Three big bills advance tonight in Metro Council meeting

One Touch Make Ready passed the second reading tonight on a 32-7 voice vote.  It’s still up for a third (and final) reading before it heads to the the Mayor’s desk.  The bill, pushed by Google Fiber, would allow new companies move other companies’ data lines out of the way on telephone poles.

The marijuana decriminalization bill also passed its second reading tonight.  The bill would reduce the penalty (at the discretion of the police officer) for getting caught with up to a half ounce of pot (which the police chief said is still a lot of joints for one person) to $50 or 10 hours of community service, down from a misdemeanor.

And finally, the inclusionary zoning bill passed its final vote tonight.  The proposed law would require developers requesting special entitlements to also include a certain number of affordable housing units in their developments.

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Who gives a f*** about the Oxford comma? Metro Council, that’s who.

File this one under ICYMI: The Metro Council has gotten down to the nitty gritty of making Nashville a better place to live — by adding the Oxford comma to all council committee names.

 

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Nashville, the TV show, is no more

ABC has cancelled production on the next season of Nashville.  Apparently the ratings have been a rollercoaster, which was not satisfactory enough for them to keep the show going.  Fans weren’t too thrilled about it:

Though some were filled with optimism:

Not everybody was so hot about the $40 million that the city and state poured into keeping the show filmed locally, as WPLN reports.  Mayor Barry wrote that they had offered incentives to the producers for a fifth season, though:

We are incredibly disappointed to hear the news that ABC has not renewed the show ‘Nashville’ for another season. The show has been an enormously successful promotional tool for our city, which is why the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville were prepared to support production for a fifth season the be filmed here. This is a loss for ABC and for the millions of fans across the world who have grown to love this show. We have enjoyed hosting the cast and crew of the show over the last four years and look forward to future opportunities for film and television production here in Nashville.

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Emissions inspector not happy with bidding process

Nashville is soliciting bids for a company to operate vehicle emissions inspection stations (where vehicle owners have to go every year before getting their tags renewed).  The company that’s currently doing it, Opus Inspections, wants to bid again (considering that they’ve already built all these inspection stations in Nashville).

The problem is, Opus thinks that the city has unfairly stacked the cards against them.  Their first beef with the city is that it’s made different requirements for the the incumbent alone:

The RFQ requires that only one potential bidder, Opus Inspection, to maintain and operate two (2) inspection stations with five (5) lanes in “Area 2,” while allowing other potential bidders to maintain and operate only one (1) station with four (4) lanes in Area 2. This prima facie discrimination unfairly burdens Opus Inspection with higher costs than other potential bidders.

Secondly, they’re none too happy that they’d be forced to shut down one their existing stations:

The RFQ requires that the existing “Westbelt Drive station will be closed” and a new station be built in “Area 3,” which is as close as 2.7 miles away. The existing Westbelt station is well known by Nashville motorists and received customer volume in line with other stations. The burden, and cost, of closing the Westbelt station unfairly impacts only one potential bidder, Opus Inspection. The effects are a) a significant cost increase as this purpose built station will be demolished and replaced with a new station; b) an inconvenience as motorists for more than 20 years have been accustomed to drive to Westbelt station.

The city dismissed both claims against it, saying that it saw no problems with the way it handled the request for bids.  In two follow-up letters, one from Opus and the other from Opus’ lawyer, the company again protested the city’s decision against their appeal.  In the letter from the lawyer, the company requested an in-person meeting, which is now scheduled for May 10.

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