Conference on Neighborhoods – Kudos to S-TownMike


I attended the Mayor’s Conference on Neighborhoods today and I heard a great speech by the Mayor and an interesting speech by Police Chief Serpas, but most importantly I saw my neighbor, super blogger and friend, S-TownMike win one of six Neighbor of the Year awards given by the Mayor’s Office. Considering that there are now 650 neighborhood associations here in Nashville, winning a neighborhood leadership award is quite the honor. S-TownMike is pictured above, as you might have surmised, holding his award. I got to hold the award and I can tell you that it is NOT plastic. Kudos to S-TownMike!

The Mayor (Bill Purcell) made a little news when he practically said that he would not be running for a third term. There has been controversy and apparent contradiction between the term limits law and the Metro Charter regarding whether a Nashville Mayor is subject to term limits. The Mayor stated that he was going to propose an amendment to the Metro Charter that would impose a two-term limit on the Mayoral office.

Purcell also said that he will propose a revision to the charter that would decrease the size of the Metro Council. I have in mind one or two candidates for elimination if the proposal were to be enacted.

Chief Serpas gave a statistically laden speech which did not sugar coat the increase in homicides in Nashville this calendar year. He clearly is not happy with the homicide stats, an emotion I am sure is shared by the families of the 80+ folks murdered thusfar this year.

Serpas defended his emphasis on enforcing traffic laws with statistics that sold me – I didn’t write down the specific numbers, but a LARGE percentage of people pulled over were subsequently arrested for a more serious offense.

Purcell is a great speaker…Serpas is more workmanlike. A critical note re the Serpas speech – The Powerpoint slideshow accompanying the speech was unreadable and incredibly CLUTTERED. Serpas is a stats man, but sweet fancy MOsEs, he managed to insert practically every stat relating to crime into his slide show along with a few nearly incomprehensible graphs. Even HE couldn’t even read HIS own slides.

A final note: The luncheon was opened with a prayer. I have no problem with that, in general, but during a government sponsored event, praying ‘in Jesus name’ should be avoided. Presumably there are Jewish, Hindi, Kurdish and other non-Christian neighborhoods who don’t pray in the name of Jesus. I would be similiarly offended if a non-Christian prayed to the Buddha or Shiva of his/her choice.

It’s not that we have the right not to be offended, it’s that governmental functions should avoid the sponsorship or endorsement of a particular religion.

To further compound the offense to our Jewish neighbors, the luncheon meat was pork….

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One response to “Conference on Neighborhoods – Kudos to S-TownMike

  1. Thanks, John. As grateful as I am for the award and the recognition, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the award also has the name “Salemtown Neighbors” engraved on it. So much of the success of my efforts depends on the partnership I have with association members such as yourself. I was particularly appreciative that the Mayor’s representative referred to Salemtown Neighbors when they called me up, because of the important, new work we are doing in the North End to make this a better place to live. I would also mention the police officers of the Central Precinct who nominated me for this award in the first place. They are just as likely “Neighbors of the Year” to those of us who live in their precinct.

    You are too kind.

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