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Metro balances the books
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Metro balances the books

馃捀 The council balances the budget 路聽Where journalists have no names 路聽New restaurants and developments 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

We鈥檙e just over halfway through a fairly demure Pride Month. Today is Juneteenth. It鈥檚 getting hot and humid out there. Keep pushing, guys. We can make it through this together.

Onward.

Despite a dense docket, it was smooth sailing through the final reading of Metro Council鈥檚 substitute budget during last night鈥檚 meeting. Mayor O鈥機onnell enveloped Budget and Finance Committee Chair Delishia Porterfield in a hug following the body鈥檚 unanimous approval of the ordinance. 鈥淚 would like to thank the mayor for giving us a really great foundation to start off with,鈥 said Porterfield, in front of a backdrop of protest signs reading IT鈥橲 GENOCIDE. 鈥淢y focus for this year's budget was to utilize an equity lens to [prioritize] the residents of Nashville, particularly our youth and our city employees who are vital to making our city thrive.鈥

Though there was a little pushback after Porterfield originally unveiled the council鈥檚 budget, it seems she avoided any courthouse scruples by making a few notable changes at the eleventh hour. For one, Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda got the $300,000 she needed to fund her 鈥淏uild It Right鈥 legislation鈥檚 construction safety oversight board. 

Speaking of Build It Right: the bill got significant support during last night鈥檚 meeting, and Sepulveda was able to pass a substitute version of her bill on second reading. After being deferred to address a few community and administrative concerns, the District 30 council member didn鈥檛 just manage to appease her colleagues by adding a contractor position to the board, but she also cut a few of the DEI requirements: specifically, the requirement to adhere to Metro鈥檚 Equal Business Opportunity Program.

While 鈥淏uild It Right鈥 got a boost, Metro Arts got a buzzcut: Porterfield ended up shaving a bit off the top of the $400,000 set aside for Metro Arts to conduct an equity study. Now, there will only be 鈥渦p to $250,000鈥 available in this year鈥檚 budget for the study.

At the end of the day, Porterfield was able to find the extra money needed for her additional spending without raising taxes or firing anyone; instead, she turned to administrative savings and Metro reserve funds.  鈥...I do have to be very clear that because of a mid-year supplemental, we were able to reduce those admin accounts,鈥 she told her colleagues. 鈥淗owever, in our next budget, we do have to refill those accounts [and] we will not be able to tap them so low...鈥

For the most part, the council seemed to be on the same page鈥 aside from the budget, the COLA pay plan adjustments and the tax levy passed without a fuss. Even the creation of twenty-three new Metro jobs got the green light from council members by voice vote. However, there was one council member who was thoroughly iced out of the discussion: District 16鈥檚 Ginny Welsch.

Welsch proposed six of the seven amendments filed to make more changes to the budget on third reading: all defunding the police and allocating their budget dollars elsewhere. Five of those proposals never made it through committee because the 鈥渘o pass for fascism鈥 council member couldn鈥檛 find anyone to second her amendments. As Vice Mayor Angie Henderson opened up the machines to take the final vote on the budget proposal, Welsch was flustered and confused having not presented the one amendment that made it through committee. Unfortunately, she missed her window during the proceedings and resigned to the fate of her failed amendments. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK




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Nashville

鉁嶏笍 Where Journalists Have No Names It鈥檚 high time we check in on our city鈥檚 esteemed, nonpartisan (he promises) muckraker, Footman Phil Williams over at NewsChannel 5. His latest jihad is against Shawn Taylor, who serves as the Assistant Chief of Police in Millersville, a town of six thousand about ten miles north of Nashville just off I-65 overflowing into both Robertson and Sumner County. Williams鈥 reporting on the so-called 鈥渃onspiracy cop鈥 has sought to question whether Taylor鈥檚 鈥渂izarre theories鈥 make him unfit for the job.

