Petition would cut Metro Council members, lengthen term

(Photo: WKRN)

Ever think the 40-member Metro Council is too big or the two-term limit for members too little?

If so, Metro Council member Emily Evans has a petition for you.

She thinks Nashville’s governing body should be reduced by about a third to 27 members and term limits increased from the current two 4-year terms to three 4-year terms.

“Let’s see if the public doesn’t accept that as a tradeoff, a slightly smaller council in exchange for a longer term,” Evans told News 2 on Tuesday. “At a minimum, just let the people vote. You have a smarter council, albeit a smaller council.”

To try and make her idea a reality, Evans has launched a petition drive to make the changes to the Metro Government Charter.

Enough signatures would get the issue on the November ballot.

The number required is 10% of those voting in the August general election.

If 40,000 people vote, then the number of signatures needed would be 4,000.

Evans believes two terms are not enough time for many council members to digest the various complexities of many issues and develop “institutional knowledge” of how Metro Government works.

Evans believes the poll she’s conducting will indicate the majority of Nashville voters would like a smaller council and increased term limits. Her petition is accessible online.

A key voice in the council, however, does not think it’s a good idea.

Metro Council At-Large member Ronnie Steine told News 2 constituents “would have less representation” and the system has worked for more than 50 years.

“If it’s not broke, why fix it?” he added. “The notion that little ‘D’ democracy in Nashville, Tennessee is a problem is very odd.”

Expect to hear those arguments for and against the petition if enough signatures are gathered by the legal deadline of late August.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s