Nashville Mayor John Cooper says voter control over property tax rollbacks and increases is unconstitutional – and that voters are uninformed for supporting it. The mayor made this assertion during a Wednesday press conference explaining Metro’s new budget.
The mayor responded to reporter questions about what potential consequences would occur if the taxpayer referendum – the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act led by 4 Good Government – were to pass, and what the city would do about the potential financial blow. Cooper said that government officials have the ultimate control and final say on that matter. He noted that the 34 to 37 percent property tax increase last year “never really was that high.” Cooper said that community upset over the increase was no longer relevant because “that is so last year – that is so 2020.”
Metro Nashville health officials will continue to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will be discussed in an upcoming emergency meeting called by the CDC. According to preliminary reports, there have been double the expected cases of heart inflammation occurring in both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients.
The CDC meeting is scheduled for this Friday. Officials will discuss whether there exists a definitive link between the two vaccine types and the reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis. The Tennessee Star inquired with the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) if they would continue administering the Pfizer vaccine up until the CDC holds its emergency meeting. MPHD spokespersons confirmed to The Star that they would.
Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the false claims of impending doom made by Mayor John Cooper to dissuade people from voting on the tax referendum.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the launch of another campaign offering freebies in exchange for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The “Shots on Goal” campaign launched Thursday. If individuals get their vaccination from any of the five pop-up clinics listed, they will receive a coupon booklet with 11 different incentives valued at over $100 from 20 different businesses.
Metro government will provide a partial reimbursement to the businesses involved. If a vaccinated individual takes advantage of every coupon in their booklet, the total cost to Metro would be $36. The mayor’s office clarified that these funds would come from their CARES Act reserves. The campaign didn’t mention a limit on the number of coupon booklets handed out.
Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed AFP’s Grassroots Director Grant Henry to the newsmakers line to talk about their campaign at Grassrootsnashville.com urging conservatives to volunteer and get out the vote on June 27th to stop the tax increase in Davidson County.
Earlier this week, 4 Good Government published a video series explaining the purposes and benefits of their voter referendum, the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. The 7 short videos addressed each of the 6 amendments in the referendum.
Jim Roberts, the attorney and founder behind 4 Good Government, explained that he founded the organization to improve Metro Nashville government.
Nashville’s Affordable Housing Task Force declared that racial equity, antiracism, and reparations are several goals for affordable housing development. These goals were outlined in Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s affordable housing report, published Wednesday. The task force wrote in the report that these goals would bolster their recommendations, leading to significant progress for the next four years.
“Racial inequity permeates Nashville’s past and present – and housing is no exception. While existing Fair Housing policies are intended to protect vulnerable communities, many Black and Brown Nashvillians still face housing discrimination,” read the task force report. “Current status-quo practices and policies continue to perpetuate harm, so we must intentionally work to design and implement solutions that are anti-racist both in outcomes and processes.” [emphasis added]
Affordable housing in Metro Nashville received an additional $9.4 million boost for 335 new houses and 90 home preservations. Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced these latest funds in a Wednesday press release.
“We know Nashville’s affordable housing needs are urgent, and we know solving this problem requires an all-hands-on-deck approach,” stated Cooper.
A total of 37 Nashville businesses are offering free beers or coffee drinks now through the end of May – but only for those who’ve been vaccinated. Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the campaign, “Shot for a Beer, Shot for a Cup,” in a press release on Friday.
Partners on the campaign are the mayor’s Hospitality Advisory Committee, the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corp, and HospitalityTN. Certain businesses require a purchase to acquire the free drink. The campaign announcement didn’t specify whether an individual could get more than one free drink.
According to the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), Nashville’s mask mandate was supposed to continue despite the latest CDC recommendation. However, health officials quickly reversed their decision within hours, and without offering a detailed explanation. As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, the mask mandate ended on Friday morning at 5 a.m. CST. The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) shared that the decision was made by certain Metro health officials, who convened after Thursday’s board of health meeting.
MPHD said in a press release that certain Metro health officials met after the Metro Board of Health meeting Thursday to further review the CDC recommendations. It is unclear what further information caused them to change their minds. In response to inquiries from The Star, the MPHD spokesperson shared the same MPHD press release. He said that there weren’t any other reasons for the reversal beyond what’s been shared publicly.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) announced Friday that the city will no longer require residents or visitors to wear masks, and announced an end to capacity restrictions on businesses.
“As of this morning, Nashville has lifted the mask mandate and all capacity restrictions. 301,700 Nashvillians have received a vaccine, which is life-saving and economy-saving. Together we weathered the storm of the last 14 months, and Nashville is ready for the rebound,” he said on Twitter, attaching a public service video announcement.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Tuesday that he’d appointed 11 individuals to an advisory board tasked with addressing Metro violence. According to the mayor’s press release, these newly-appointed members will determine how $1.5 million in grants should be spent to prevent and reduce community violence.
