Jeff Syracuse

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Donelson Neighborhood News - June 2019

I had the extraordinary honor and privilege recently to present a proclamation to Joe Davis, World War II veteran, serving in the US Army where he earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Joe celebrated his 100th birthday on Memorial Day.  I so enjoyed our visit as he told me about being part of the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943.  After the war, Joe enjoyed a long career at the US Postal Service.  An amazing man and hero.

Joe Davis

I’m very aware and staying on top of construction related issues with folks living behind Donelson Plaza off of Benson Road.  Don’t hesitate to call my cell – 615-886-9906, and I will stay on top of this and work to ensure there is safe passage for trash trucks, delivery and neighbors just trying to get back and forth to their homes.  Thanks for your patience.  It’s a big project and it’ll be great when finished, but I know it’s a big pain to deal with right now.

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Donelson Non-profit News - June 2019

I am thankful the opportunity to return to visit with the Stones River Women’s Club.  They do a great deal of impactful projects in the community and I always enjoy my annual visits to bring them up to speed on things happening at Metro Council and in Donelson.

Stones River Women's Club

Speaking of Two Rivers Mansion, at the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion annual “Phil the House with Art & Friends” event, former District 15 Councilman and founder of the Friends group returned to showcase his latest series of Donelson prints entitled “Donelson Revived”.  You can see them all at Picture This.  I thought these two would be perfect together as we’re witnessing the revitalization of Donelson Plaza plus a new library.  Proceeds from the sale of these prints support the Friends group.

Don’t forget the Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market is happening there every Friday as well as tours of the Mansion property are going on now as well.  Visit this link for more information on Two Rivers Mansion events.

Donelson Plaza and Library

I’m very proud of my son Joey and his Boy Scout Troop 777 and all of the other Scouts for placing flags on the grave sites of our heroes at Nashville National Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.

Troop 777

As you drive by our two Donelson Gateway Project entranceway signs, check out the circles on top and you’ll notice they’re new. The graphic in their circle was always hard to see and had become faded. We replaced it with the DGP logo.

Donelson Gateway Project

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Donelson School News - June 2019

Teachers have gone above and beyond to advocate for improved resources for schools that specifically brings equity to their pay.  I have listened and met with teachers and agree that we are behind in ensuring their pay is fair and allows us to recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers.  Same can be said for our public safety and all Metro employees.  The reality is our growth has been on the backs of Metro employees and we have to change that.  Post cards from students whose parents are teachers drives this reality home.  I felt strongly that the substitute budget that was offered (that would’ve raised the property tax rate almost .50 for an extra 1% that would’ve given nothing extra for all other Metro employees) would’ve hampered our ability to fix the structural issues with our budget that ultimately will put us on a course to improving funding for MNPS and all Metro employee pay in the long term.  It will be a top priority in the coming year.  We will discuss it in more detail at the July 11 town hall.

Teachers Pay in Davidson County

I’m pleased that the next Donelson Gateway Project is a beautification of their front entranceway.  Below is the basic plan that JVI Secret Gardens put together for us.  Stay tuned for a fundraising efforts, but feel free to donate at the website above and notate that it’s for Pennington Elementary.  It’ll cost about $1,700.

Pennington Elementary Plan

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Donelson Business News - June 2019

Donelson-Urban-Overlay Donelson Urban Overlay

You'll notice the red and white Metro signs along Lebanon Pike between Briley Parkway and Stewart's Ferry Pike in the Urban Design Overlay.  Over the last several months, some business and property owners and I have been meeting with the Planning Department in terms of streamlining aspects based on how its implementation has been going since its inception a decade ago. Changes have never been made to it and these are purely administrative, working in tandem with Planning and property owners. It does not change anything fundamentally with the vision and rather enhances the ease of its applicability when development occurs. A few duplicative elements are being removed as they're already been addressed in subsequent plans that have been created since then, such as NashvilleNext and the Walk-Bike Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways.  I'm pleased and thankful for how Planning and property owners were all on the same page with this process.  It went before the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 26th and will next go before Council for three readings.  Please feel free to review the red-lined edits here and don't hesitate with any questions.

