Monica Clayton Fawknotson, who has been serving as interim executive director of the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority since September, was named the full-time executive director by a unanimous vote of the Sports Authority this morning.
She served as administrative director of the authority from March 2005 to September 2015, with another stint as interim executive director in 2012-13.
From a release:
“The Sports Authority made a fantastic decision in selecting Monica to lead this important organization,” said Mayor Barry. “Not only is she an eminently qualified candidate, her appointment also breaks down barriers as she is the first African-American woman to hold this position.”
“I’ve greatly enjoyed working for the Sports Authority over the last ten years and I am honored to be chosen by the Board to serve as Executive Director,” said Fawknotson. “I look forward to continuing to ensure that Nashville has some of the best sports facilities in the country and that we are managing them in a fiscally responsible way.”
“Monica has been a tremendous asset to the Sports Authority Board, ensuring that Metro Nashville maintains a close working relationship with sports teams in our city,” said Kim Adkins, Chair of the Metro Sports Authority. “I know that under her leadership, Nashville will continue to have facilities and sports teams we can all be proud of.”
The mayor gets a chief from the chamber: Debby Dale Mason, the chief community development officer at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, will take the lead on managing Megan Barry's executive offices and the formation and implementation of policy within the new administration. Her first day on the new job will be Nov. 18.
Debby Dale Mason, Chief Community Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed by Mayor Megan Barry to be her Chief of Staff. Mason will be focused on the management of the executive offices, guiding the formation and implementation of policy within the administration.
“Debby Dale Mason has been committed to public service for nearly all of her life and I’m honored that she will continue that service in my administration,” said Mayor Barry. “Debby has a wealth of experience that will enable her to help manage operations within my administration to ensure we are delivering on our promises to the people of Nashville.”
Mason’s career spans 40 years in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in Nashville, 20 of which have been at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Mason’s early career includes time spent with the Tennessee Arts Commission and Historic Nashville, Inc., as well as a role as Chief of Staff in Mayor Bill Boner’s administration. Her career has also included time at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, the Nashville Downtown Partnership, and as a small business owner, managing a consulting company.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve in Mayor Barry’s administration to support the continued economic growth of Nashville, while tackling the tough challenges around transportation and affordability which that growth brings,” said Mason. “I look forward to working with Mayor Barry and our staff team to build community-wide support for the Mayor’s initiatives.”
In her role as the Chief Community Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Debby Dale Mason served as a member of the Chamber’s senior management team, focused on community development initiatives, regional projects and relationships with key policy makers and Chamber stakeholders. Mason was directly responsible for the Chamber’s annual Leadership Study Mission and for representing Chamber positions on issues before the Metro Council as well as providing strategic counsel on issues of policy.
“Debby Dale Mason has been an important voice in the discussion of issues impacting community development in Nashville for more than two decades,” said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We deeply appreciate her contributions to the growth and prosperity of our region and look forward to continuing to work with her and Mayor Barry in the effort to make a great city even greater.”
Mayor Megan Barry had a chat with House Speaker Beth Harwell and a cordial lunch with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
"We just didn't want it to be Mayor and Governor. We wanted it to be Megan and Ron and I think that's what a meeting like this accomplished. No issues at all," Ramsey said Monday night.
The quick-talking auctioneer from far East Tennessee — arguably the most powerful Republican in Tennessee politics — leads the state Senate in a Republican-led legislature known for engaging in turf battles with the Democratic capital city, such as derailing The Amp and nixing a prevailing wage for city contractors.
"I don't think the legislature has changed any on most those issues. At the same time, that doesn't mean we can't be cordial, we can get along, not take anything personally. I stress that if we disagree, we disagree agreeably," Ramsey said.
The two avoided all talk about business or politics, Ramsey said, and instead bonded over talk of their experiences pheasant hunting and him gushing over his four grandsons with a fifth baby on the way.
Members of a 50-person stakeholders group tasked with helping steer Nashville's efforts to create an inclusionary zoning ordinance will gather for the first time tonight at 5:30 at the Howard Office Building downtown. The group, which includes Metro Council members as well representatives from the development sector and housing advocates, will help gather community feedback on the goals and ways Metro Planning should consider. Consulting firm Economic & Planning Systems, which runs four offices in the western United States, is conducting a feasibility study for Metro Planning.
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Vice Mayor David Briley has tapped former Metro councilman and (briefly) General Sessions Judge Mike Jameson as the new attorney for the Metro Council, following the departure of Jon Cooper, who is now the Metro director of law. Jameson still has to be approved by the Metro Council.
Turns out Amendment 3 may have the unintended consequences predicted by its opposition. Supporters of the charter amendment, including the Southeast Labor Council, asked Metro to delay implementation until March. Mayor Barry, also a supporter of the amendment, sent a letter to the Metro Council:
In a Wednesday letter to the Metro Council, Barry — who publicly supported Metro Charter Amendment 3 establishing the local-hire law — said concerns arose after talks with union leaders, the business community and legal counsel that the new procedures might hinder Metro's ability to move forward with construction projects and thus be "counterproductive towards the intended goals of putting more Davidson County residents to work."
"Like the majority of voters in the Aug. 6 election, I supported Amendment 3 because I believe strongly in workforce development and expanding access to good-paying jobs," Barry, sworn into office Friday, wrote. "My commitment to these principles has not (wavered) and I believe that we can find a path forward that satisfies our desire to promote economic prosperity for working families while also being fiscally responsible and continuing to move forward with important Metro projects.
"This delay in implementation will give us all a chance to research best practices in other cities and for my office to meet with members of the Metro Council, the business community, labor leaders and other stakeholders to develop guidelines that will meet our goals of training and hiring more Davidson County workers for jobs funded with their tax dollars."
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