Nashville Metro Council agreed to create two new positions relating to racial diversity, equity and inclusion for “social justice” on Wednesday. If approved by Mayor John Cooper, these two hires could cost taxpayers over $250,000 a year.
Cooper has already agreed to the creation of these positions, along with Director of Finance Kevin Crumbo and Director of Human Resources Shannon Hall. The ordinance passed unanimously without discussion, after a unanimous vote from the budget committee.
These new positions are considered “Top-Level Management” at Grade OR11 for the first position and Grade OR07 for the second position. Grade OR11 positions qualify for a salary ranging from $98,573 to $157,717. Grade OR07 salaries range from $71,522 to $100,427.
The ordinance explains that the first position, “Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer,” will oversee “diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the city.” The government will grant them the authority to ensure compliance with government-level initiatives and laws, provide county-wide training, and enforce diversity in hiring.
The second position, “Workforce Diversity Manager,” will develop recruiting and training programs focused on “diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and dialogue around social justice.” It appears this second position shares many similar duties to the first, but is slightly more involved with Human Resources.
Each hire must have a Bachelor’s Degree and four to five years’ experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Nashville is currently facing debt worsened by the coronavirus shutdowns. To offset the millions in losses, Cooper proposed a controversial 32 percent tax increase.
However, Cooper hasn’t expressed any intentions to furlough city employees. It appears from this ordinance that he is open to expanding city employment.
None of the council members behind the ordinance responded with comment by press time.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.