The remaining two candidates vying to be Nashville’s mayor came down on opposing sides of the city’s newly-approved local hiring rule. WPLN asked their opinions during the general election, and the issue may reveal their level of allegiance to the business community.
The charter amendment requires 40 percent of workers on large city-funded construction projects to be Davidson County residents. The influential Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce campaigned against it.
Former school board chairman David Fox sided with the business groups.
“While I think it’s well-intended, I don’t think it will actually work in reality,” Fox said in late December.
Fox said local hiring is good for the economy but not practical given a reported shortage of qualified workers.
At-large council member Megan Barry supported the new rule and said meeting the new hiring quota is just a matter of finding a way to train enough people.
“We all agree that the problem we want to solve is making sure more workers have the ability to compete for these jobs," she said. "So I want to work with the development community.”
While the issue may divide Barry and Fox at the moment, the point may be moot in a few months. Barry anticipates the state legislature will overturn the hiring rule approved by voters.