Election Day November 8 is for state and federal offices. This includes governor, congress, and state representatives. Early voting is underway until November 3. The last day to request an absentee ballot is November 1. Districts have been altered significantly. Davidson County is now split into three separate congressional districts, which makes it even more important to vote. Check the Tennessee General Assembly website to be sure you know what congressional, state house, and state senate district you are in. There are also four proposed amendments to the state constitution. Amendment 1 deals with Union Membership. It would put Tennessee’s 1947 “Right to Work” law into the constitution. This existing law makes it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment. This can actually make it harder for workers to organize. Ballotpedia has a good explanation and overview of both sides of this issue. Amendment 2 spells out who takes over if the Governor is unable to fulfill his or her duties. Amendment 3 officially prohibits slavery in Tennessee and removes exception language that is currently in the state constitution regarding prison labor. Amendment 4 deletes an obsolete provision in the state constitution that prohibits ministers and priests from holding office in either House of the state government. To pass, an amendment must get a majority of yes votes, and it must get more than half of all the votes cast in the governor’s election.
Brush Pick-Up begins
- November 4 - Area 1 (West Madison, Capital View, Douglas Park, Cleveland Park, McFerrin Park, Highland Heights)
- November 14 - Area 2 (East Madison, Inglewood, Neely’s Bend, Peeler Park, Maplewood Heights, Iverson, Maxwell Heights, Edgefield, Eastwood, Shelby Bottoms, Shelby Hills, and Lockland Springs)
- November 23 - Area 3 (Old Hickory, Lakewood, Hermitage, Stones River, Two Rivers, River Trace)
The Street Sweeping schedule is published monthly on Metro’s Open Data website. Residents can filter by street to find out when each block will be swept so cars can be moved out of the way. Moving cars off the street on sweeping day will help Metro Water Services get debris and leaves off the street before they end up in the storm sewer system and clog it up. Now that we are at the height of Fall, please remember not to blow the leaves from your yard into the street. Metro will pick them up if they are bagged in compostable bags, which can be bought at most hardware stores.
Flu Vaccines are available at Metro Public Health Department clinics at 2500 Charlotte Ave, 1015 East Trinity Lane, and 224 Oriel Avenue. On Nov 9th as part of a statewide Fight Flu TN event, Metro Health will be doing a drive through vaccination clinic. Flu vaccinations that day and after are free.
Anyone 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine as doctors expect this year’s flu season to be much worse than the past several years. Additionally, people who have not gotten their COVID booster should also get that. The death rate with the flu is about 2 deaths per 1,000 people who get it. The risk of death is highest in the older population with underlying medical conditions and in the very young population also. The current death rate due to COVID in Davidson County is 72/1,000 infections, the national average is 110/1,000 and Tennessee’s is 119/1,000. Those individuals who get both flu and COVID at the same time greatly increase their chances of severe disease with hospitalization, intubation and death. Mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of flu are the same as COVID; wash hands frequently, wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and if you are sick stay home.
Join me on a Bus Ride 101 from 100 Oaks to downtown on December 1st for the 98th Annual Downtown Presbyterian Church Waffle Shop! WeGo will provide bus passes, a bus ambassador to provide information on use WeGo’s growing bus system, and clean and friendly bus service. We’ll meet at the #8 bus stop by Ross Dress for Less in 100 Oaks at 10:45 am and arrive soon after the opening at 11 am. They’ll have delicious waffles and sides, a silent auction, organ music by William Taylor along with sanctuary tours, and live music by Les Kerr. It’s an event steeped in tradition and not to be missed. All proceeds will benefit DPC’s Fish & Loaves ministry which focuses on outreach and missions to the homeless and urban poor in the local community. Tickets will be on sale starting November 5th.
