Tonight, in an often-contentious Metro Council meeting, the elected body of the people of Nashville and Davidson County were brought to a vote on whether Resolution 2017-910 would remain the law of the land. That resolution, approved last November, made for the public bond funding of a future MLS Stadium at the State Fairgrounds in District 17.
District 12 (primarily Hermitage and Old Hickory) councilman Steve Glover mobilized his forces to bring the topic back to the forefront on the heels of a news report that money was misappropriated for work on the stadium before final plans were set into motion. Glover’s plan was to bring a Rule 36 (“Any affirmative action of the Council may be rescinded by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership of the Council (27 votes).”) vote to the initial stadium proposal. That would have been catastrophic to the attempts to bring Major League Soccer – which granted Nashville an expansion franchise in December contingent on executing the terms of 2017-910 – to town, and likely forced a re-evaluation of the League’s decision.
District 17 representative Colby Sledge beat him to the punch. Sledge, who sponsored the initial bill, launched a preemptive strike to force the vote this evening after Glover – under the auspices of not having the information needed to make an affirmative move, despite having initially proposed the Rule 36 vote – backtracked and attempted to delay to a later council meeting.
After a bit of heated debate (no time this evening to recap the blow-by-blow – check out the Twitter to see it), the vote came and went. Eight in favor of rescinding 2017-910, inflicting a critical blow to Nashville’s MLS hopes (and likely bringing significant legal ramifications for the council, a topic that was included in said debate), 16 opposed, and seven abstentions. Given that Rule 36 requires 27 votes to be invoked, it was nothing short of an embarrassment for Glover’s crusade.
If your district councilperson was one voting in favor of rescinding the initial resolution, reach out and let them know you’re disappointed that they’re letting their constituency down. Those members are: John Cooper (at-large, representing all of Metro), Glover (District 12), Larry Hagar (District 11), DeCota Hastings (District 2), Brenda Haywood (District 3), Holly Huezo (District 13), Ed Kindall (District 21), and Mary Carolyn Roberts (“my” representative, District 20). If you don’t know what district you live in, see the map or enter your address here.
The battle in the conference room isn’t quite done (though I don’t foresee myself putting in a five-hour unpaid shift in the Council Chambers again any time soon), but tonight was a major win for soccer in Nashville. There may be yet another Rule 36 vote in the future, but if you let your representative know your position on the matter, they’ll be far more likely to vote in your interest.
I would also encourage you to come out to Thursday’s community meeting about the stadium – and how it can best serve the people of Nashville – to be an active part of the conversation. Don’t let this just be a stadium. Make it our stadium.
Look for a bit more of the banter and quotes tomorrow. Maybe.