April Update

April 1, 2018

Brush Pick-up begins in HWEN on April 4.

Belmont University will host the 2018 Davis Cup between the United States and Belgium April 6, 7 & 8. — Some of the world’s greatest tennis players will meet for a matchup in the Curb Event Center! Campus neighbors can purchase single or three-day pass tickets for 50% off by entering a special promo code: NEIGHBOR. Click here to purchase tickets! Traffic and parking will be controlled similar to the way graduation weekend is handled. Neighbors may want to avoid driving through the north end of Belmont Blvd during the weekend if that is not your destination.

For those who missed the transit forum — held in March for District 18 and 24, there are still opportunities to get information. Council Member Russ Pulley is partnering with the Alliance for Green Hills to sponsor a Transit Debate at the Hillsboro High School auditorium, April 11 at 6 pm. Charles Robert Bone will explain the plan in its current form. Jeff Carr will be the speaker representing those opposed to the plan. The debate will be moderated by the former News 2 Anchor, Samantha Fisher. Questions for the debaters will be chosen from an on-line survey, which can be found here. For those who want to be briefed about the Transit Plan prior to the debate, there will be a brief presentation around 5:30 pm. How the Transit Plan will specifically affect Green Hills will also be discussed.

On April 16th, Greenways for Nashville is partnering with Cumberland Region Tomorrow, Harpeth Conservancy, and Sierra Club to present “A Conservation Conversation on Transit.”Click here for more information. This public forum will be a great opportunity for Nashvillians who care about open space, conservation, and the environment to learn more about Metro’s proposed transit plan.

The forum will be on Monday, April 16th, from 6:00-7:30pm at the Metro Parks Headquarters at 2565 Park Plaza. We will open with an overview of the transit plan by the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Sustainability, and then we will hear from a panel of conservation organizations on how this transit plan relates to their missions. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so this is a great opportunity to ask questions to one of the plan’s representatives and conservation experts before the vote on May 1st.

We hope you will join us for this important discussion. You can visit the Facebook event here for more information and to invite your friends.

I am in support of the Transit Plan for many reasons. — Nashville’s traffic has become increasingly congested as more people live and work here. We don’t have the space available to continue to widen roads and allow more cars (people driven or autonomous) with single occupants to be our only method of transportation. The proposed plan will improve the existing bus system and add rapid bus or light rail on nine key high capacity corridors. The capital cost is estimated at $5.4 billion with an annual operating cost of $99.5 million per year. Taken over the fourteen-year scope of the project, that adds up to a total combined (and inflated) cost of $8.9 billion. An affirmative vote on May 1 would create a dedicated source of funding through four tax surcharges: (1) a sales tax surcharge of 0.5% for the first five years, increasing to 1% in 2023; (2) a hotel/motel tax surcharge of 0.25% for the first five years, increasing to 0.375% in 2023; (3) a 20% surcharge on the business/excise tax; and (4) a 20% surcharge on the rental car tax. This puts at least some of the financial burden on businesses and tourists, who will also benefit from Nashville having a robust transit system. Fares and state and federal funding will also help cover costs. That funding would provide in the short run: high frequency service (every ten to fifteen minutes) and longer hours on more routes, wifi on buses, more crosstown routes, extension of the Music City Star route, and easier fare payment. MTA has already instituted real time bus information and eliminated the transfer fee. In addition to the bus service, MTA will build five light rail lines along Gallatin, Nolensville, Murfreesboro, and Charlotte Pikes and along a northwest corridor from downtown to Buchanan Street. West End, Hillsboro Rd, Dickerson Pike, and Bordeaux will get bus rapid transit. Ultimately all lines headed to downtown will tie into a transit tunnel running under 5th Avenue from SoBro to Charlotte Avenue. These improvements are all designed with the long-term goal of tying into routes from neighboring counties so that we will have a truly regional system. This has to start in Nashville, and I urge the citizens of Nashville to support this important initiative. More information can be found here.

Early voting begins on April 11 for the May 1 election, — which, in addition to the transit referendum, includes court clerks, judges, sheriff, and trustee. Judges serve eight-year terms and run for specific types of courts. Each court also has specific divisions or parts, that are run for separately.

a. General Sessions is the first court for small claims and hears both civil and criminal cases; civil cases are limited to $25,000, and criminal cases are limited to preliminary misdemeanors or felony hearings and trials in which the penalty can be no more than eleven months and 29 days. There are two divisions in the May election. Division III hears mostly domestic violence cases. Division X does not have a specific docket.

b. Chancery Court hears civil cases of higher monetary value and has some discretion in application of strict legal rules. Chancery Court does not hear criminal cases.

c. Criminal Courts hear misdemeanor appeals from General Sessions Court and felony cases.

d. Court Clerks ensure the efficient operation of the court by monitoring dockets and records, handling administrative matters and serving as good will ambassadors to the public. This year we have races for Criminal Court Clerk and Juvenile Court Clerk.

Because the May 1 election is actually a primary, voters will need to choose between the Democratic and Republican primary ballot. Davidson County is somewhat unique in that judicial candidates seem to all come from one party. The Democratic ballot has all candidates for judges, court clerks, trustee, sheriff, public defender, register of deeds, and democratic committee members for each district, as well as the Transit referendum. The Republican ballot has no candidates, but write-in spaces for the positions listed above as well as the Transit referendum. The sample ballots can be seen here.

Earth Day — will be celebrated with neighborhood clean-ups and a Festival at Centennial Park on Saturday, April 21 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The festival features exhibits and hands-on activities aimed at educating Nashvillians about protecting our environment. There will be used book donations, recycling of pharmaceuticals and cell phone, and Goodwill drop-offs, as well as crafts using repurposed supplies. Click here for more information.