The city and the Titans have announced an agreement on a new Titans Stadium. On October 17, the mayor and Titans announced that a new stadium could be built and ready for football and civic use by 2026. According to the press release, this agreement would release the city from its obligation to pay almost $2 billion in maintenance and upgrades through 2039. The proposed new lease would return acres of parking lot land to the city to use for a mixed-income neighborhood, parks, green space, and needed infrastructure. The funding for the stadium would not come from property taxes, but instead would be paid by the Titans, the NFL, PSL sales, stadium campus sales tax and other fees, and a new 1% hotel tax. This rightly puts the cost burden on those who will be using and enjoying the stadium and leaves Metro’s operating fund to pay for schools, public safety, and infrastructure. The announcement laid out many of the details, but that does not mean that the decision is final. The Metro Sports Authority and the Metro Council will have to sign off on a number of agreements and ordinances, so there is still a lot of opportunity for public discussion before commitments are made. The Council has held a series of meetings to learn more about the details of the current obligations and the proposed new stadium. These provide a lot of valuable background and detailed legal and financial information so an informed decision can be made. Meetings will continue through November and December to provide additional information and allow for community engagement in five locations throughout the county. The schedule of upcoming meetings, videos of past meetings, and supporting documents can be found on the Nashville.gov website.
Property tax bills for 2022 are mailed out this time of year, and they need to be paid in full before the end of February. These are frequently included in monthly mortgage payments; property owners whose homes are paid off need to make tax payments themselves, now through the deadline. There are several possible options for revising or limiting property taxes for next year. Seniors over 65 or disabled homeowners with an income less than $31,600, disabled veterans, and spouses of deceased veterans can apply for a tax freeze or tax relief. In addition any property owner can appeal the assessment through Informal Review Request beginning November 1 by going to the assessor’s website. It is important to know that any appeals made for the 2023 assessment year, will have no effect on the 2022 assessment year tax payment.
NES is working in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) through the Home Uplift Program, which provides energy efficient renovations and upgrades at no cost to qualifying homeowners. The NES and TVA Home Uplift program has helped reduce home energy usage and power bills for aging, low-income homes in the NES service area. So far, the program has “uplifted” 700 homes in the Middle Tennessee area by providing weatherization improvements like new HVAC units, insulation and other equipment designed to keep the outside elements outside and healthy, comfortable conditions inside. These professional installations and the products are 100% free to the qualifying homeowner. For more information, click here.
Every five years the Metro Procurement Department evaluates its purchasing process to ensure that it is providing opportunity for all businesses including minority and women owned businesses. This includes a Disparity Study, being conducted by Griffin and Strong begun back last summer. The study looks at how Metro procurement processes are providing opportunity and capacity building for businesses that have not been able to benefit from traditional networks. Input from businesses is currently being collected through interviews and on-line input. See the Nashville Disparity Study website for more information.
This is a great time of year to enjoy one of Nashville’s Greenways. The Greenways for Nashville staff suggests discovering Bells Bend Park and Greenway! This 808-acre park of pastoral, gently rolling farmland is located in an arc of the Cumberland River known as Bells Bend. The Bells Bend Nature and Outdoor Center is its focal point, with much of the hiking trails following old farm roads that were associated with the site’s historic 1842 Buchanan House. There are many more great parks and greenways to explore. Nashville has almost 100 miles of greenway, and we are adding more each year to ensure that our growth protects green space. Find out more at the Greenways for Nashville website.
Metro has over 75 different volunteer boards and commissions that help with the governance of the city taking full advantage of citizen engagement and expertise. Residents of Davidson County are encouraged to participate in everything from the Agricultural Extension Board to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Nominations can be submitted by Council Members to the Mayor’s Office for consideration. The Mayor’s Office whittles the list down and final approval is by Council vote. Descriptions of all the boards and commissions can be found on the Nashville.gov website. There are openings coming up on the Solid Waste Region Board. If you are interested in serving on any board, please send me a resume with a brief explanation of your qualifications and why you would like to serve.
Thanks to a grant from the Convention and Tourists Corporation, motorists driving with blown headlights or taillights will now receive the gift of free professional bulb replacement through vouchers being supplied to MNPD officers by the Lights On! program. The MNPD is joining more than 140 police departments across the country to partner with Lights On!, which recruits local repair shops to accept the bulb replacement vouchers. The shops then submit the vouchers to Lights On! for payment. Two local repair shops are participating in the program at the onset, Music City Auto Repair, 3464 Lebanon Pike, and Cooper Automotive Service, 2843 Lebanon Pike. Lights On! anticipates adding more shops to the Nashville list in the near future.
I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween. Please let me know about your suggestions and concerns by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-383-6604.
Metro Council At-Large