Since starting this beat on May 20th, he鈥檚 tried to spin the story into a kind of Gabrielle Hanson redux, but it has failed to land with as much oomph鈥攎ainly because most people have no idea where Millersville is, or why a reporter from Nashville would stick his nose in their business. The caricature he鈥檚 drawn of Taylor conveniently plays into the progressive stereotype of the hinterlands: backwoods locales full of feral MAGA supporters roaming the streets and seeking to undo Our Democracy.

As luck would have it, there鈥檚 another police officer making headlines right now who could be maligned as a 鈥渃onspiracy cop鈥: Lt. Garet Davidson. The man who filed a 61-page complaint alleging collusion between the state and MNPD to kill the city鈥檚 community oversight board and spoke out about his former employer鈥檚 handling of the Covenant documents has a conspiratorial bent himself, albeit with more spiritual, religious overtones.

Davidson鈥檚 lengthy complaint has proved a useful tool in progressives鈥 effort to empower the comparatively toothless Community Review Board, which Mayor O鈥機onnell established soon after taking office and which has yet to reach an agreement with MNPD. However, Davidson鈥檚 revelations concerning the Covenant documents have allied him with free speech advocates who have been calling for the release of Audrey Hale鈥檚 so-called manifesto, putting him in something of political purgatory鈥攁 space lackeys like Williams find difficult to operate. DAVIS HUNT

鉁   鉁   鉁

 馃捀 A list of Porterfield鈥檚 substitute operating budget changes:

  • 4 percent COLA (a 0.5% increase from the mayor鈥檚 budget) 
  • $300,000 for Sepulveda鈥檚 鈥Build It Right,鈥 construction worker safety board
  • $1 million for the Varsity Spending Plan ($250,000 will go to the parks department for additional programing in community centers and $750,000 will create an office of youth safety, including a restorative justice pilot program through the parks department)
  • Up to $250,000 to the Metro Arts for an arts equity study
  • $200,000 towards a county-wide childcare study
  • $159,000 for the Raphah Institute to support restorative justice diversion programs throughout the juvenile and adult court system. 
  • About $750,000 in additional funding for the Fire Department鈥檚 REACH program, including the addition of two crisis counselors
  • Over $1 million for indigent defense funding ($900,000 will go to the public defender's office for additional positions and $400,000 will go to the indigent defense fund)
  • $150,000 for period products for schools and public buildings
  • $150,000 for the Nashville Music, Film and Entertainment Commission
  • $35,000 to Nashville Public Libraries for language access services 
  • $75,000 to General Sessions Court for their competency courts to comply with new state law
  • $20,000 to the Health Department for spay and neuter clinics
  • $75,000 for Nashville鈥檚 Safe Bar Program 
  • $150,000 for the Mary Parrish Center to support victims of domestic violence 
  • $60,000 to the Tennessee Justice Center 
  • $50,000 for the Music City Construction Careers Program 
  • $25,000 to Sister Cities 
  • $15,000 to Neighbor 2 Neighbor
  • Funding for the Metro Human Relations Commission for two new positions
  • Funding for the Beer Board to start the ONEbox Program (a delivery service for Narcan to help reverse overdoses)
  • Funding for the Mayor鈥檚 Office of NightlIfe for an additional support position
  • Funding for Animal Control will get funding for an animal control officer and an animal care assistant

DEVELOPMENT

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  • Scout's Pub Midtown closes. Trendy Korean spot to replace it (NBJ)
  • Omakase speakeasy, cocktail lounge to open in the Gulch this summer (NBJ)
  • Christie Cookie's Germantown headquarters is on the market (NBJ)
  • Nashville TV show producer sells Midtown property (Post)
  • Project proposed for Rutledge Hill advances (Post)
Entertainment

THINGS TO DO

View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.

TONIGHT

馃幐 Os Mutantes @ The Mil, 7p, $30, Info

馃幐 Brett Sheroky @ 3rd and Lindsley, 7p, $12,68, Info
+ country music singer-songwriter

馃獣 Jim & Jesse Tribute Show @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

馃獣 Derek Vanderhorst ft. John Mailander @ Dee's Lounge, 10p, $5, Info
+ a fun evening of fiddling, banjoing, bass slappin, folkgrass fun

馃獣 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info