CM Pam Murray (District 5-East Nashville) was forced to withdraw her sweetheart mobile vending bill for Cleveland Street at last night's Metro Council meeting. District 5 residents owe a big debt to CM Karen Bennett (District 8 Inglewood) who acted as their advocate last night by forcing the bill to the table which resulted in Murray learning that 27 of her fellow council members sided with those who came to speak but were about to be silenced by Murray's last minute decision to defer the bill. Deferral is a low and desperate political tactic and I'm glad to see the Council deferred to citizens rather than councilmatic courtesy.
In this four minute video you can see the crowd as the camera pans across the gallery. Those wearing red were against Murray's bills. You can also see less than stellar oratory when Murray asserts "It's not fair" and then vows "I will bring it back in another way."
Prior to the meeting Channel 5 followed up on the Phil Williams investigation of Murray with another report which included the news that CM Bennett had gone to the police after last week's community meeting and filed a police report accusing Murray of "verbal intimidation" which seems a vast understatement of the behavior after that meeting.
Murray's other two controversial bills, another mobile vending one and the retroactive spot zoning of a fire trap were also not heard. Now we need codes and the fire department step up and close the mobile vendor and, more importantly, close that firetrap quadplex before lives are lost.
Kudos to the neighborhood and the Council for all the effort extended to rein in a rogue councilman. Nashville is better for it. Thank you all.
UPDATE: Votes on tabling Murray's motion from the Council Clerk's office:
Noes: Coleman, Foster, Gilmore, Langster, Maynard, Murray and Wilhoite.
Abstain: Harrison and LaLonde (who had only moments before been sworn in as a Council member)
Absent: Gotto, Hunt, Matthews, Stanley.