Council voices opposition to state bills regarding local government

Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 6:24pm

Ten state bills, all Republican-backed, have drawn resistance from the Metro Council, which went on record Tuesday opposing state legislation that would “remove or inhibit local government powers of self-governance.”

By a voice vote, the council approved a Councilman Anthony Davis-sponsored non-binding memorializing resolution (which can be viewed here) that rejects state measures that would “negatively impact the ability of local elected officials to make decisions they deem to be in the best interest of their constituents.”

Davis, a rookie East Nashville councilman elected last fall, said his resolution –– which carries no policy effect –– encourages the state legislature to not “infringe” on local municipalities.

The resolution takes aim at a range of state proposals: One hinders a local government’s ability to regulate the sale of fireworks (HB 3494). Another prohibits fire-sprinkler requirements in local building codes for one- and two-family dwellings (HB 2639). A third requires the written consent of all affected property owners to authorize future zoning measures (HB 1345).

Metro’s statement hits on a growing theme during the ongoing legislative session –– the debate over state supremacy versus local autonomy. The city of Franklin approved a similar resolution last week that cited 14 state bills. Davis pointed to the Franklin measure as he explained the rationale behind his resolution to the council on Tuesday.

The lone council member to express hesitation about the resolution was conservative Councilman Robert Duvall, who is weighing a run as a Republican for the District 59 state House seat.

“I do want to clarify one thing,” Duvall said. “This council derives all its authority and power from the state. If they snap their finger and pass an ordinance that we all go away, guess what, we’re no longer sitting council members anymore.

“So, basically saying the state’s infringing on Metro government is not correct,” Duvall said. “That’s really not the right way to state it.”

Metro’s resolution targets three development measures introduced by state Rep. Jim Gotto, a former Metro councilman, that critics fear would “gut” Metro’s ability to enforce zoning and planning laws: HB 3694, HB 3696 and HB 3698. All three bills Wednesday were “taken off notice” from the legislature’s calendar. The council had already indicated its opposition to these bills in a letter sent to state Republican leadership. Mayor Karl Dean also opposes Gotto’s measures.

In approving the resolution, the council also opposes a state resolution (HB 3571) that “recognizes the destructive and insidious nature” of the United Nations’ nonbinding Agenda 21 plan, adopted in 1992 to outline environmental and development concerns.

Agenda 21 has become a source of contention among Tea Parry supporters and conservatives across the nation, including in Tennessee. The state resolution at issue easily cleared the state House last week by an overwhelming 72-23 vote.

12 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 3/23/12 at 5:32

I guess many of the other council members that have aspirations for higher
office duped Mr. Davis into sponsoring this bill since he's a freshman.
In spite of being the 2nd largest city and home of the State Capitol, this
resolution will mean nothing even if every member of the council votes
for it! Maybe they should pass a bill to become an independent City-State!

By: Kosh III on 3/23/12 at 6:24

Are you in favor of a strong central govt and no local control? Sounds like it. States Rights States Rights uber alles?
btw, Nashville is the largest, not second largest city according to the last census.

By: global_citizen on 3/23/12 at 7:01

For someone whose handle is 'govskeptic' you sure seem like a supporter of bigger more intrusive government. Maybe it depends on whose ox is getting gored. But perhaps you should consider changing your handle to 'govfan'.

By: Just Sayin on 3/23/12 at 7:25

Just Sayin, state politicans first spanked our teachers, then threw hurdles up to be able to vote, cleaned up the wall street protesters, now they are voting on issues that certainly are not top priority can this group work on what they ran on, and that was JOBS!!!!

By: Jughead on 3/23/12 at 8:24

Translation: The socialist liberals on Metro Council don't want anyone liniting their ability to enact never-ending legislation and drive business away from Davidson County.

And, liberal socialists like Megan Berry get their panties in a wad when they cannot create new protected classes (gays,muslims,pedophiles) who get special treatment in Nashville.

By: Jughead on 3/23/12 at 8:37

Metro Council uses the Constitution only for liberal causes. Otherwise, it's used for toilet paper.

By: Moonglow1 on 3/23/12 at 9:37

Moonglow1: Get off the disparaging remarks about liberals!! Liberals are for freedom unlike this legislative group intent on centralizing their power and restricting our freedoms.

By: pswindle on 3/23/12 at 11:56

The TN Legislative Body can't keep their noses out of others' business. Surely, TN is waking up to what the TN Legislative Body is doing to our great state.

By: wasaw on 3/23/12 at 2:14

Why is it that when the Dem's are in control, they'll do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to force their will on the people. Because they're in control of Davidson County, they think they can still run the show, because the legislature is in Davidson County. Ain't gonna happen.

Attention local Dem. politicians: The state Republican leaders do not care what you think. You lost the state House and Senate to the Republicans and the last I heard, that makes them the movers and shakers. Until you all retake the state legislature, the Pub's will continue to legislate as they see fit.

This is what this means:
1. Those who work will have more of a say than those porking out on state and federal entitlements.
2. Gays will not be looked to for votes so they will not be catered to.
3. Liberals will not lead the state in politics.
4. Gary Odum might have to search out for another traitor 'Pub so that the Dem's might have a chance.
5. You lost your power just at the worst time; The 'Pub's drew new district boundaries. You knoew it was coming and you couldn't do anything about it. They've done just what you Dem's have done for years. Now you all are going before your Dem. appointed judges, crying like a bunch of babies, asking for relief. Everyone loves to see a crying Dem. You guys look so pitiful when you're not in power.

By: pswindle on 3/25/12 at 1:08

TN is looking pitiful right now. When a state makes national news for looking crazy, well TN has that wrapped up right now.

By: Radix on 3/26/12 at 9:39

For Moonglow & pswindle freedom means "free to impose your view on others at the local level" I'm glad the state is preventing their overreach.

The State should prevent local government from enacting too many restrictions. Liberals like to overreach and restrict even at the local level. I'm glad the State is preserving our freedom.

By: gm0168 on 3/26/12 at 1:08

Kosh, you are incorrect. Memphis is still the largest city in the state. Nashville is the largest metro area, however.