Freddie O’Connell Announces First Appointments to His Staff

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell announced on Tuesday updates to his staff one day after being sworn into office during a private ceremony.

Marjorie Pomeroy-Wallace, who ran O’Connell’s campaign as campaign manager, will serve as his chief of staff. Alex Apple, who served as O’Connell’s communications director during the campaign, was also hired to serve as deputy communications director and press secretary in the mayor’s office.

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Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Deal Withdrawn Until New Mayor Arrives

A deal estimated to cost taxpayers at least $120 million to revamp Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway will have to wait for a new Nashville mayor.

The proposal was officially withdrawn from the council’s Tuesday night meeting and will not have enough time to pass before current Mayor John Cooper’s term ends. It would have needed to have three readings before being approved as Nashville’s Thursday mayoral election and a potential runoff that follows.

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Nashville Mayoral Candidates Offer Views on City Schools

A poll conducted in May on behalf of Tennesseans for Student Success by VictoryPhones, showed that Nashvillians prefer a mayoral candidate with a strong position on education and infrastructure. That quality slightly edged “positions on social issues” as the leading factor in who earned their vote.

In discussing education policy with Nashville mayoral candidates, The Tennessee Star found few variances between potential city leaders. All candidates supported Metro Nashville Public Schools and appreciated the past administration’s efforts to increase teacher pay. They all voice a commitment to ensuring that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) are among the best in the country. Outwardly, none are choice advocates.

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Metro Nashville City Council Member Bob Mendes Endorses Freddie O’Connell for Nashville Mayor

Metro Nashville Council Member (At-Large) Bob Mendes endorsed fellow council member Freddie O’Connell as the next mayor of Nashville.

In January, The Tennessee Star reported that current Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced that he would not seek re-election, leaving the race wide open. O’Connell was one of the first to announce his candidacy for the position.

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Former Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Fran Bush Announces Run for Nashville Mayor

Former Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) School Board member Fran Bush celebrated her 49th birthday Friday by announcing her intent to run for Nashville Mayor in the upcoming election. In her video announcement, Bush touted her record as a school member as the impetus for her mayoral run.

“While serving my time as a school board member for Metro Nashville Public Schools for four years, I was able to work on behalf of 80,000-plus students, their families, teachers, support staff, and bus drivers,” she said. “My work also included being the only board member who championed getting our students back in the classroom during an unprecedented time during COVID-19.”

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Nashville Mayor Cooper Says Recycling Collector ‘Failed Us’

Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted this week his frustration towards the city’s recycling collector for not being able to collect the city’s trash and recyclables in a timely matter. The Nashville Metro Water services released a statement earlier last week that Red River Waste Solutions had not been able to collect all of Nashville’s trash, and would have to halt collections to allow trucks and staff to be reassigned. 

“Our city’s private trash collector, Red River, has failed us.” Cooper tweeted. “As Mayor and a resident, I share your frustration over the problem of collecting the garbage, resulting in a temporary delay in curbside recycling as we put all our resources in collecting the trash.”

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Moves to Make Juneteenth a Paid Metro Holiday

In a statement released from the Nashville Metro Government, it said Mayor John Cooper had submitted legislation to make Juneteenth a paid Metro holiday. Cooper said that Juneteenth is a holiday for Nashville and the nation to celebrate the freedom of all African Americans.

“I submitted this request to the Civil Service Commission for their consideration and with their approval, I will sign an executive order for Metro Government to celebrate Juneteenth as a paid holiday beginning in 2022,” said Mayor Cooper. “Adding Juneteenth as a Metro holiday is consistent with the Federal Government’s addition of Juneteenth to the list of Federal holidays this year.”

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Nashville Will Extend $4.9 Million COVID Disparities Grant to Refugees, Immigrants for Testing and Vaccinations

Refugees and immigrants will have a share in Metro Nashville’s $4.9 million grant for COVID-19 health disparities in certain racial, ethnic, and rural demographics. Metro Nashville City Council adopted the resolution to accept the funds during its meeting last Tuesday. In its resolution, the council expanded the CDC’s definition of underserved populations to include refugees and immigrants.

“This [grant’s purpose] includes implementation of a collaborative, multilevel, culturally informed approach to expand access to COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration and to reduce disparities among Nashville’s underserved African American, Hispanic, immigrant, and refugee communities,” read the resolution analysis.

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Nashville Mayor Offering $150,000 to Nonprofits for Violence Reduction

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced last week that $150,000 would be going to nonprofits that offered violence reduction strategies. A nonprofit could receive up to $5,000 for their work; the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Advisory Board will issue recommendations for who receives the grant awards throughout this month and August. 

In a press release, Cooper asserted that this would allow communities to achieve safety solutions tailored to their local needs, particularly for gun violence.

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Nashville Mayor Launches Another Vaccination Freebies Campaign

a health care provider places a bandage on the injection site of a patient, who just received a vaccine

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.

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Nashville Mayor Announces Free Beers, Coffee for COVID Vaccine Recipients Only

Beer in glass on table

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.

