeting Environmental Policy Goals, Preserving Forests. BL2022-1121 & BL2022-1122 passed unanimously on May 17. I was lead sponsor for these conservation development bills, which apply countywide and reframe subdivision development & make associated tree-code improvements that will assist in coordinating tree-protection across multiple development types. I appreciate the hard work of Metro Planning staff & the support of the advocacy community. Nashville Tree Task Force highlighted the bills here.
This new approach preserves natural areas in a more meaningful and logical way in exchange for clustered density. Sprawled, single-family home-building in our suburban & rural periphery is environmentally & fiscally unsustainable, induces traffic & reduces natural resources. Changing land-use policy is the most significant way to create more housing and protect the environment--as I said in this Channel 5 news story, we must do both; it's not an either/or matter. I am proud of this policy work.
Passage of FY22 Budget Bills (June 21)
The budget is the most important legislation we pass annually. The process for the Council extends from late April into June. Citizens' Guide to the Budget
BL2022-1248 is the FY23 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) budget ordinance.
BL2022-1249 approved the tax levy that fully funds the FY23 budget. The property tax rate is being decreased from $2.953 to $2.922 in the General Services District (GSD) and from $0.335 to $0.332 in the Urban Services District (USD), for a combined rate of $3.254 per $100 of assessed value. The total amount of property taxes one pays is based on property assessment/valuation, the certified tax rate (CTR), and physical location within the USD (combined rate) or GSD (GSD rate only). Tax bills are mailed in October. You can use this calculator to determine your 2022 property tax bill and find the value of your property here.
BL2022-1268 set the capital improvements budget (CIB), which is an increasingly objective "wish list" of needed projects through 2027. The CIB is a planning document and does not appropriate any money. Projects can be added or removed each year. Individual capital projects above $50,000 must be listed in the CIB (or can be advanced as part of a transparent program management process, for example for sidewalk repairs, bikeways, traffic calming) before a capital improvement can be approved for funding by the Council through a Capital Spending Plan (CSP) resolution, typically in the fall. *I've shared with the Mayor's Office that my top-most priority for the next CSP will be full funding for Percy Priest Elementary so they can remain on schedule with their design & construction process.*
Missed trash pick-up, street light out, ditches clogged, speeding enforcement needed? Potholes, litter, leaning stop signs? To submit a request for service, click the hubNashville button below. You can also dial 311or 615-880-1000 on weekdays, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Quarterly brush collection for Zone 8, (see new brush collection map for the 2022-2023 fiscal year), which includes almost all the Metro USD areas of District 34, beganagain on July 1. Remember: no dead shrubs with root balls and no plastic bagged yard waste. Make sure brush piles are away from mailboxes, electrical poles, and overhead tree branches--there must be clearance above the brush for the boom-arm of the truck. How to place your brush for collection.
♻️TRASH & RECYCLING ♻️
Memorial Day service shift. The next trash/recycle service in Metro's Urban Services District (USD) that will be affected by a Monday holiday will be on Labor Day, Monday, September 5. Monday service shifts to Tuesday, Tuesday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday, and so on through Saturday.
Go to CollectionDay.Nashville.gov to sign-up for email and text reminders and use the Waste Wizard to see exactly which items are recyclable.
At the July 19 Council meeting we passed additional contract improvements subsequent to Red River's bankruptcy and sale
HAPPENINGS AROUND DISTRICT 34
CHEEKWOOD: Through Sept. 4, Cheekwood will feature COLORSCAPES - an immersive, site-specific installation by the Chicago collaborative Luftwerk. Explore the dynamic indoor & outdoor installations as you reflect on color, perception, & nature. Check out their full calendar of events, story times, and classes, including a Thursday night concert series. *See special summer discounts in July for admission and membership.
Thursday Night Out: Ongoing through October, live music & programming combining art & nature.Thirsty Third Thursdays will feature specialty cocktails available at bar stations throughout the gardens July 21, August 18, September 15, & October 20. Tickets here.
NASHVILLE PARKS: Warner Parks & Radnor Lake are wonderful, but very busy, and there are SO MANY great parks in Nashville. Why not give a new park a try this summer? Use this Metro Parks Department park finder.
TICKETS FOR SINGLE CONCERTS are available one month before each show at NOON. These tickets sell out quickly (sometimes within minutes). Monitor social media (FB, Instagram, and Twitter) and their website for artist and ticketing updates.
BELLEVUE COMMUNITY CENTER: View activity schedule here. Fees for fitness memberships and classes are very reasonable, and many activities are free.