Congratulations to Mehaul Oleary and team on the grand opening of his new restaurant and pub, The Lost Paddy.  Located at 709 Spence Lane near Murfreesboro Pike, it’s a wonderful new addition to the district.  Thanks to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for hosting a great ribbon cutting.

The Lost Paddy

Check out Hi5 Practice’s transformation of 936 Allen Road where their new home is located.  Check out the video of the before and after.  Hi5 is a great marketing company that helps connects medical practices with their patients.  Check out a picture of the inside of their office.  Congrats again to Kevin & Sierra Barnett and their team and thanks for the investment in the district!

Hi5 Practice

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Join Me for a Community Conversation “Town Hall” on July 11, Paying Respects to Community Leaders of the Greatest Generation and More Updates

Dear Friends –

I’m humbled to be unopposed on the ballot and so I’ve given thought to how I want to proceed with the re-election process.  If you’ve saved my sign from last time and wish to put it out, please feel free! If you’d like one, please let me know and I’d be honored to get you one. Ensuring we have a strong turnout is important. We of course have Mayor, Vice Mayor and At-Large races as well.

Save the date!  Thursday, July 11th. The Donelson Fellowship at 3210 McGavock Pike across the street from McGavock High School.  Doors open at 6:30pm. Meeting starts at 7pm.  I’ve never done one before, so I’ve decided to do a town hall style meeting and hold a Community Conversation as we assess where we are, how we got here, and what’s ahead for Donelson and Nashville in the next four years and what we can do to get our priorities realigned to refocus on schools, public safety and our Metro employees. I’ve sent a mailer that looks like this below to every registered voter in the 15th District, so you should be receiving one. I look forward to seeing you there and having a constructive conversation about Donelson and Nashville’s future.

Early Voting Election Day

District 15 Community Conversation with Jeff Syracuse


Even though I’m unopposed, I’m honored to be receiving endorsements.  Thanks to our Firefighters and Medics at IAFF Local 140, the Fraternal Order of Police Jackson Lodge #5, and the political committee of the Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods.

Nashville Fire EMS Rescue

Nashville Business Coalition

Fraternal Order Of Police

Coalition logo Nashville For Neighborhoods

Don’t forget you have until July 2nd to register or change your address, which can be done online.  Go to www.nashville.gov/vote for all voter information.  If you need one, you can secure an absentee ballot here.  Below is the Early Voting Schedule.

Voting Schedule

The community has lost four community and business leaders recently.  Charlie Cardwell was one of the longest (if not the longest) serving Metro employee and had been our Metro Trustee through six Mayoral administrations I believe.  He embodied professionalism, respect, integrity and what all elected officials should aspire to be.  John Harwell, Sr. invested in Donelson during the early days and brought businesses like Two Rivers Ford to Donelson that were here and thrived for decades.  Larry Keeton and John A. Hobbs were both World War II veterans, were top business leaders in Donelson, gave back in extraordinary ways, they took care of their neighborhoods and so much more.  Dick’s Flowers & Petals, The Larry Keeton Theater, Nashville Palace and John A’s Restaurant have all been places that became institutions in the community that Larry and John A created respectively.  All four of these men earned and deserved great respect from their community because of their leadership in making us the great place we are today.  They will all be missed and their legacy of service to community will be felt forever.

Larry Keeton

John A Hobbs

Best,

Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council, District 15

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Donelson Neighborhood News - May 2019

Congratulations to Merry Oaks neighbors for kicking off a campaign event on June 1st from 4-7pm on Woodberry Court to build their own beautified entranceway sign.  If you’re in Merry Oaks or want to contribute to this project, see flyer below for details.

Merry Oaks Neighborhood

Also in Merry Oaks, they were identified as the neighborhood needing paving the most and will be getting the following streets paved during the warm months:

  • Deerwood Road from Fairway Drive to Blue Hills Drive
  • Fairway Drive from Lebanon Pike to Deerwood Road
  • Elm Tree Drive from Elm Hill Pike to Acord Drive
  • Mapleleaf Drive from Elm Tree Drive to Massman Drive

Another sign recently cleaned up by Craigmeade neighbor Josh Gulick turned out great.  Neighbors have plans to continue working on it.

