by Jon Styf
The Tennessee House voted Monday night to approve a bill to cut the Metro Nashville council from 40 to 20 members. The bill caps all cities and metro governments at 20 voting members, a rule that only currently applies to Nashville.
A fiscal note on House Bill 48 says that it will save Nashville $510,000 annually if the bill goes into full effect.
An amendment from Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, to require a referendum in Nashville where more than 50% of the population would need to approved the change was tabled by a 70-25 vote.
“You are setting up Metro government for failure,” Clemmons said. “This is not where this conversation should be taking place.”
Clemmons said the bill would impact the diversity of representation on Nashville’s council and also set the state up for thousands of dollars in legal fees as the constitutionality of the bill is questioned.
Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, said his father was part of the decision to make the Metro Nashville board 40 members and questioned why those negotiations would be changed now due to actions by the state.
“What are we trying to fix now if it was good just last month?” Love said.
In response, Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, said the bill was about every city in the state not expanding its council and make the mistakes that he believes Nashville made to expand its council beyond 20 members.
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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter of The Center Square who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.
Photo “Metro Nashville Council” by nashville.gov.
2 Thoughts to “Tennessee House Passes Bill to Reduce Metro Nashville Council to 20”
Too bad that they cannot dissolve the council.