Nashville Metro Council released the agenda for its Tuesday, April 5 meeting. It is highlighted by over $70 million in grants and bond issues, and includes a ban on automated license plate reader (ALPR) use for cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agenda also includes a resolution censuring Councilmember Jonathan Hall.

RS2022-1443, sponsored by Councilmembers Sean Parker, Burkley Allen, Zulfat Suara, Kyonzte Toombs, Jennifer Gamble, Nancy VanReece, Brett Withers, Russ Bradford, Ginny Welsch, Freddie O’Connell, Colby Sledge, and Emily Benedict, is a resolution “declaring surplus and authorizing the conveyance of real property to certain nonprofit organizations, and authorizing grants not exceeding $15,497,279.00 from the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing to certain nonprofit organizations selected for the express purpose of constructing and rehabilitating affordable or workforce housing.

RS2022-1444, is a resolution “authorizing a grant not to exceed $1,000,000.00 from the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing to Pathway Lending for the express purpose of providing weatherization assistance and energy efficiency improvements to housing units owned by qualified low-income individuals and families.” It is sponsored by Councilmembers Sean Parker, Burkley Allen, Kyonzte Toombs, Ginny Welsch, and Zulfat Suara.

RS2022-1452, sponsored by Councilmember Burkley Allen, is “an initial resolution determining to issue general obligation bonds of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $46,000,000.”

RS2022-1466, sponsored by Councilmember Tanaka Vercher, is “a resolution providing for the censure of Councilmember Jonathan Hall.” The staff agenda analysis states:

This resolution would provide for the censure of Councilmember Jonathan Hall by the Metropolitan Council for multiple failures related to Metropolitan Code § 2.222.020 related to required disclosure statements.

As determined by the Metropolitan Board of Ethical Conduct, the failures related to required disclosure statements constituted violations of Section (r) of the Metropolitan Government’s Standards of Ethical Conduct, Metropolitan Code § 2.222.020. This section requires all disclosure statements and reports be timely filed and include “all material information reasonably required to be included and shall not omit any material information reasonably necessary to make such reports complete and meaningful.”

Section 2.222.050 of the Metropolitan Code provides that, upon receipt of a recommendation from the Board of Ethical Conduct that an elected official be censured by the Council, the chairman of the Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Committee “shall file a resolution with the metropolitan clerk providing for censure of the member.”

The Tennessee Star previously reported that Councilmember Hall received a $360,000 fine from the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance for campaign finance law violations related to his run for Council in 2018 and 2019. Some of the violations included failing to identify donors, failure to itemize campaign expenditures, failure to itemize his own donations to his campaign, and failure to itemize miscellaneous reimbursements. Councilmember Hall additionally failed to file annual campaign finance disclosures.

BL2022-1115, is an “ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (LPR) technology to exclude assisting with immigration enforcement as an allowed use of LPRs.” It is sponsored by Councilmembers Bob Mendes, Dave Rosenberg, Burkley Allen, Ginny Welsch, Zulfat Suara, Tom Cash, Sean Parker, and Emily Benedict.

The Star previously reported that two meetings ago, Metro Council deferred action on this bill on second reading that council legislative staff said was illegal. Councilmember Mendes made that motion to defer consideration of the ordinance for two meetings. When Mendes explained his motion to defer, he said that he was doing so because the legislative staff said that the bill as written in its current form would violate what he described as  the “state’s aggressive anti-sanctuary city law.” Mendes said Metro Council could drop the bill altogether or narrow its scope.

The rest of the agenda deals primarily with contracts and zoning issues.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected] Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitter, and Parler.
Photo “ICE Officers Making an Arrest” by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.