Craigmeade Neighborhood

Thanks to everyone who participated in the May 18 Clean-Up for the community organized by District’s 12 and 15 Beautification Commissioners Erin Evans and Michele Mazzu respectively.  Thanks to McGavock High School for hosting, Sgt Jeff White with MNPD for collecting old prescriptions, Troop 700 for spending the morning collecting tons of trash on the area around McGavock Pike near the school and all the volunteers.  Randy Mazzu, Karen Cowell and I enjoyed cooking burger and hot dogs for everyone in the Dumpster Diner.

Dumpster Diner with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

Dumpster Diner with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

A good friend in music, Shannon Williford was a Metro Parks employee and ran the summer music programs for Parks and also earned a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation for his Blues in the Schools programs here in Nashville.  He recently performed one of his programs at Two Rivers Middle.   He and family moved back home to Louisiana and he will be missed but wish him well and so thankful for his friendship and service to so many kids in Nashville.  Terry Bulger at WSMV recently did a story about him.  Enjoy it here.

Congratulations to River Glen HOA President Pam Miller for being a finalist in Neighbor 2 Neighbor (https://www.tnrc.net/) ’s Trew Neighbor Award named after in remembrance of Donelson’s very own Frank Trew. She was among great neighborhood leaders in the county recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of her neighborhood.

River Glens Pam Miller Finalist in Neighbor 2 Neighbor

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Donelson Non-For-Profit News - May 2019

The Nashville Symphony will return to Two Rivers Mansion on Sunday, June 9th at 7:30pm.  Come early and get a good seat on the lawn.  This concert is FREE.  Tours of Two Rivers Mansion will begin soon as well.  Visit this link to view the events and to sign up as a volunteer.

Nashville Symphony

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage is now L’Evate as they celebrate their 20th year.  As Leadership Donelson-Hermitage looks forward to the next 20 years, a new name will help take the organization into new places and allow them to meet new people.  They are no longer tied to a geographic region by a name and getting more visibility in the community of sponsors and donors will make securing dollars for the organization easier, which will allow L’Evate to tell the story of the positive impact the organization has on the community.  Many are able to live, work, play, and raise families in a community that they have had a hand in creating, growing, and prospering.  The new name will allow them to continue growing and impacting new people.

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage is now L’Evate as they celebrate their 20th year

The Larry Keeton Theater returns for a great 2019 season.  See flyer below for details Larry Keeton Theater 2019 schedule and tickets.

 The Larry Keeton Theatre 2019-2020 Season

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Donelson School News - May 2019

There may still be openings at MNPS Summer Camps and Programs.  Visit this link for more information and to sign up.

Recently, Senior Awards Night at McGavock High School was held to showcase academic and student excellence among a variety of disciplines.  91 seniors received McGavock Covenant Student Scholarships, which are $500 scholarships given to graduating seniors with a 3.0 GPA, 21 ACT, and 8 hours of community service.  This is the only scholarship of its kind in Nashville and the surrounding area that is funded by the community for a local public high school.  Awards were also presented to fine arts students (band, orchestra, theater, dance), cheer and student athletes.  Also, a McGavock student was recognized for being the highest rated Cambridge student in the entire state of Tennessee.

McGavock High School Awards

Metro Nashville Public Schools joins the Nashville Public Education Foundation and Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee in celebrating this year’s selection of Blue Ribbon Teachers.  In its fifth year, the Blue Ribbon Teacher program aims to recognize top teaching talent in our schools. This year, we’re celebrating fifty exceptional educators who are doing outstanding work in one of three areas: student growth, instructional excellence and teacher leadership.  Blue Ribbon Teachers will be honored at a reception at Vanderbilt in June.  Congrats to McGavock High School’s Laura Vignon and all our fantastic teachers in the county.

Blue Ribbon Teacher Award Recipients

I recently had the opportunity attend the 40th Words and Music Night held at the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  It’s an annual event that celebrates the performance of songs written by students and professional Nashville songwriters.  Here is Stanford Montessori’s recent 4th grade graduate Oscar Spitzer accompanied by Shane Adams performing their song “The Beach”.

