AT&T made good on its promise to sue Nashville, and with haste, too. The suit is a response to Metro’s new ordinance known as One Touch Make Ready (OTMR); it is disputing the government’s authority to regulate attachments to utility poles. AT&T claims that only the Federal Communications Commission can do that.
The OTMR ordinance was passed by the Metro Council on Tuesday. Twelve councilmembers voted to defer the bill because they were fearful of the threatened lawsuit, but the bill proceeded anyways. On Wednesday, the Mayor, who had previously been neutral on the bill, signed it into law.
The lawsuit does not seek a preliminary injunction, in which the judge would put the ordinance on hold pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
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.