For a long time I've been using the terms "English First" and "English Only" interchangeably, because I've always assumed that the effect of both is to make English the only language that Metro employees could use. Eric Crafton's change of nomenclature last year when he was attempting to sell "English Only" to the Metro Council was cynical, because it truly made no difference outside of cosmetic effect.
In his comments to the Metro Council last night, Mayor Karl Dean told members that he believes that the "English First" ballot initiative would have the same effect of "English Only." Obviously, I couldn't agree more. Even with Mayor's criticism of English Only, Crafton curiously remained cordial toward the Mayor saying something to the effect that his initiative would help the Mayor.
Council ended up passing a memorializing resolution encouraging people to vote against Crafton's English Only. The debate reflected the effects that I assume whenever legislators encourage voters to do something: Council conservatives railed against the resolution for its apparent paternalism. Even with passage, I believe that the resolution will serve as a rallying point for voters who support Crafton's attempts to micromanage Metro government and impose a cultural agenda on employees just trying to do their jobs.