Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chancery Court Hearing on Term-Limited Council Candidates Set for 3:00 this Afternoon

The Chancery Court Hearing for at-Large Candidate Philip Hostettler's lawsuit against Metro and Charlie Tygard, J.B. Loring, and Ronnie Greer is scheduled this afternoon for the "Part I Courtroom."

Here is the meat of the suit:
8. Section 1.07(A) of the Metropolitan Charter (Exhibit B) states:

Effective January 1, 1995, no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office authorized or created by the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County if during the previous two (2) terms of that office, the person in question has served more than a single term ....

9. The intent of the people in approving this “term limits” requirement was to prevent persons from qualifying for office and/or pursuing election for office within the Metropolitan Government if they had already been serving within an office more than a single term during the last 2 terms. This provision does not prevent an office holder from seeking another office after he/she has “sat out” a term.

10. Plaintiff [Hostettler] has never held an elected office within the Metropolitan Government. Plaintiff qualified and was placed upon the ballot for the 2007 Metro Council “at large” election held on August 2, 2007. Plaintiff received the 10th highest vote total of 26 candidates.

11. Defendants Tygard, Loring and Greer were also candidates placed upon the ballot for the 2007 Metro Council “at large” election held on August 2, 2007. These Defendants all received more votes than Plaintiff. (Tygard-4th; Loring-7th; Greer 8th). However, all three of these Defendants are currently serving as district councilmen for over one term. As a result of the prohibition set out in Metropolitan Charter Section 1.07(A), above, these Defendants are not eligible to serve another term in the Metropolitan Council until they at least “sit out” one term ....

Plaintiff and the two persons who received the next highest total of votes in the election of August 2, 2007 should be placed on the ballot for said “run-off” election since Defendants Tygard, Loring and Greer are not eligible.
Mr. Hostettler's lawyers will base their argument on a 2007 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling in Knox County. The TSC ruled that the same language in the Knox County Charter precluded candidates serving 2 terms from running for any municipal office again immediately.

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