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Nashville Mayor Cooper Promises to Drop 34 Percent Tax Increase ‘Soon’ – Council Members Say He’s Misleading Residents

  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 with WSMV News4 Nashville on Friday morning. “We’re going to be the lowest-taxed city, within a penny or two perhaps, ever in the state of Tennessee,” claimed Cooper. Nashville, we are growing as a city and soon, we will grow while having a much lower property tax rate. As a result of the reappraisal cycle, the new rate will be close to the record-low rate from 2 years ago. Thank you Holly Thompson and @WSMV for having me on this morning. — John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) April 16, 2021   At-large Councilman Bob Mendes took to Twitter to call Cooper’s announcement “misleading.” He claimed that Cooper was wrong to attribute the tax rate reduction to fiscal stewardship. “EVERY reassessment cycle ever has reduced the property tax rate. Under State law, the city’s revenue NEVER increases due to reassessment. Property values go up, tax rate goes down a proportionate amount & city…

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New Tennessee Star/Triton Poll Continues To Show Re-Election Problems for Mayor David Briley

  In April, a Tennessee Star/Triton poll of likely Davidson County voters indicated that Mayor David Briley was facing headwinds in his bid for reelection.  The weather hasn’t improved for Briley as Election Day looms just over a month away. If the August 1 election was held today Briley would lead the pack going into a runoff, pulling support from 27.8% of likely voters compared to 22.0% for Carol Swain, 19.8% for John Cooper, 10.9% for John Ray Clemmons and 19.5% of voters undecided or not sure. The Triton poll was conducted over two days (June 24-25) and surveyed 545 likely voters in Davidson County. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2%. Briley’s poll numbers are down slightly from the April poll data. In that poll of likely Davidson County voters, shortly after Cooper entered the race, Briley had support from 30.6% of the voters. Swain’s numbers remain static, with 22% support now compared to 21.1% support in May. Cooper has nearly doubled his support from 11% to 19.8% over the past two months. Clemmons has also seen his results continue to be flat, with 10.5% in April and 10.9% now. Briley remains plagued by favorability/unfavorability responses that…

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Acting Mayor of Nashville David Briley Looks Like A Man Who Hates His Job in News Channel 5 Interview

Acting Mayor David Briley appeared sullen and disengaged on NewsChannel5’s ‘Inside Politics’ with Political Analyst Pat Nolan Sunday in his interview to recap the State of the Metro address and attendant budget issues. To his credit, Inside Politics host Nolan started off the half-hour interview on what should have been a heartwarming moment. “On a personal note,” he began, “the address you gave Friday morning – the Star of the Metro address – was one that your grandfather, Mayor Beverly Briley, gave for twelve years, including the very first State of the Metro fifty-five years ago on April 1st 1963 – which is Metro’s original birthday. As you put this speech together and as you gave it, did that come back to you because the first thing your started out in your speech was a quote from your grandfather.” Briley replied flatly, “It did. We wanted to look back at what people were saying fifty years ago, and that was a good place to look.” Nolan – seeming to sense Briley’s lost opportunity jumped in, “It was about bringing people together and addressing things that were problems today, but address them in a way helps for tomorrow.” “Yep,” Briley said, nodding. He…

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Dinesh D’Souza Endorses Carol Swain for Mayor of Nashville

Author and conservative film maker Dinesh D’Souza has endorsed former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain for Mayor of Nashville, according to a statement released by her campaign on Tuesday. “Carol Swain has my endorsement for Mayor just as she would have my endorsement for just about any venture she undertook,” D’Souza said in the statement, which added: “She is a remarkable scholar and an amazing woman. One would have to go back to Booker T. Washington a century ago to find someone who has overcome almost insurmountable odds to become a nationally distinguished figure and role model,” D’Souza added. “Carol’s academic work is pathbreaking and her willingness to challenge conventional wisdom shows not only originality but intellectual bravery. Do yourself a favor and vote for Carol Swain. As mayor, she is going to be not only a strong leader but also a wonderful educator,” he added. Swain expressed appreciation for D’Souza’s endorsement. “I’m delighted to receive Dinesh’s endorsement in my campaign for Mayor of Nashville. I’ve known him for many years, and we have become good friends. Like me, Dinesh believes that Nashvillians–and all Americans–should be able to make a choice, not settle for an echo, when it comes to visions…

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David Fox on Nashville’s Special Election for Mayor: ‘I Have Decided Not to Run’

In a statement posted on Facebook Thursday, businessman David Fox announced he has decided not to run for Nashville Mayor in the upcoming special election to replace Megan Barry, to whom he lost in a runoff in 2015. “While I would like to run and would love to be mayor of Nashville because it’s an extraordinary platform from which to help people and to ensure that our city is in good shape, I have decided not to enter the race,” Fox said. The area businessman explained that a number of factors, including the personal financial cost of a campaign, the long odds of winning a short campaign, and the stress that a campaign puts on the family persuaded him to stand down this special election cycle. Fox was complimentary of acting Mayor Briley, saying, “I know David Briley to be a good person with a great family. We became friends 14 years ago when his son and our oldest son were born hours apart and a room apart at Baptist Hospital. Any differences I have with David are only on policy issues.” He continued: Still, I think it’s important that we have a mayor who recognizes we are over-spending our way into…

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Travel Documents Show Sharp Increase in Out-of-Town Trips for Mayor Barry and Bodyguard-Lover Forrest

Travel documents released to WSMV News4 by the Mayor’s Office show that out-of-town travel by Megan Barry with only the head of her security detail, former MNPD Sargent Rob Forrest, spiked after their affair began in 2016. During the first nine months in office spanning September 2015 through June 2016, the Mayor and her bodyguard traveled together only two times, and included additional city staff. However, from June 2016 through October 2017, Barry and Forrest took 26 trips, 10 of which were without any other staff. In her first statements about it, Mayor Barry – a Democrat – said her illicit affair with Forrest began “in the Spring of 2016” and that currently “it’s over,” refusing to state exactly when their relationship ended. Mayor Barry’s Communications Director Sean Braisted told WSMV News4 the addition of a security detail and frequency of trips with Sgt. Forrest came at the recommendation of the Metro Nashville Police Department and Chief Steve Anderson. Braisted said in a statement: You will see a security detail traveled sporadically with Mayor Barry until mid-to-late 2016. This was based on the recommendations of the Police Department that Mayor Barry have police detail on all official business trips, increases in terrorist attacks and…

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