Council scraps bill to rescind Rose Park agreement with Belmont

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 11:52pm

The Metro Council indefinitely deferred Tuesday night a bill that would rescind Metro’s agreement with Belmont University concerning the use of Rose Park.

The move came at the request of Metro Councilman Mike Jameson, who along with fellow East Nashville Councilman Jamie Hollin, sponsored the ordinance in light of the school’s controversial recent dismissal of gay women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe. Metro should contract with institutions that share the same nondiscrimination policy, sponsors had said in proposing the bill.

Speaking before the council, Jameson cited conversations with colleagues who were worried about the “collateral damage” attached to the ordinance, presumably referring to the loss of $7 million in park renovations that Belmont plans to pursue.

Jameson also suggested the proposal has perhaps “already had its desired effect,” alluding to Mayor Karl Dean’s directive last week to apply Metro’s nondiscrimination policy to the city’s autonomous board and authorities.

Jameson said the indefinite deferral request was made “to give Belmont what I think is the opportunity here and encouragement to eventually do the right thing.

“They’re obviously exploring that with great endeavor,” he added. “I think the trick at this point is to prevent this from happening again.”

With that, Jameson cited his companion bill — also co-sponsored by Hollin — that would require all third-party vendors that contract with Metro to have nondiscrimination polices that cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

“While private entities could unfortunately continue to discriminate, if those entities elect the privilege of doing business with Metro, we would insist upon them to comply by our policies and procedures,” Jameson said.

Critics of Jameson’s new bill, set for the first of three votes in January, have said Metro should not interfere with private entities.

“We already do that,” Jameson said, directing the comment to those critics. “Every entity that Metro contracts with, we set out in extreme specificity what to do, where to do it, when to do it, how to do it. And in the vast majority of those contracts, we specify that they are to comply with our discrimination policies.”

22 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 12/22/10 at 5:17

So Jameson & Hollins have gotten another 13 minutes of fame.
Good for them, were their collective memories so short that
they forgot about Belmont's spending so much just for the
part-time use of this park?

By: spooky24 on 12/22/10 at 6:24

Well, he managed to make the full-of-bull-political-posturing list again. What is sad is the number of people who believe him. I miss the good ole days of the council when the members cared about the city and not themselves.


By: frodo on 12/22/10 at 8:01

The reporter sets this story up with unfounded speculation and then runs with the template. The unfounded speculation is that the coach was fired. The template is that you hear mainly from people who are outraged over unfounded speculation and only obliquely from people who think a city government should not be used as a social cudgel over the heads of corporate citizens. This is Chicago-style government-newsmedia matter what you think of gays in the, I mean lesbians in the locker room.

By: producer2 on 12/22/10 at 8:02

It could happen again.

By: left on 12/22/10 at 8:29

GOD loves all people,hates all sin, thanks to the council for being GODLY ignorant.

By: Nitzche on 12/22/10 at 8:32

Mike Jameson, "the conscious of Nashvile", what a burden this must be?Thank God, Jamie Hollin is coming along to relieve him of some of that burden! They should be ashamed of themselves for this posturing on a Private University that has yet to comment on employee related matters.

By: xhexx on 12/22/10 at 8:42

The city has no right to dictate to private companies what their internal policies should be.

By: Tull on 12/22/10 at 9:47

"Jameson cited conversations with colleagues who were worried about the “collateral damage” attached to the ordinance, presumably referring to the loss of $7 million in park renovations that Belmont plans to pursue."
In other words it was a good idea UNTIL we thought about losing 7 mil. in renovations!

By: govskeptic on 12/22/10 at 10:17

Many morals are for sale in the political arena, locally & nationally!

By: HokeyPokey on 12/22/10 at 10:19

@Nit "the conscious of Nashvile"

And are you conscious, nit?

By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 10:19

I agree with you,xhexx.

The city knew Belmont's religious policies when they made that lease agreement with them. Are they now saying; Sorry, we were wrong. We want to nullify that lease because we have learned you are anti-homosexual. It just evaded us until we learned of your release of a homosexual person who impounded her sexual desires to your students.

What a farce.

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 10:55

Really yogi? Telling her players that she's gay was impounding her sexual desires to her students?

If ignorance is bliss, you must be experiencing nirvana.

By: frodo on 12/22/10 at 11:20

Wow, the lexicon of the new sexuality is dizzying. Now "she's gay"??? (gdiafante says)

Apparently, there are more combinations of sexual orientation than even the sensitivity training manuals teach.

By: sinkorswim on 12/22/10 at 11:29

Now here is a rub. Metro contracts out certain contracts with certain companies, (read New Convention Center), and they abide by all of Metro's requirements. They adhere to said requirements. Does that mean that the contractor who is awarded the contract, and thus bids out the contract to other sub-contractors, they are not bound by this policy from Metro, are they? They do as they please, hire who they please, and fire who they please, right. So, does this policy breakdown after the first contractor is granted the contract, and subs it out. These are the questions I ask!!!

By: oomarty on 12/22/10 at 12:47

Metro hires contractors not sub contractors. Sub Contractor working on Metro Property would find the rules still apply.

By: frodo on 12/22/10 at 1:08

Again, government comes knocking at the door to our private lives. Must we next swear allegiance to popular social conformity just to obtain a business license? I wouldn't be surprised.

By: oomarty on 12/22/10 at 1:41

If the Government comes knocking at my door involving themselves in my private life asking me to swear to anything they need permission from a Judge. Only after they suspect me of a crime. Thats the Constitution and settled law. Raise your children and carry out your beliefs in your own home and church however you wish.

If you would like to work for the Government you must abide by the laws of all the People. Taxes are collected on behalf of all the people Gay and Strait and decisions are made by the majority with minority protections. The City is only saying if you expect to be paid by all the people with there tax dollars you must be willing to hire and fire people based on there work ethic and not there sexuality. What's so difficult about that?

By the way the Church is tax exempt for obvious reasons.

By: HokeyPokey on 12/22/10 at 2:13

George Strait pays taxes in Metro?



By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 4:04


How would you interpret her telling her team members she and her "partner" were having a baby?

And yes, you are right for a change. Like you, I am experiencing nirvana. How far down the road behind me are you?

By: HokeyPokey on 12/22/10 at 4:16

Yogi, do you even know the meaning of the word "impound?"


No, I didn't think so.

By: Nitzche on 12/22/10 at 5:24

nitzche likes all the Smart Northerners that have moved to this fair city and brought their brand of Northeast Socialism wiff dem... PHIL,BILL,KARL---save us from ourselves! Now we have Meagan Barry, Jerry Maynard, et al, to carry on the mantra.

By: zmania on 12/22/10 at 10:54

Again, the dollar trumps over doing whats right, even though it wasn't no where near enough. "Shame on you Nashville!""Z"