October 18 Council Meeting

Here’s what’s up on October 18:

Resolutions

Bridgestone givith: A resolution (-398) to accept artwork being donated by Bridgestone to the Metro Arts Commission.

Bridgestone taketh: A resolution (-399) to extend the $500 per employee incentive for Bridgestone to a new location on Hickory Hollow Parkway. This is expected to apply to approximately 415 new positions.

Tracking marijuana law enforcement: I am co-sponsoring a resolution (-408) that would ask the Metro Nashville Police Department, the District Attorney, and the Circuit Court Clerk to work together to track statistics showing the rates of civil and criminal citations, by race and gender. Read more here.

First Reading

USD expansion: The Mayor and Council Members for Districts 7-9, 13-15, and 31 have filed an ordinance (-455) to expand the USD.

Second Reading

The next 21st Century technology bills: In November, we’ll have a public meeting about an ordinance (-415) that would give Planning the power to have a say where wireless transmitters are located in Nashville. Over the next several decades, we are going to care a lot about where wireless transmitters are located. While we are waiting for that bill to move forward, there is a franchisee who wants approval to put up wireless transmission towers now.  That ordinance (-302) is set for 2nd reading.  I have been told that this franchisee is committing to comply with whatever Planning-related rules we end up passing related to wireless transmission facilities. If that’s the case, this should be approved.

Short Term Rental Properties: Wrote about this here.  I expect to indefinitely defer my bills about maximum occupancy (-375) and maximum density (-382) pending the recommendations of the consultant being hired by the Mayor’s office.

Technical correction to an affordable housing bill:  Failed to attach the final draft of an exhibit to a bill passed in early September.  Getting that fixed with a new ordinance (-435).  Oops.

Third Reading

Tenant conduct lease clauses?: CM Hastings has an ordinance (-308) that would require landlords receiving money from the Barnes Housing Fund to add tenant conduct clauses to leases. On the one hand, based on what I have seen throughout my law practice, the proposed tenant conduct language is pretty standard stuff that is already in most residential and commercial lease agreements. On the other hand, the fact that this is applying only to landlords who receive Barnes Housing Fund money (and not TIF money, or PILOT money, or the Mayor’s new affordable housing incentive money) is coming off to some as discriminatory against one group of lower income tenants. I know that CM Hastings has no bad intent at all. I’m not sure how this one will shake out.

Council reports to be posted and be searchable: I am co-sponsoring this ordinance (-416) with CM Cooper to require that all reports required to be given to the Council be posted online in a searchable format.

Bordeaux long term care lease: This ordinance (-422) would approve a new lease of the Bordeaux Long Term Care facility to Signature Healthcare through mid-2020. This is the next phase of Metro exiting the long term care business. We’ll need to keep spending money as we exit, but I think the economics of this deal are fine. I understand that there are ongoing conversations between the administration and some Council Members about what Metro can do to be assured that Signature provides an appropriate level of care at the facility.

Bonus Issue

There’s media coverage today about the Metro pension. The pension is 92% funded, which is good. The pension has an annualized return of 7+% over a ten year period, which is good. The pension’s return compares well to other similar pensions, which is good. But it has a non-traditional asset allocation and that’s what the story in the paper today is about. We should want to learn more about the asset allocation choices that are being made. But, I’d much rather be reading this story than one about an ordinary asset allocation model with terrible long term returns.

Bob Mendes

Bob Mendes represents all of Nashville as a Council-At-Large member of Nashville’s Metro Council. He is Chair of the Council’s Charter Revision Committee, a member of the Metropolitan Audit Committee, and a member of the Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, Rules & Confirmations Committee, and Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee. Bob also practices business law at Waypoint Law PLLC. Bob’s complete bio is here. You can follow Bob @mendesbob.