Early voting begins this week in much of Tennessee, and Davidson County residents will see several referendum items on their ballots.
The most discussed proposal will try to create a citizen panel to review allegations of police misconduct.
But voters will also consider five other changes to the Metropolitan Charter, including a new attempt to extend the term limits of Metro Council members. Two other proposals respond to the city’s recent political turmoil — one that modifies the succession plan if a temporary mayor is needed again, and the other to update how special elections are held.
Davidson County early voting runs Oct. 17 to Nov. 1. The 11 polling locations open at 8 a.m. — closing times vary by day. For a full schedule, click here.
This amendment would establish The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Community Oversight Board (“Board”) consisting of 11 members, to be operational no later than January 31, 2019. The Board would have the independent power to investigate allegations of misconduct against Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (“MNPD”) officers. The Board would have the power to issue reports assessing allegations of misconduct by MNPD officers and make policy recommendations to public safety and justice administration agencies. The Board can recommend that discipline be given within the parameters of civil service rules when it finds a basis to believe that an officer has committed misconduct. The Board has the option of forwarding findings of criminal misconduct and civil rights violations to the District Attorney, the Grand Jury, or the United States Attorney. The Board must submit to the mayor an annual budget request of no less than $1,500,000.00, and the Metropolitan Council must determine if this amount is sufficient for the operation of the Board and staff. No later than March 29, 2019, and through a special appropriation, the Board must be fully operational and staffed by sufficient personnel in order to carry out its duties.
This amendment would revise the line of succession for the office of mayor by calling for a council election of a temporary mayor in the absence of the vice mayor and further prohibit that temporary mayor from seeking election in the next election for mayor or vice mayor.
This amendment would require a special election for mayor when more than twelve (12) months remain in the unexpired term, for vice mayor when more than twenty-four (24) months remain in the unexpired term, and for district council member when more than eight (8) months remain in the unexpired term and clarify that no special election for councilmember-at-large be held.
This amendment would require the oaths of office for mayor, vice mayor, and members of council to include an oath to uphold the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.
This amendment would revise current term limits for the office of district councilman and councilman at large. The current term limitation of two (2) terms would be expanded to three (3) terms for these offices. Gender neutral terms would also be applied (“councilmember” in lieu of “councilman”).
This amendment would update the Metropolitan Charter with gender neutral references in place of masculine-only pronouns. References to “he” would be changed to “he or she”; “his” would be changed to “his or her”; “him” would be changed to “him or her”; “councilman” and councilmen” would be changed to “councilmember” and “councilmembers” respectively; and “policemen” would be changed to “police officers.”