Currently a motivated candidate can walk just every street in the District during a campaign. What happens when it is no longer possible to effectively reach every neighborhood by person? Candidates will shift their time and effort to more direct mailing, radio, and television advertising. Campaigns will become less personal and more attack oriented. Will this make your voice heard or improve the process?
Nashville is considered the "it" city these days. How do we know that its not BECAUSE we have a large Council responsive to its citizens that makes us so great? Ms. Evans often compares the Metro Council's size to other cities in claiming we are "too large," but does she ever compare Nashville to a city you would rather live in? Maybe these cities need to look to Nashville to increase their council sizes so they can be the next "it" city.
There are three (3) simple things we could do to strengthen the Council without diluting your vote or costing Metro a fortune:
1) Stagger the Council terms by having 1/2 the Council Members run for election
every other year on the already schedule November state election dates;
2) Provide the Council with full time research and development staff for budgeting
and law making. Although this wil costs money for salaries, it will save money by
identifying wasteful spending; and,
3) Require the Mayor’s appointments to Metro Departments be confirmed by the
Council. Retaining the power to "consent" to appointments guarantees department
heads will be responsive to the Council as well as the Mayor. (This may come in
handy when you are trying to get Public Works to fix a pothole on your street).
When trying to improve government the last choice should be to limit the voters' voice. Making Council Members less responsive and more beholden to money-interest is not going to benefit you or your family. Term limits are a good thing in they prevent the formation of permanent politicians, and allow new blood and ideas to come forward. Eight years is more than enough for anyone.
We need to strengthen the Metro Council NOT weaken your voice.