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Clarksville, TN – Here are the notes from tonight’s special session. Also, I have added a few non-session items for general info.
Here is the recap by topic:
East-West Corridor Moratorium
The city council met in a special session tonight to determine if the moratorium should be revisited. Per the Code of The City of Clarksville, Part II, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-204 (d) “No item previously denied upon a vote of the city council shall be reintroduced within a period of one year; however, such item may be reintroduced as new business upon a ¾ majority vote of the council members in attendance.” Per code, a ¾ vote (10-yes & 3-no) was attained.
Discussions then began on the ordinance to invoke a moratorium. Comments both pro and con were given. The ordinance is time limited to the arrival and review of the updated East-West Corridor study, which should be completed by March 2011. The moratorium was approved by a 7-yes, 4-no and 1-abstain vote. I voted “yes”.
It needs to be understood that tonight session and vote was NOT an approval of the East-West Corridor. That cannot be considered until the updated study arrives in March 2011. Tonight’s actions did NOT provide any funding for any road actions. What tonight’s session did was freeze development in the initially proposed corridor so the potential decision in March is not trying to resolve needs on a moving target.
Personal Note on tonight’s meeting:
One thing was made clear by a couple of council members that did not and will not support the moratorium. No matter what the updated study says, if the initial route is still listed as the best/only route to meet the future traffic needs of Clarksville, they will NOT support it. The more development that is allowed in the path of the currently proposed road will raise the cost to buy and build the future road to levels the city could never afford, thus killing it for good. They hinge their decision on the belief that some other “alternative” can be found, although none have presented any other workable solution. They say who knows how things will be in 15-20 years. One council member seems to think that Fort Campbell will be greatly reduced so the road won’t be needed (although he has no evidence to support such a claim). Another stated that if the road is still needed at that time, the city will cope with whatever actions and costs are needed to fix the problem at that time.
All trends and planning factors expect Clarksville to double its size in the next 20 years. We all know what the traffic is like today. Now imagine doubling the traffic on our roads within that time period. Add to that Clarksville is the daily job destination for many that live in other counties. If the industrial park, commercial and Hemlock developments continue to grow, additional non-Clarksville workers and families will travel our roads daily. More heavy truck, school buses and vehicles will be on our roads.
Clarksville has seen council members over the years saying they are for planning only to avoid making hard decisions when needed for such planning. Many of you told me during the campaign that you could not understand how the council could ignore identified problems and solutions provide by those trained, educated and experienced to conduct such studies. I agree with you and will continue to press for the hard decisions based on the best planning data available. Planning for the future is not a perfect science, but waiting and stating that we can just wait, cope and pay whatever price to fix it at that time is not a solution.
In other info:
City Pay Study
There appears to be another rumor going around that city employees will not get their longevity bonuses as scheduled within a few weeks. This rumor is 100% FALSE. The city budgeted for the usual longevity bonus. However, the draft pay study has identified that the city’s longevity bonus is very generous when compared to other municipalities. The council will review these findings for any possible changes soon. However, NONE of those findings or future considerations affect the currently planned and funded longevity payments that employees expect. Bottom-line, employees will get their usual longevity bonus in a few weeks.
Another rumor I heard was that positions that are identified as being paid above the study recommendations would be reduced. This too, is 100% FALSE. Whatever positions found to be above the recommended pay scale will be frozen until the pay scales catch up.
If employees hear other rumors, call the City HR office and get the facts.
Christmas On The Cumberland Opening
The program opening will take place next Tuesday, November 23rd at 6:30pm. Come on down, see the lights and have a good time.
Bill Summers is the City Councilman for Ward 10 in Clarksville, TN.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the City of Clarksville or Clarksville Online.
Web Site: http://www.cityofclarksville.com/
TopicsBill Summers, Christmas on the Cumberland, City of Clarksville, City Pay, Clarksville City Council, East-West Corridor
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