The Islamic Center of Nashville would like to invite neighbors to their 4th Annual Diversity Brunch: Tasting food from around the globe event, — which will be held on Saturday, April 21st, from 10:30 AM to 1 PM. They are expecting 40 nationalities of food and displays. This will be a way to build relationships through food. ISN is partnering with Nashville Reads/ Nashville Public Library and its selected 2018 book: “The Potlikker Papers.” They will be honoring Avi Poster, a strong community activist, with this year’s Beyond Borders Award, to recognize his outstanding contribution to building a more just and inclusive Nashville. This year there will be a cover charge for the food ($5/ adult & $2/ child & kids under 3 free), where all collections will be split equally among several neighboring organizations: Nashville Public Library, Organized Neighbors of Edgehill, YWCA, You Have the Power, Nashville Int’l Academy and ICN.

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Vanderbilt University Library present the 5th annual Bard’s Birthday Bash! — A special celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday in honor of Anne Cook Calhoun. The event will be held Monday, April 23 from 12-3 pm on the Vanderbilt University Library Lawn.

Belmont Pharmacy School and Lipscomb Pharmacy School are sponsoring a drug take back program — at Hillsboro High School on Monday, April 16 from 11:00 to 2:00. More information is available from paige.greene@pop.belmont.edu.

The Country Music Marathon — will take place Saturday, April 28 - road closings will include Magnolia, 18th, Portland, Belmont, Clayton, 12th Ave S, and Wedgewood starting 5:45 a.m. till 11:15 pm. No parking signs will go up on Friday before the race.

The Music City Star will offer rides to the Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival on Saturday, April 28. — The train will leave Riverfront Station in downtown Nashville at noon, unless the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon experiences a rain delay. Wilson County will provide transportation to those attending the festival by train from the Lebanon Station to the Wilson County Expo Center and back. The train will leave Lebanon Station at 5:30 p.m. and stop at all stations en route to Nashville. The train will arrive at Riverfront Station by 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 plus a $1 processing fee, and may be purchased with a credit card through the RTA website or at www.ticketsnashville.com. Tickets will be on sale until 24 hours prior to departure or until tickets are sold out, whichever comes first. For more information, visit the Music City Star website.

The Metro budget process is under way. — Currently the Mayor is holding hearings with each department to hear their proposed budgets. Because so many properties successfully appealed their tax increase, revenues for the upcoming year are expected to be lower than originally projected, so this year will be a no-growth budget.

Metro Public Works is developing a Solid Waste Master Plan and needs your input! — As part of Nashville’s Zero Waste Master Planning process Public Works wants residents and businesses to weigh in on the current waste and recycling system and what changes they would like to see in the future. Please take a few minutes to follow the link above and give us your thoughts! I am serving on the Task Force to help with the project, and I’m optimistic that we can develop a plan to reduce waste, increase composting and recycling, and minimize our dependence on landfills. For more information on Nashville’s Long-term Zero Waste Master Plan process and progress visit ZeroWaste.Nashville.gov.

In October 2017, NES changed its payment processing vendor. — This change meant that those customers set up for automatic payments needed to reestablish their automatic payments through the new vendor. NES has shared this information online and attempted to reach all impacted customers over the last six months via multiple modes of communication. However, they still have around 900 customers who have not re-enrolled their account for automatic payments and not made payments, including a handful in District 18. As such, NES will now start disconnecting power for those customers on April 15th. Customers can call NES Customer Service (615) 736-6900 or use the NES online system.

Vanderbilt and ofo have partnered to bring dockless bike sharing to campus. — Neighbors may have noticed bright yellow bikes parked in Hillsboro Village and around the VU campus. Similar to Nashville’s B-Cycle program, these bikes can be rented by the hour, but they don’t have to be returned to a specific kiosk location. Instead, they lock themselves anywhere within the “geofence” area that has been established around Vanderbilt. Riders download the ofo app, scan the QR code on the bike to unlock and go, and park the bike at any bike friendly location such as a bike rack or in the furniture zone of the sidewalk (the space where a bench is).

Since its inception in 2012, the Nashville Police Department’s Warrants Division online tool, — which allows citizens to anonymously report persons wanted on outstanding criminal charges, has received 679 online submissions, leading to the service of 240 outstanding warrants. Citizens who have knowledge of a wanted person’s whereabouts are urged to visit http://www.police.nashville.org/bureaus/investigative/warrants.asp and click on the Report Wanted Criminals link. Citizens can access this information from computers or smart phones. Persons can also contact the Criminal Warrants Division at 615-862-7685. This tool is in addition to Crime Stoppers, where citizens provide crime-related information by phone or Internet can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward.

This year’s HWEN Plant Swap will be coupled with a backyard compost workshop hosted by Metro Public Workshop, — Saturday, May 5, 1:30-4:00 at the residence of Lisa Roiseman, 407 Chesterfield. Start marking plants and places for swapping now. The event is open to the community. A Metro educator will provide materials and give digital presentations on iPads showing how to use a backyard composter. She will be available for two hours to chat and interact with all comers. Two actual composters will be raffled away at this event, so be sure not to miss it!

I hope Spring is off to a good start for everyone. I look forward to seeing everyone out and about and hearing what is on your mind. Please contact me with your suggestions and concerns at burkley.allen@nashville.gov or 615-383-6604.

Regards,
Burkley Allen
Metro Council 18th District

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