After just two meetings of the new Metro Council, Forest Hills district Council member Lynn Williams has managed a feat previously thought to be impossible.
Williams has made some of the lower wattage thinkers on the Council seem like members of Mensa.
In keeping with that theme, here’s a no-brainer prediction: If she keeps this up, Williamswho gave birth to last week’s notoriously absurd Halloween night switcheroo resolutionis going to have a very, very long four years. Or at least her constituents are.
The Metro Council members who voted for the resolution, including Williams, were obviously well-intentioned. They wanted kids to have their fun on a weekend night rather than a school night. But those members who voted for recommending that parents send their children out trick-or-treating on Saturdayinstead of on Halloween, this Sunday the 31stdidn’t consider that, most of the time, Halloween falls on a school night. Are they planning to legislate it every year?
It’s made parents who’ve never phoned their Council membersor who didn’t even know who their Council members were, for that matterso blisteringly angry that they’re calling everyone who voted for the non-binding resolution.
The infamous Halloween resolution will go down in Council annals right alongside proposals for alien landing pads and for Winnebagos for countywide mayoral travel.
Williams can bet that parents in her neighborhood are planning a trick-or-treat raid on her house for Saturday night. And she better not be handing out raisins or wilted mums. If she wants a second term, candy bars would be wiseand not the bite-sized ones either.
For Bill's eyes only
The Purcell administration isn’t letting the public see the transition papers ordered up by the mayor before he took office.
“The feeling was these were volunteers who were putting them together on very short time constraints,” says Patrick Willard, senior policy advisor for Purcell. “We just wanted to keep those close to the vest.”
Many of the transition documents, which cover local issues and the operations of Metro departments, probably contain information that would help inform a Metro Council largely naive about the ways of the city government. Critics of the policy, too, say the public should have a right to know what information is being fed to the new mayor.
But, all things considered, the Purcell tact is probably the right one. Writers of the transition papers would have been less forthright about any reforms needed for city operations had they known the documents would be subject to public scrutiny.
Former Vice Mayor Jay West has put away the rod and reel for the season.
After this summer’s rigorous mayoral campaign, followed by some well-deserved time off fishing, West has taken a new job as director of government affairs and senior advisor for the local law firm Wyatt Tarrant & Combs.
The law firm, based in Louisville and founded more than 150 years ago, wanted to start a lobbying arm and pursued West even before the campaign to replace Mayor Phil Bredesen was over. Ever humble, West, who was a lobbyist at the state Capitol while he worked part-time as the city’s vice mayor, says, “Apparently they thought more of me than I thought of myself.”
West says he’ll be handling government-related matters for the firm at the federal level as well as in the state Legislature and the Metro Council.
Mouth to mouth
As Mayor Phil Bredesen’s press secretary during his last year in office, Mark Drury got a hefty workout defending the city’s lucrative tax breaks and other benefits to computer maker Dell Corp., which is expanding to Nashville.
Apparently, the gig paid off. Drury has been hired to work in Dell’s Nashville public affairs office handling community relations.
To reach Liz, call her at 244-7989, ext. 406, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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