Radicals hijack Council meeting. Demand city defund the police.

by Rod Williams-  Tuesday night’s Council meeting was a circus.  If you follow the local news at all you probably have heard some of what happened.

The Tuesday meeting was public hearing night for the budget.  The meeting lasted an astounding eleven hours, perhaps sitting a new record for the longest council meeting on record.  It did not end until 5:30AM Wednesday morning.

With a massive property tax increase under consideration, one would have expected to have a large number of people to be speaking against a tax increase.  It didn’t happen.  Instead, members of  Nashville’s “progressive” community showed up early and in large numbers.  Also, since the city is trying to accommodate concern over the Coronavirus, people were allowed to call into the meeting with their pubic comment. The organized radicals tied up the phone lines.  Some people gave up trying to call in and showed up in person to find a long line of the radicals in front of them.  Some people waited until 2AM for a chance to speak but most gave up.

The message of the radicals was pretty much the same.  They called for defunding the police department and spending the money instead on social programs in the Black community.  Metro’s police are understaffed and under funded as it is, as is Nashville’s fire department. Then radicals also called for cutting funding for Metro jail.  Over one hundred in-person and call-in members of the public repeated the message to defund the police.

The meeting got tense at times.  With people repeating the same message over and over,  Vice Mayor Jim Shulman realized what was happening and went out and talked to the people waiting to speak .”You all are destroying any ideas that you are doing by what you are doing tonight,” Shulman said. “I’m just telling you that this is bad politics and it is bad policy that you all are doing here,” he told them.  “You all should know better.”  He spoke in a calm manner, trying to reason with people.  You can see his interaction with the radicals at this link.

Freddie O’Connell took issue with Shulman. “Here is a group of predominantly young people coming to speak about oppression that they perceive,” said O’Connell, “and the last thing we should do as a body of the people is turn around an institute oppression.”

The next day Mayor Cooper distanced himself from the remarks of Shulman, siding with the radicals, saying, “Throughout today, I have listened to people’s distress over Vice Mayor Shulman’s words to residents at last night’s Metro Council meeting. The Vice Mayor is an independently elected Metro official, and his words are his own. They do not reflect my views, or the views of my office. I fully support all public speech, and I believe every single voice must be heard.”

Councilman Steve Glover said the public was cheating out of a public hearing and said the meeting had been hijacked.  Councilman Bob Mendes defended the process and said the public hearing was just fine and got personal and called Steve Glover a “blowhard.” “I think Councilman Glover is sort of a blowhard about things like that,” Mendes said. “I’m not sure how much people were really robbed of an opportunity.” “Everybody in the county had the phone number, everybody in the county could have showed up here, and we got the comments that we got.”

 

 

 

 

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