About an hour and 50 minutes into the meeting the council finally got to the "English First" legislation. What little discussion there was last only about 20 minutes-- very short amount of time considering all the ink and emotion expended previously.
Sponsor Councilman Eric Crafton quotes:
Pointing out there had been a great deal of animosity and speculation about the motives of the bill he stated "You have to look at what the ordinance says. That's what we're voting on."
"If you're not in favor of Metro government doing business in English I wish someone would stand up and tell me what language we're supposed to do business in."
"This bill will stand Constitutional muster and legal challenges."
Councilman Lynn Williams tried to make a case for Metro being liable for not providing stop signs, a safety issue, in other languages. Metro Legal declined to opine about the suggestion.
Thank you all.
And so the new law is:
An Ordinance amending Chapter 1.04 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws declaring English to be the official language of the Metropolitan Government, and to require that all government communications, publications and telephone answering systems be in English with certain exceptions.
WHEREAS, Tennessee Code Annotated § 4-1-404 establishes English as the official language of the State of Tennessee, and requires all communications and publications produced by governmental entities to be in English; and
WHEREAS, the Council now desires to designate English as the official language of the Metropolitan Government for purposes of government publications and communications.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. Chapter 1.04 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by adding the following new section 1.04.070:
"1.04.070. English the official language of the metropolitan government.
A. English is hereby established as the official language of the metropolitan government.
B. Except when required by federal law or when necessary to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare, all communications, publications, and telephone answering systems of metropolitan government boards, commissions, departments and agencies shall be in English."
Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.