Written by Brian Zacharias
Clarksville City Council – Ward 1
Clarksville, TN – First let me start by wishing everyone a very happy holiday season. Whether your family is celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or just taking advantage of the opportunity for family togetherness that this time of year offers, my family and I hope you are doing well.
If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please consider reaching out to Manna Cafe, which continues to do amazing work in our community.
As always, you can view the items that were considered during the regular session meeting and how I voted in the “Past and Future Votes” section below.
Items of Interest from December Regular Session
There are two items from the December regular session that I want to take a moment to address. The first item is Resolution 58-2020-21, Supporting the decriminalization of simple possession or casual exchange of marijuana for personal use. When this resolution was initially presented during November’s executive session, it included language where the city council made policy requests of the Clarksville Police Department and the District Attorney responsible for prosecuting state crimes in Clarksville.
As I explained in my comments during the meeting, I had concerns about a legislative body (the city council) seeking to influence the actions of the executive branch, which is responsible for enforcing the law. I believe strongly in the separation of powers between the different branches of government and this seemed to be an improper encroachment. During the regular session, I was one of several members of the council to offer amendments to the initial resolution.
All of the amendments were reconciled during the meeting and in the final version, the two substantive paragraphs that I viewed as problematic were removed, and a third paragraph was included to add support for medicinal marijuana in Tennessee. I was happy to join the majority of the council who voted for this resolution asking the state legislature to relook at current legislation regarding simple possession and casual exchange of small amounts of marijuana.
The second issue I would like to mention is a rezoning application for property that borders the Rossview school complex. This rezoning application passed first reading with me serving as the lone ‘No’ vote, despite a Regional Planning Commission recommendation for disapproval, though we differ in the rationale for our opposition.
Neither of the two governments has influence over the actions of the other, but you do! If you receive this newsletter and are concerned about classroom sizes in CMCSS, I am asking you to contact your county representatives and ask that they work toward identifying opportunities for CMCSS’s future growth.
The Kirkwood school district and subsequent redrawing of school district lines will provide some relief, but that relief will be temporary. Now is the time to start looking at additional land and future construction for a school system that will need to grow to meet the demands of its school-age population.
Dial 211 for Essential Community Services
Did you know you can dial 211 from any cell or landline phone to be connected to a volunteer to help navigate the different health and community service agencies and community organizations? There are dozens of organizations that do work in the community, but knowing who to call or even that a resource exists is a barrier for many who need help.
By dialing 211, callers can receive information about food and clothing banks, shelters, rent and utility assistance, health resources, work support, and suicide prevention. Pass it on!
City Waives Downtown Parking Fees on Fridays in December
Throughout the month of December, the City of Clarksville will waive all downtown parking fees every Friday for metered and City-managed garage parking to promote shopping local during the holiday season. Please take advantage of this opportunity to support local businesses!
ParkMobile Coming to Clarksville
Starting on January 3rd, visitors to Downtown Clarksville will be able to pay for parking, find open spots, and track how much time they have left without having to use a meter or kiosk. Download the ParkMobile app for your smartphone to take advantage of this contactless payment app.
Past and Future Votes
Transparency in government, especially local government, is extremely important to me. At any time, anyone can click the ‘Votes’ button to see my complete voting history as well as ordinances and resolutions on the City Council’s agenda for consideration in upcoming meetings.
What Has Your Councilman Been Doing?
November 30th, 2021 – City Council Executive Session
December 2nd, 2021 – City Council Regular Session
December 3rd, 2021 – Fort Campbell Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 5th, 2021 – Clarksville Gold Star Family Recognition Ceremony
What Is Your Councilman Going To Be Doing?
December 28th, 2021 – Finance Committee Meeting