The members of the Community Safety Partnership Advisory Board are Katina Beard, chair of the mayor’s Behavior Health and Wellness Advisory Council; Christiane Buggs, chair of Metro Nashville Public School Board of Education; Sheila Calloway, judge in the Metro Nashville Juvenile Court; Jennifer Gamble, chair of the Metro Council Public Safety Committee; Dwayne Greene, deputy chief of the Metro Nashville Police Community Services Bureau; Nawzad Hawrami, public safety chair of the mayor’s New American Advisory Council; Dr. Christopher Jackson, reverend for the Pleasant Green Baptist Church; Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the Metro Nashville Public Health Board; Andres Martinez, chair of the Metro Community Oversight Board; and Tom Turner, president and CEO of the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss Oracle’s big move to Nashville’s East Bank and the consequences of a real estate boom in Middle Tennessee.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover in studio to discuss the Davidson County budget proceedings and referenced a debilitating Wall Street Journal article that puts Nashville in a fiscally negative light.
Nashville spent nearly $10,000 for 7 hours of live music, cheerleaders, and mascots to celebrate mass vaccinations with the now-suspended Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As The Tennessee Star reported, Mayor John Cooper announced these celebratory aspects of the mass vaccination two days before last month’s event.
According to an invoice obtained by The Star, these were costs incurred by “live music production event support.” The invoice didn’t offer any further details about those costs. The exact total came out to $9,836.47.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Friday that the residents would soon see property tax rates decrease to levels seen years ago. According to several city council members, however, this may not really be the ideal property tax reduction that Cooper portrayed. Cooper broke the news in a one-on-one interview…
A bill to reduce lifetime health benefits for Metro Nashville City Council members passed on Tuesday. Mayor John Cooper quickly approved it on Wednesday. However, there were significant amendments from the initial proposal to the adopted version.
Notably, the final version of the bill extended the grandfathering deadline – which also required council members to serve eight years or more – from 2023 to 2027. Additionally, Metro government will cover 75 percent of benefits during the first two years of continued participation in their healthcare plan, 50 percent for the next two years, and 25 percent after that. In the initial proposal, Metro government would’ve covered 25 percent.
Nashville Metro Council member Steve Glover is pushing for more budget transparency from Mayor John Cooper. Glover made this announcement during a press conference on Wednesday. In short, the resolution would ask the mayor to share with the council an estimate on revenues. Glover shared that his initial predictions of a $70-100 million surplus proved less than the actual current surplus of $102-150 million.
As a result, Glover estimated that the mayor could reduce the tax increase anywhere from 31 to 50 percent. He explained that he’d relied on numbers from the state to draw these conclusions – the same information that the mayor knew while deciding on the hefty property tax increase.
The 10,000 individuals who signed up for the mass vaccination event at the Nissan Stadium will be greeted with fanfare: live music, cheerleaders, and mascots to boot. Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued this announcement in a press release on Thursday, several days ahead of the mass vaccination event on Sunday. The release noted that the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation (CVC) and the Tennessee Titans would assist in putting on the “live musical performance.”
The Tennessee Star inquired with the mayor’s office about the cost of this celebratory aspect to the mass vaccination event. Cooper’s spokesperson didn’t respond by press time.
A maskless Governor Bill Lee visited downtown Nashville to encourage tourism and support the local businesses. Lee didn’t acknowledge the Metro government’s ongoing mask mandate, which has been in effect since last June.
“Hey everybody, Governor Bill Lee here down on Broadway in downtown Nashville,” said Lee. “I’m glad that you are here for the SCC tournament or whether you’re a spring breaker just about to be here, or someone looking for a place to come this summer – Tennessee is open for business! I’m about to go down to some of my favorite businesses, get me a pair of boots, might get me something to eat. I hope that you will come down and get you some boots and you something to eat in downtown Nashville soon!”
Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Fox Nation contributor Tomi Lahren to the newsmakers line to talk about moving to Nashville and the danger of liberal policies making their way to the city.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Councilmember Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to discuss the broken promises of Mayor Cooper and committee confirmation requirements.
Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to give updates on the Taxpayer Protection Act petitions received.
Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville Attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to talk about the adjustments made to the Taxpayer Protection Act petition to get it on the ballot.
The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to the state’s appeal on the constitutionality of its education savings account program (ESA). The pilot school voucher program has been tied up in a legal battle for all of 2020 after its passage by the General Assembly in 2019, thereby preventing any planned advancement of the program.
The program was previously ruled unconstitutional by Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Anne Martin. She assessed it would disproportionately impact two counties: Shelby County Schools (SCS) and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). Those districts reportedly contain about 90 percent of the state’s failing schools list. The Court of Appeals upheld Martin’s decision last September.
Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced Monday that phased in-person learning would begin this week. The news was presented at a press conference on Monday. MNPS Board Chair Christiane Buggs, MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, Meharry Medical College President and CEO Dr. James Hildreth, Meharry Medical College Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Patrick Johnson, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper were present.
According to the reopening plan, special needs students at Genesis Academy and High Roads School of Nashville will return to classrooms on Thursday. Then, preschoolers, K-4 students, and those with exceptional needs may return starting February 9. Grades 5 and 9 may return on February 18, followed by grades 6, 7, and 8 on February 25. The last to return will be the remainder of high schoolers – grades 10-12 – on March 3.
