Monday, September 18, 2006

Other Dubious Ordinances Up For Council Consideration Tomorrow Night

  • Ludye Wallace's Chain Link Fence Bill: would prohibit said fences along arterial and collector streets. Originally, Ludye wanted to prohibit all front-yard fences. After some constituent pressure, he dropped that dumber version of this dumb bill, which was good for me because we are putting up a lovely new picket fence this week in our front yard without any Metro interference. Ludye is just going after people with chain link fences along the street, which includes the local big business, Werthan Packing, unless he has worked out some sort of deal to exempt owner Tony Werthan from compliance. However, the Metro Council Office seems to be waving a red flag about this bill:
    The council office would point out that this ordinance could result in a substantial cost to the Metropolitan Government, especially schools, if Metro facilities were required to have stone, brick or wood fences.
    We shall see if money is an object when this bill comes up for a vote on the second of three readings tomorrow night.
  • Charlie Tygard's Selectively Applied Residency Bill: would amend Metro Laws to require elected Metro employees making more than $100,000 per year to be residents of Davidson County. This bill seems to be mainly targeted at the Mayor's Office. The Metro Council lawyers have deemed Tygard's proposed ordinance (also up for second reading) to be unconstitutional:
    While the United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is valid to require that employees of local governments be residents of the jurisdiction of the government, such a residency requirement must be uniformly applied to satisfy constitutional muster. The residency requirement in this ordinance would only apply to those persons working for certain elected officials that make in excess of $100,000, and therefore would not be uniformly applied to similarly situated employees.
    Looks like Tygard's bill runs the risk of further clogging our courts with frivolous litigation should Metro Council pass it. Why is Council even wasting time on a law that cannot be applied uniformly?
  • Bordering on dubious is Vivian Wilhoite's & Randy Foster's proposed ordinance to require Metro Departments to send reports on costs of copies and publications that council members can already request themselves if they are so interested. Do we really need another law to institutionalize what council members should be doing by their own initiative? Isn't running down important information why we elect and pay them? The council office issued this comment to council members in light of its third reading tomorrow night:
    The council office would remind members of council that several of the large publications prepared by various Metro departments are required by council ordinance.
  • What are the odds that council member J.B. Loring will once again announce the percentages of phone calls from "Caucasian people of the United States" vs. phone calls from "people of foreign descent" when his anti-illegal-immigration ordinance comes up on third reading?

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