Gotto won't push plan for Metro, presidential elections to coincide

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:17pm

State Rep. Jim Gotto says he won’t move forward this session with a legislative effort to change the timeline of Metro’s elections, which would have bumped the next mayoral and council races from 2015 to 2016.

“Not this year,” Gotto told The City Paper of the measure.

Gotto, a former two-term Metro councilman, had added an amendment to a caption bill last year to change future Metro election dates to allow more time between the release of U.S. Census Bureau statistics and the subsequent election. Last spring, Metro had to expedite its local redistricting process, with census data made available in March, to accommodate the August general election.

The proposed change would have forced Metro’s local races to coincide with the presidential election beginning November 2016. It would have added an additional year to Mayor Karl Dean’s second term, which ends in 2015.

Gotto’s proposal, which is attached to a state Rep. Curry Todd-sponsored caption bill, is on the state calendar for Jan. 23. But Gotto said Todd plans to remove this particular amendment.

“It’s not going anywhere,” Gotto said.

The Metro Council last April approved a non-binding memorializing resolution that put the council on record opposing any state legislation that would change local election dates to coincide with November partisan elections.

Gotto said he hopes Davidson County’s state delegation will sit down with Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors and others to discuss Metro’s election timeline and the release of new census numbers, which come out every 10 years.

“We need to do something,” he said.

“We shouldn’t have rushed it up that much, I don’t think,” Gotto said of last year’s local redistricting process. “I think we did some things that probably weren’t the best. But, we got it done. There just needs to be more [time] next time around.”

4 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 1/17/12 at 1:41

You know what, I would take an extra year of Deaniac rule if it meant better participation for Metro elections. The fervor people have for national and statewide elections needs to trickle down to the most important level of government. Local governments are traditionally taken over by groups most interested in their one subject area because the overwhelming majority just does not know to care. I know Franklin is run by whacky hysteric preservationists because they are the only ones who consistently vote in their off-year, off-month elections. Nashville is run by the downtown-and-tourist-firsters because in off-years those business interests are the big contributors and agitators. No one really understands that the best way to get sidewalks and other infrastructure anywhere but in downtown is to show up for Metro elections. Having the votes in big election years captures everyone.

By: spooky24 on 1/17/12 at 3:16

I concur however I surely don't want Herr Dean given a free year. Our new councilperson told everyone that he 'promised' to keep the landowners informed if Deno tries to sneak through a property tax-of one kind or another. So far so good. Agree with the labels and here is one the power in Nolensville must have something to do with the junk business. It's a matter of fact they do. That explains why junk is left in plain site all over town and is a huge embarrassment to property owners and everyone else.
They think by calling it 'antiques' makes things right. Yes! get involved in small town governments if you want to make a difference.
And pretty please-clean up the JUNK in Nolensville!!

sp

By: govskeptic on 1/17/12 at 5:12

No city government election nor special interest item is placed
on the ballot with a statewide or federal election. Why, I wonder?
If I might answer myself: Too many citizens voting would take
away the advantage of the incumbents who depend on a small
group to keep them in power or to pass their special interest
legislation, charter amendment, or other self-serving law!

By: JayBee56 on 1/18/12 at 11:50

Off year elections mean that only the truly motivated will turn out to vote and those elected don't really represent everyone. As much as I don't want to see the current mayor and council have another year to their terms, I think it is certainly worth consideration. It should save money since we will be voting on state and national issues anyway - why not throw in Metro elections as well? You can't go wrong with a higher voter turnout. It means citizens are motivated and engaged. This is a holdover from the early days of Metro and needs to be changed. Good posts, JeffF and govskeptic. Let's get it done!