Thursday, June 05, 2014

Council member defends reducing size of Metro Council: "You're less represented every time somebody is born in your district"

Today's Nashville Scene reports that CM Emily Evans is taking a presentation (this conservative one?) around to small groups in the community.

Parenthood ≠ power
The spin over at the Scene is that her proposal is not so much emphasizing shrinking the Metro Council as it is trading long-term CM term limits for shrinking the Metro Council. The newspaper's spin also casts the question of whether we might trade less representation for CMs being able to stick around longer (including the ones whom we find appalling).

Sound appealing? Less representation, less influence alongside longer term limits for bad and good apples? What will control freaks do when bad CMs stick around longer and feel emboldened to ignore constituents because they are insulated by higher numbers of them?

Oh, I forgot their leap of faith: a smaller Metro Council automatically attaches to quality leadership. Bad apples will not bob to the top. Voters in larger groups make better decisions. Or at least that rationalization is what supporters tell me when I ask for good reasons to back their cause.

As for the justifications for the grand bargain of Emily Evans, they continue to defy common sense:

"You're less represented every time somebody is born in your district and every time somebody new moves into your district," she tells the Scene

Wow. Did she really say that our newborns cause us to have less representation on the Metro Council? Is she really insinuating that voters who live in districts that grow have less representation, that those who live in districts people flee have more influence over the political process? Less representation is "natural"?! What?!!

There is defying common sense, then there is stripping and shaming it:

"The Metro model will always inherently favor the mayor, but she says a smaller council would have some more muscle."

The way to have more muscle is to become smaller? Does that muscle analogy apply to literal muscles, too? Smaller muscles have more muscle than larger muscles?

Before we agree to a referendum to rewrite the Metro Charter to reduce our representation, let's be more level-headed and plant our feet firmly on the ground, free of temptation to join these leaps in logic.

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