Legislators question TDOC staffing report

The Department of Correction provided lawmakers with vacancy numbers for the state's prison guards but there's bipartisan agreement that something is fishy.


Aug 18, 2015 11:19 AM

The mayor's place in picking the director

What role should the mayor play in picking the next director of schools?

“If they want me to help seal the deal with a really promising prospect, I’ll do that," Fox says. "But I’m not going to get my pet candidate and try to inflict it on them because that will be unsuccessful.”

Fox says it’s more important that the board unify behind a candidate. He also happens to have already run afoul of Nashville’s two most vocal school board members — Amy Frogge and Will Pinkston.

By contrast, Megan Barry doesn’t see how she could pass on participating in the search, which has already dragged on for months without success. The at-large council member says the mayor’s role is to “go out and find the best talent.” And she expects the 9-member school board would welcome that.

“I think one of the wonderful things that I’ve got to bring to the mayor’s office is a good working relationship with the school board," she says. "I want to be collaborative with them so that we can bring the best person to Nashville.”

Aug 18, 2015 6:11 AM

Governor eyes privatizing operation of nearly every state building

The Haslam Administration has issued a request for information seeking proposals for private companies to maintain and administer virtually every state building:

The RFI indicates the Haslam administration is looking into outsourcing facilities management at state-owned hospitals, prisons, state parks and recreational facilities, and even its National Guard facilities. It asks responding companies to provide detailed information about their ability to manage and operate “the variety of facilities owned and operated by the State of Tennessee, which include but are not limited to office space; higher education classrooms, administrative space, dormitories etc.; hospitals; prisons; parks and recreational (hospitality centers, hotels, campground facilities, etc.), military, etc.”

The posting says the purpose is to obtain information regarding the management of University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents properties and state government facilities.

“The scope of properties included in Gov. Haslam’s project covers all state-owned real estate, including properties managed by the Facilities Revolving Fund, general Tennessee government properties not covered by the Facilities Revolving Fund, the University of Tennessee System and the Tennessee Board of Regents,” the RFI posting says.

Aug 18, 2015 6:05 AM

Legislators looking at implications of local hire amendment

Metro's new local hire amendment isn't thrilling Republican legislators.

Aug 17, 2015 12:46 PM

Barry's open letter to Rebrovick backers

More of these coming of course:


"One of my favorite parts of this year's campaign was getting to know Linda Eskind Rebrovick. As the two women in a crowded field, I always felt like we were kindred spirits — both ready to go to work and break a glass ceiling. Most of all, I was impressed with Linda's business acumen and policy ideas. I want to assure Linda and her supporters that, as mayor, I will draw on her Policy Book in the effort to improve Metro government for all citizens.

"Linda and I share a special affinity for alternative methods of transportation. We need more bikeways and walkways, along with more transit options, for those who don't want to travel by car. Linda rightfully pointed out that we need to consider different methodologies for deciding on future transportation projects by looking more closely at actual needs versus chasing federal dollars. Our current and previous mayors began this work. Now, with an additional 1 million people projected to move into the Nashville area over the next 20 years, it will be more critical than ever.

"Of course, alternative methods of transportation are only part of the solution. We need to find a better way to manage our existing traffic. Linda's ideas to 'make our roads smarter' resonated with all Nashvillians who spent time this summer sitting in traffic. Scaling the use of adaptive sensors on traffic lights, which respond in real time to congestion and help traffic flow more efficiently, is a great place to start. We also need to better leverage GPS systems and mobile apps to manage traffic. With technology more effective and affordable than ever, this is eminently sensible.

"Linda's vision for a 'Smarter Nashville' helped define substantive discussions this year about our city and its future. I enjoyed spending time with Linda on the campaign trail, I'm proud to call her a friend, and I look forward to working with Linda and her supporters to take Nashville to the next level.

Aug 17, 2015 10:17 AM

Fox, Barry come out swinging

The bonhomie of the general election was unlikely to last, of course. Megan Barry and David Fox are going at it, as evidenced by the first forum of the runoff season.


Aug 17, 2015 8:36 AM

Will Dems pick a mayor to run for governor next time out?

Sens. Lee Harris and Jeff Yarbro tell the TFP that one of three big-city Democratic mayors — Chattanooga's Andy Berke, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan — could make a play for the governor's mansion. TNGOP chair Ryan Haynes isn't so sure:


"If you look at the record of accomplishments that our leaders have put out and stack them up against theirs, we feel very confident that we will keep the governor's mansion in the next few years," he said. "I don't think any of those candidates are household names across the state."

Sure. But Charlie Brown is a household name and you see where that got Democrats.


Aug 17, 2015 6:54 AM

State investigating illegal inmate labor claims at CCA-run Nashville jail

Former inmates say they were made to make (without pay) items jail employees sold at the flea market and they have a pretty clever way to prove it:


To prove the items being sold by Stand Firm Designs were made by inmates, Stephney and Brew concealed their names under pieces of wood nailed to the backs of items. They also wrote the number 412148, which refers to a section of Tennessee code that makes it illegal for jail officials to require an inmate to perform labor that results in the official’s personal gain. The AP was shown some of the items with the concealed names and numbers.

Aug 17, 2015 6:44 AM

Will the runoff turn on the black vote? And will Freeman endorse?

Joey Garrison digs in to if the African-American vote will make the runoff election.

Howard Gentry (who says he hasn't decided if he'll endorse) has a warning:

"It's going to be really based on the candidate," Gentry said when asked who he believes most black voters will support. "Black voters are not sheep. You just don't herd them around. People spent a lot time trying to influence the black vote with people (in the general election). And they're just as intelligent and just as able to make their choices as anybody.

"So, I just believe that whoever appeals to the black vote the greatest, appeals to the issues that are important to the communities that most live, will be the candidate that gets the support."

Meanwhile, Bill Freeman (who also did well in heavily African-American boxes) tells Frank Daniels he's not sure if he'll endorse. That has upset some Democrats, though it's not a total shock given the (ahem) cool relationship Freeman has with former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who endorsed Megan Barry. Furthermore, if, as Freeman repeatedly said during the campaign, he has no further ambition beyond mayor, it doesn't really damage him in Democratic politics to withhold his endorsement (or even to endorse Fox). Future Democratic candidates will no doubt cash Freeman's checks even if he doesn't back Barry.

Aug 17, 2015 6:36 AM