Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Metro Nashville City Council Member-At-Large Steve Glover to the newsmaker line to discuss the never-ending mask mandates in Davidson County encouraged by the liberal city council.
Leahy: And we are joined on the newsmaker line by our very good friend, Intro Council at large member, Steve Glover. Good morning, Steve.
Glover: Good morning, sir. How are you?
Leahy: Well, I am more than a little bit perturbed (Laughter) that your colleagues at the Metro Council. You never get perturbed.
Glover: Welcome to my world.
Leahy: Our story from Wednesday, Tuesday night, the indoor mask mandate ordinance in Davidson County passed for a second vote. It’s one vote away from approval by the Metro Council. Why on Earth do they want to do this, Steve?
Glover: So let’s first of all, break down the makeup of this council. Extremely liberal. I think that’s more than generous to say. It’s extremely liberal.
They think that they need to reach in and tell you what to do when to do it, and how to do it, et cetera, et cetera, all the time, even though they’re only a local government.
And so that’s what it is. They for some reason are under the facade that they are going to save all these lives if we do this. You know as well as I do, this thing has no teeth to it. The police have virtually no enforcement backbone to it.
The most they could do is if you wanted to hand over your driver’s license, they could write you a citation that would cost you $50. But if you refuse to, they can’t even write you a citation. This thing has no teeth to it whatsoever.
All it is is a hindrance. It’s a problem. And what it’s going to do is it’s going to destroy our convention business and our downtown business.
It’s going to hurt our businesses in town, which ultimately will hurt our employees, which ultimately hurt the constituents, which ultimately is beyond stupid. So there you go. (Leahy laughs) We just arrived at the answer.
Leahy: Beyond stupid in 21 to 12 votes. 21 of your Metro Council member colleagues are stupid. It’s official.
Glover: Well, let’s say this. We haven’t gotten 21 on the third reading yet. I don’t see 21 coming in on third based on some things that I’ve heard and rumors I’ve heard, etc. I just don’t see 21 coming in. And you got to understand, if only 20 would have voted, it would have been dead.
Leahy: Why is that? Do you have to have a majority of the total members?
Glover: Yes, you have to have 21 votes on this one.
Leahy: Really? Even though it was 21 to 12 and 33 out of 40 actually voted doesn’t matter for this to become an ordinance on the third reading. The third vote on it. It still has to get more than 20 votes. Is that right?
Glover: That’s right. It has to have 21 or greater.
Leahy: So you think that there’s a shot that they won’t get 21 or greater?
Glover: So let’s put everything in context if we may. Do we have just a few more moments?
Leahy: We do.
Glover: All right. So let’s put things in context. Let’s talk about the party buses. Let’s talk about the Pedal Taverns. Metro has an ordinance on Pedal Taverns. We don’t have anything on the party buses, and that’s a big big problem.
People get irritated with that. I get irritated with it. We need to have some regulation. But the state is also looking at that. And so we need to do things that are proper that will blend properly with what the state is going to do.
I brought that up specifically because if we go ahead and we move on this, I firmly believe the state will step in, slap our hands, and say no. Because for some reason, this council seems to think that we tell the state what to do.
It’s the exact opposite. The reason the city exists is that the state allows us to exist. It’s the way it’s set up. Now, I’m not saying that tongue in cheek. I’m saying that very seriously. That’s the way this state is set up.
That’s the way the majority of states are set up. State rule will supersede local at almost every venture. And so if this council wants to keep messing around and playing, then all we’ll have to worry about will be zoning ordinances down the road.
Leahy: So the ordinance that would impose an indoor mask mandate for individuals living and working in the city of Nashville, Davidson County. No end date to it. The bill would require masks in public spaces like stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and bars.
Violators could face a $50 fine. What is the legal authority of this ordinance if it were to pass on a third reading?
Glover: Virtually none, because the police can’t arrest you for it. If you refuse to do it, it has no teeth to it. What it is again, is a pure hindrance. However, the reverberation of this thing will send throughout the country, and we stand to lose a lot of tourism business.
A lot of folks that come into Nashville because they’re like, I don’t need this garbage. Correct me if I’m wrong, we’ve already been through this last year when we had the mask mandate. It destroyed a lot of our businesses.
A lot of businesses are no longer open. It drove a lot of people out of town. They could no longer stay here and try to work because there was no work.
Now, what’s happened to us? Now we have such a shortage of workers that I mean, we have another dilemma that we’ve created. We need to think long and hard about this.
I really hope that every council member would think long and hard on this and understand the unintended consequences that if we go ahead and pass this thing, even though it has no teeth, it will send a message and it will send the wrong message out there.
Don’t visit Nashville. You have to remember, almost 50 percent of the people who work in Nashville don’t live in Nashville.
Leahy: Yeah, exactly. Metro Council member Russ Bradford, who sponsored it, said “masks work.” Did he provide any evidence to that?
Glover: They provide evidence every day, but we can turn right back around and counter that evidence and say, no, it doesn’t. Now we know the health professionals are saying, help us out. I get it. And I understand that aspect of it.
But there’s more to this than just the health issue. And I’m not making light of this. I don’t think any of us will say that this thing is not real.
We’ve all had friends who have passed away from it, and I don’t want to sound cold, but we’ve had friends pass away from cancer and other things as well that we’re not this drastic on it. And you just said a keyword a moment ago. It has no end date to it.
I’m telling you right now, you let this council sink its teeth into this thing, this will go on forever, forever, forever. It needs to be killed.
We need to get this over with and move on to real stuff. We got real issues we need to be dealing with. We keep spending money like it’s water.
If we’re not careful what’s going to end up happening, you’re going to see another 34 percent to 37 percent property tax increase in about two to three years.
Leahy: I’m shocked. I’m shocked by that possibility.
Glover: Aren’t we all? (Leahy laughs) My god, we’re so good at cutting things as opposed to just, oh, well, let’s just spend, spend, spend.
Listen to the second hour here:
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