Written by Brian Zacharias
Clarksville City Council – Ward 1
Clarksville, TN – June 19th marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state to ensure that all enslaved people be freed.
The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African-American holiday. On June 17th, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
The 2022 Budget Season comes to a close!
After three weeks of committee meetings and two special sessions of the Clarksville City Council, the city has a budget for fiscal year 2022-23. I will put a summary of all of the amendments and how I voted below, since I usually don’t put amendments to ordinances in the spreadsheet where I record my votes.
I am particularly proud of my amendment that moved $6 million from a project to build a new parking deck next to City Hall to a project that will expand the sidewalk network around our schools. I understand the need for parking downtown, and I want to make it clear that this amendment does not affect either the parking structure the city approved funding to build earlier this year, or the second parking structure the state is funding.
Those two garages are still coming. The parking deck targeted by my amendment was a third project and was meant for use by City Hall employees. Ultimately, I felt the need for sidewalks was greater than the need for a third new parking structure downtown.
I see this as a major victory for the students in our city.
As I explained in the council meeting, the bus driver shortage has taken on a new face with the expansion of the parental responsibility zone. The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) is still going above and beyond what is required by the state when it comes to providing transportation to students, but this action sends the message that the city is willing to work with the school district to prioritize student safety.
2022-2023 Budget Amendments
I am splitting the amendments into two groups, those that passed and those that failed. Some of these amendments were presented twice in slightly different forms during our two special sessions.
- An amendment to divert $6 million from a third new parking structure downtown to sidewalks for schools
- An amendment to carry over unused funds from the 2021-22 budget to the 2022-2023 budget due to cover supply chain issues.
- An amendment to solidify a 5% general wage increase to non-elected city employees.
- An amendment to create a satellite community center in North Clarksville pending the construction of a new, permanent community center.
- An amendment to purchase software and create an inventory of trees in the city of Clarksville. This amendment was initially unsuccessful during our first special session but was re-introduced and passed during the second reading of the budget.
- Amendments to defund the Mason Rudolph and Swan Lake municipal golf courses
- Amendments to defund the Roxy Regional Theatre, Customs House Museum, and Arts & Heritage Development Council
- Amendments to defund the L & N Train Station
- An amendment to create a new capital project for a multi-use path and the Crossland Avenue Greenway
- An amendment to combine Municipal Properties and Building Facilities Maintenance into a single department
- An amendment to defund the city’s donation to the Wings of Liberty museum. This museum will be in Ward 1 and is expected to have a significant economic impact on our community.
Regional Planning Commission hosts Comprehensive Plan Visioning Workshops
The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) wants to hear from you! This is your opportunity to influence the future of our city. Help shape a Vision for HOW and WHERE we grow in the City and County. Join us for one of three Comprehensive Plan Community-wide Visioning Workshops.
If you care about Housing, Transportation, Open Spaces, and Recreation; bring your opinions and ideas to share in small groups and draw on maps!! Snacks and door prizes provided!
The three scheduled workshops are:
- Monday, July 11th at 7:30pm at Civic Hall
- Tuesday, July 12th at 12:00pm at Kenwood High School
- Tuesday, July 12th at 6:00pm at Old Glory Distillery
I hope to see you there!
The Ward 1 election cycle falls during mid-term elections, which historically seels lower voter turn-out than elections where people have the opportunity to vote for the president. The last time the residents of Ward 1 voted for their city council representative, 956 voters chose the representative for a ward of almost 12,000 residents.
Going to the polls on Election Day is the only way to guarantee you have a voice in choosing your representative. Since our last election, the nation has conducted its 10-year census and our city’s ward boundaries have been redrawn to account for shifts in population. As a result, many residents may find themselves in a different city ward, or school board, county, or state district. It is important that everyone who intends to vote in primary or general elections ensures they are registered to vote.
The State of Tennessee has made it very easy to register to vote online, either through its GoVote TN website or through the GoVoteTN app on your smartphone. Click the button below to visit the GoVoteTN website, or search Apple’s App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) for the GoVoteTN app. The process takes less than 10 minutes and guarantees your voice is heard in upcoming elections!
Schedule an Appointment
I want to hear from you. My phone number and email address are public, but I am learning that there are times when a face-to-face meeting would be more appropriate, depending on the issue.
If you would like to discuss an issue facing Ward 1 or Clarksville in general, please use the form linked below and we can schedule a meeting. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!
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?
June 1st – Common Ground Cafe Ribbon Cutting
June 2nd – Special Session – Budget Overview
June 2nd – City Council Regular Session\
June 9th – Public Hearing and First Reading of Budget
June 11th – Habitat for Humanity Home Dedication
June 14th – Second Reading of Budget
What Is Your Councilman Going To Be Doing?
June 28th – Finance Committee Meeting
June 30th – City Council Executive Session
July 7th – City Council Regular Session
July 11th – Comprehensive Plan Visioning Workshop 1
July 12th – Comprehensive Plan Visioning Workshops 2 and 3
July 26th – Finance Committee Meeting
July 28th – City Council Executive Session