Words and Music at Country Music Hall Of Fame

Words and Music at Country Music Hall Of Fame

 

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Donelson Business News - May 2019

It’s a Ball Y’all is a new event honoring extraordinary women in our community.  See flyer below for details and visit this link for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

Its a Ball Y'all with Donelson Hermitage Chamber of Commerce

Explore what Donelson has to offer at Donelson Day on June 15th from 11am to 3pm at Buchanan Log House (2910 Elm Hill Pike).  Come out and meet your neighborhood businesses and friends.  Businesses that are confirmed to be at the event with more to follow:

  • Caliber Coffee- Cold brew and sweet treats
  • Nashville Flower Market- Build your own flower bouquet
  • Zulemas- Flautas and possibly lemonade
  • Hermitage Dance Academy- 2 different performances
  • Paper and Ink Arts- Kids coloring and drawing area
  • Buddy Allen- Samples and SWAG
  • Rehab Therapy- Physical therapy services with discounted evaluation
  • Music City Fencing- Fencing Demonstration
  • Williams Violins- Try to play a violin
  • Buchanan Log House- House will be open for attendees to see the property
  • Nash 103.3- Listener SWAG and possible giveaway
  • Mind Body Institute- Free chair massages during the event by licensed and massage therapy students
  • Full Metal Flowers- Local metal artist selling items
  • Remington College- SWAG and giving away a free teeth whitening session
  • Kona Ice Truck- Shaved ice for sale during event
  • Jae's Gems- Mining table and mineral display
  • Smart Supplies- Creating the entrance sign displaying "Donelson Day"
  • Hermitage Officers- Patrol cars with sticker badges and kids items
  • Nashville Airport Police Department
  • Semper Sliders- Burger sliders

Donelson Day at Buchanan Log House

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New Donelson Library Project Begins, Unopposed on the Ballot and a New Sister City in Music

Dear Friends –

The groundbreaking for our new Donelson Library was a memorable morning with beautiful weather.  Thanks to everyone who were able to attend.  Nashville Library Director Kent Oliver, student library patron Elijah Byrd and neighbor Diana Bradford spoke on the importance of our library to them.  Mayor Briley and I also spoke and then we officially broke ground on the full project.  As you’ve already noticed, road closures have begun as infrastructure work begins.  Most of the work done this year will be all related to stormwater, road and sidewalks.  Remember to keep tabs with the Donelson Plaza website.  The library itself may not go vertical until next year with hopefully (fingers crossed) completion by the end of 2021.  Below are a few pictures, including our fantastic Donelson Library Branch Manager, Chris Morin, who I couldn’t resist taking a selfie because of his “Libraries Rock” shirt.  They sure do and it’s in large part because of Chris and his staff!

New Donelson Library Project Begins

New Donelson Library Project Begins

New Donelson Library Project Begins

Thanks to everyone who supported our area restaurants on my six-stop Lunch & Brunch Tour and management and staff at Phat Bites, John A’s, Party Fowl, Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace, Nectar: Urban Cantina and Caliber Coffee.  I enjoyed our conversations.  I turned in my ballot and I am humbled and honored to be un-opposed on the ballot this year for re-election.  It’s been the most rewarding yet challenging endeavor of my life and I truly do love the job.  Thanks for your continued support and engagement.  There are a number of opportunities and celebrations ahead for us.

Lunch & Brunch Campaign Tour

Below is the Early Voting Schedule.  If you need one, you can secure an absentee ballot here.  We will of course be voting on Mayor, Vice Mayor and At Large, so be sure to put voting on your calendar and be sure to vote!

Early Voting Schedule

After the horrendous rains in February, they actually compromised the integrity of some bridges in areas along Greenways around us.  It appears one of the worst ones is a critical link between Donelson and East Nashville along Shelby Bottoms.  Metro Parks & Recreation released the below map recently with a detour and more information.