Mayor John Cooper claimed on Thursday that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may open up in the near future. He cited the downturn in local COVID-19 case metrics as the main indicator of this prediction, though he didn’t offer any specific timelines.
“[O]ur COVID metrics continue to improve,” stated Cooper. “We’re working with public health and MNPS to evaluate the timely and responsible return of an in-person learning option on a daily basis. Current case trends will allow MNPS to have an in-person option very soon.”
While the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Mayor John Cooper are talking about renovating Nissan Stadium and extending the team’s lease, a price tag for taxpayers has not been disclosed.
The franchise and the city announced their discussions last week, The Tennessee Star reported. The negotiations have been going on for some time, but the team said it was making the process public, citing a story by The Tennessean. Something should be known in about six months.
The Metro Nashville Council on Tuesday voted to approve Mayor John Cooper’s $1.6 billion transportation plan.
The move will help Nashville to apply for federal grants to implement the plan, WPLN reported. Cooper wants to invest in the WeGo bus system even though ridership fell by half this year during the pandemic.
Metro Nashville charged three women for hosting a Halloween party that officials say violated COVID-19 restrictions.
Charged were Madilyn Dennington, Bailey Mills and Olivia Noe, according to a story by WKRN. They are residents at a house on Boscobel Street that allegedly hosted the party; authorities received complaints for a loud party there.
Under emergency health orders, Nashville police have arrested 47 people as of mid-November, including 11 accused of hosting large gatherings, The Tennessean newspaper said.
The newspaper said it based its report on its research of court documents and other data. Reportedly, 79 percent were in violation of Metro Health orders by failing to wear a mask in public. Some of the hosts allegedly held house parties of up to 600 people at a time, according to police, which could result in up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Monday afternoon in downtown Nashville, a rally of just over 100 people protested the latest gathering limit from Mayor John Cooper. None of the police were present at the Legislative Plaza steps where everyone gathered.
Cooper coined the term “Rule of 8” for the city’s latest pandemic-related order ahead of Thanksgiving. The event description on Facebook described the rule as “ridiculous and unconstitutional.”
Pastor Greg Locke hosted the protest. Locke announced the event during the third “Stop the Steal” rally last Saturday – Trump supporters have pledged to gather every weekend until the general election lawsuits are resolved.
University of Tennessee at Knoxville Law Professor Glenn Reynolds is calling out the Metro Nashville Department of Health’s claims over COVID-19 closures, saying they are “not following the science.”
Starting Monday, Nov. 30, Nashville will limit bars and restaurants to 50 percent capacity, NewsChannel 5 reported Monday. They must operate at half capacity with 6 feet of social distancing for a maximum of 100 customers per floor, whichever is less.
The Community Oversight Board (COB) approved a report issuing use of force consent decree recommendations. Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) will work with the COB to implement these recommendations. Mayor John Cooper tasked members within the Community Oversight Board to explore use of force policies following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased this month, more Tennessee counties are re-issuing mask mandates. Tennessee has nearly 250,000 confirmed cases, 88 percent of which have recovered. Montgomery County issued the most recent mask mandate on Tuesday. Other counties with mandates include Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, and Sumner. These mask mandates adhere to guidelines issued under Governor Bill Lee.
Christian evangelist and worship leader Sean Feucht said that Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper could not trace a single coronavirus case to his Let Us Worship prayer rally on October 11.
Feucht on Thursday posted on his public Facebook page, “Nashville Mayors Office today confirms ZERO new cases tracked to our #LetUsWorship. (and they looked real hard too). Someone tell the squad at @rollingstone @cnn @abcnews @nbcnews @cbsnews PLS.”
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.
Mayor John Cooper issued a press release Tuesday announcing the launch of a new “Hospitality Committee” to ensure business compliance with COVID-19 health orders. Members of the committee cover major areas of Nashville’s tourism industry, including hotels, bars, restaurants, entertainment, and attractions.
An estimated nine to ten thousand people attended a “Let Us Worship” protest in downtown Nashville on late Sunday afternoon. The event was hosted by Sean Feucht, a Christian artist known for his leadership in the California-based megachurch, Bethel Church.
Attendees flocked to the Public Square in downtown Nashville, in front of Metro Courthouse. The day of the event, Feucht announced in a Twitter video the last-minute arrangements for time and location.
The Nashville Metro Council on Tuesday gave Mayor John Cooper the authority to deputize certain city workers to issue citations against bars and restaurants that violate his coronavirus restrictions, The Tennessean reported.
Metro Health Department employees are overworked in trying to combat businesses, the newspaper said. Only workers who already have citation powers will be authorized to serve as restaurant police, according to the bill that passed on third reading. The mayor must still given written permission to workers to use this new power.
Informants reportedly helped Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s restaurant police cite two downtown bars over the weekend.
WSMV reported that a task force cited Dogwood and Rebar, both on Division Street, on Saturday for having too many patrons, including on the patio. The task force had members from Metro Public Health Department, the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Metro Beer Board. The task force checked on Dogwood again on Sunday.