Names of Davidson County elected officials on signs outside their offices could soon be a thing of the past.
The Metro Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday for a bill that would prohibit Metro from using city funds to purchase and construct permanent signs that name an elected or appointed official.
Under an amendment added to the legislation, however, the measure would still allow temporary signs outside Metro construction projects to identify the corresponding mayor, council members or others.
Councilman Josh Stites, the bill’s lead sponsor who credited a constituent for suggesting the measure, said he introduced the bill to prevent Davidson County’s various constitutional officers from “using public funds to put their names on signs instead of the office to which their holding.”
Constitutional officers include the sheriff, trustee and various clerks, among others.
Many of these officeholders opt to identify their names on exterior signs where they work. Moving forward, they could only advertise their particular office or facility if the bill were approved.
“It’s actually a Metro policy that we don’t spend public dollars on signs like that,” Stites said of the version with names. “But there was a recent officeholder who just bucked the policy and completely went against it, and spent public funds to put up signs that have their name on it.”
Asked for this official’s name, Stites said former Davidson County Clerk John Arriola, who resigned earlier this summer.
In other business
• The Metro Council on the second of three votes approved a bill that would offer temporary water and sewer fee reductions to businesses and homeowners that have green roofs. By offering the financial incentive, Metro officials hopes to encourage more green roofs.
• The council, meanwhile, voted to withdraw legislation that would have reduced Metro’s annual $300,000 subsidy to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for its economic development assistance via Partnership 2020. The bill’s sponsor, At-Large Councilman Charlie Tygard, said he proposed the bill to “initiate discussion” on the disproportionately lower contribution the nine other Middle Tennessee counties pay to the chamber compared to Davidson County.
• The council voted to appoint Councilman Carter Todd as its president pro tempore over council members Chris Harmon and Sandra Moore, who were both also nominated for the post. The president pro tempore fills presides over council meetings when the vice mayor is absent.