Shelby Bottoms Bridge

In April, I had the extraordinary opportunity to make my second trip to Chengdu, China (on my dime, not the taxpayer’s).  Chengdu is becoming a key city in Asia for trade in a number of industries, notably the music and entertainment industry.  Over the last couple of years, Nashville’s relationship with Chengdu has grown and we’ve officially become Sister Cities.  Council Member Sharon Hurt and I attended the 8th Music Cities Convention.  We were honored to present this framed resolution Metro Council passed and signed by Mayor Briley recognizing this Sister Cities relationship to Mr. Zhong Laizho with the Chengdu Office of Foreign and Overseas Affairs.  I am hopeful this will broaden our cultural sharing, strengthen the dialog on the importance of strong Copyright protections for creators and enhance Nashville’s presence as an international city.  48 cities around the world were present to showcase their music and entertainment economies and it was a fascinating learning experience.  I brought back new relationships from many of those cities that I believe will be of strong value to Nashville in the years ahead.  Special thanks to our Nashville Symphony and Nashville Opera for sharing some small gifts that I was able to present to our hosts and industry leaders in Chengdu.

Chengdu Sister City with Nashville

Chengdu Sister City with Nashville

I wanted to mention a recent story in the Nashville Business Journal I read recently regarding the growing discontent with how Nashville is managing our growth.  In my role as your Council Member, I have a particular acute sense of this from both hearing from you and managing the growth.  This budget season also in particular highlights some of the issues surrounding this.  Teacher pay and MNPS funding, the parking privatization proposal, WeGo (MTA/RTA) reduced service and increased fares, and other issues have surfaced as indicative of how and why we need to double down on efforts to be fiscally conservative, cease large incentives that negatively impact our operating budget, put our Metro employees first and protect the quality of life Nashville residents deserve to have.  The larger issue is that our property tax rate is the lowest it’s ever been in Metro’s history.  As we’ve gone through this budget process, it’s clear we don’t have sufficient revenues to meet the demands of our growing city, especially when after our regular property reappraisal that caused the rate to drop so low since per State law, we can’t generate revenue on a reassessment, so when the value goes up, the rate must come down to equalize the overall revenue generated by property taxes.  While I believe there is broad consensus we need to adjust our property tax rate, I want to first ensure we are fundamentally changing direction to not fund unabated growth downtown through “corporate welfare” type of incentives that will only add to debt and negatively impact our operating budget.  If we can achieve that and the increased revenues are dedicated to teachers, schools, police, fire and Metro employees, then I can support that.  The reality is that our Metro employees have taken the brunt of our growth in working so hard with little to no cost of living adjustments while we recovered from the Great Recession and May 2010 flood.  We owe our Metro employees a great deal because of the work they’ve done.  I’m not sure if will be this year or next, but I believe a property tax rate proposal will come before us at some point and I believe it will ultimately be warranted as long as it accompanies a budget that is not focused on debt and growth, but managing growth and funding basic services.

Metro Emergency Alert and Notification System (MEANS) is a new public safety program that enables Metro to let you know what safety actions to take when there’s danger.  Once registered, you can choose how to receive communications: cellphone, landline, text/SMS, or TTY.  Users can enter one or more addresses to receive location-based emergency notifications.  For example, if a user adds their home and work address to their account, they will receive emergency notifications when either of these two addresses is within the boundaries of an alert’s location.  If a user wishes to only receive countywide text/SMS messages, they can simply text the keyword ‘NashAlerts’ to 888-777.

Users with smartphones are also urged to download the Everbridge Mobile App from the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).  The Everbridge app brings the added security of delivering alerts to cell phones based on a user’s physical location at the time of an emergency.  When you register and provide your contact information, MEANS enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as criminal activity and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.  Get the alerts you want, the way you want – cell or landline phone call, text, email or TTY.

PRO TIP: When you register, please provide at least one street address. This can be your home address, or the address of a nearby grocery store, library or fire station. An address is not required, but it will ensure that the alerts you receive are focused on locations that matter to you -- places where you live, work and play.

Metro Emergency Alert and Notification System

This summer, consider taking a class through Nashville Community Education.  Check out their Summer 2019.

