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….