The new Metropolitan Council held its first meeting Tuesday, beginning with remarks from recently elected Mayor Megan Barry. Barry offered condolences to Councilman Colby Sledge, whose mother-in-law recently passed away. Mayor Barry then expressed her thanks for the assistance that Nashville received for the flood of 2010, and let citizens know that we have sent swift water rescue teams to Columbia, South Carolina to help with flood relief.
“I want to thank Vice-Mayor Briley and the Council,” said Barry. “You’ve stepped up to serve our community, and all of you will work incredibly hard, and I hope you will find it incredibly rewarding.”
Barry then discussed her hopes for the nomination of Jon Cooper, who has served as the Council’s attorney to the new role as the Metro Department of Law director—also addressing the lack of sidewalks in many of the districts.
“Our city strategic sidewalk plan has not been updated since 2008, we need to update it,” said Barry. “My administration has already directed public works to take up a thorough update.”
Barry also addressed the postponement of the controversial local hire amendment stating that: “We want Davidson county to succeed, to hire and train more workers that are funded by our taxpayer dollars, and we want to get that right.”
Herbert Slatery, the Tennessee Attorney General, gave a legal opinion last Thursday that the local hire charter amendment is invalid because it violates state law.
Mayor Barry closed to a standing ovation saying: “Nashville has exciting times ahead of us. I think that we can work together for our common challenges, and I think we can exceed our shared goals. We can build a better quality of life for all Nashvillians. After all, that is what the voters of Davidson County sent us here to do.”
During the meeting, the council unanimously approved the hiring of Cooper as the director of the Metro Department of law as well as the approval of $150,000 to settle a lawsuit for the untimely death of an inmate who died after being placed in a ‘spit hood’ mask, used to prevent inmates from spitting on officers.