Thousands of veterans will receive free dental care on Saturday, June 8th, when Aspen dentists and their teams from more than 450 offices across 39 states open their doors for Aspen Dental’s 6th annual National Day of Service, including 4054 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage.  Many veterans struggle to find accessible and affordable dental care, in particular because most aren’t eligible for dental benefits through the VA unless they’re 100% disabled, have a service-related mouth injury or were a prisoner of war.  It’s estimated that 470,390 veterans live in Tennessee.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Interested veterans need an appointment to receive care and should call 1-844-AspenHMM (1-844-277-3646) to find a participating practice in their community and schedule an appointment in advance – space is limited and appointments are filling-up fast!
  • Spread the word in your community! Be sure to use #HealthyMouthMovement and @AspenDental when posting on Twitter and Facebook. Below are some sample posts you can share.

Best,

jeff syracuse

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Donelson Neighborhood News - April 2019

I’m pleased to report that a short but high priority stretch of sidewalk that I’ve been advocating for many years has been funded.  I took this picture one morning on my way to the gym and posted it to Instagram as a reminder to of what motivates me.  For almost two decades, I’ve watched my neighbors walk the white line on the edge of Lebanon Pike to make it to the WeGo bus stop.  I’ve seen elderly, mothers with babies in strollers and even school children cross from the other side of Lebanon Pike across four lanes and a median to get into Donelson Hills.  It can’t be built fast enough.

Donelson Hills Unsafe Area For Pedestrians

Speaking of unsafe areas for pedestrians, Walk Bike Nashville has launched an “” initiative to highlight the most dangerous areas in Davidson County to cross.  It is based on 2010-2013 crash data from Public Works where pedestrian injury and/or fatalities have occurred.  I support the work of Walk Bike Nashville and encourage everyone to join them.  Here is data specific to District 15.

Impossible Crossings

Thanks to the Spence Enclave Home Owner’s Association for inviting me out to their annual Spring meeting on March 23rd.  At that meeting, the engineer and real estate representative for the buyer as part of a development team working on a small strip center at 1510 Lebanon Pike came to present their proposal.  It would be the first development that would adhere to the requirements of the Lebanon Pike Study we spent time putting together last year.  The proposal would redevelop the property (currently a former single family home being used as an office for a cab company) into a small strip center that would be anchored by a Burger King.  While no one is thrilled at the concept of a Burger King, the development team assured neighbors that their desired tenants with the other two or three spaces would be quality and not anything to lower the quality of the area (i.e. cash advance / payday loan, vape shop, etc.).  They are scheduled to be at the Planning Commission on Thursday, April 25th.  This is a public hearing and the meeting starts at 4pm.  Keep tabs with the Planning Commission’s website here where the agenda will be released (generally a week before the meeting).  There will be three readings then at Council and the second will also be a public hearing.

Burger King coming to Donelson

Save the date!  Saturday, May 18th from 8am – noon will be our annual spring clean-up for Districts 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.  If your neighborhood would like to participate in a clean-up project, please contact Michele Mazzu at mazzum5@gmail.com and she can help support you with supplies.  I hear there will be a “Dumpster Diner” at the bulk item drop off location at McGavock High School.

Dumpster Diner

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Donelson Non-Profit News - April 2019

Leadership Donelson Hermtage’s Lead-UP event that is a gathering of those interested in being part of the next class was one of the largest turn-outs I’ve seen.  Executive Director Deann Bradford and the board do an amazing job with the organization.  I encourage everyone to check out their website as there is something for everyone that will enrich your life and help create lifelong friendships and great business networking opportunities.  Their events are great as well and are open to anyone who would like to support the organization.  Here’s a picture of me (Class of 2013) with two great people – Deann Bradford and Phil Ponder (Class of 1999).

Leadership Lead Up

I thoroughly enjoyed being a speaker at a recent Donelson-Hermitage Exchange Club meeting.  They are a great organization and serve our community in extraordinary ways.

Donelson Hermitage Exchange Club

FiftyForward Donelson Station will be having their annual Pancake Breakfast, plant sale and Clean Up and Bulk Item Drop Off on Saturday, April 13th.  See flyer below for details and phone number to inquire further.  Also, special this year will be a “Planting for Pollinators” with 15th District Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu from 10am – 11am.  Bees, butterflies and other insects help to fertilize plants as well as add natural beauty to out landscapes.  Learn which plants pollinators love and things to avoid in order to attract them to your garden.  There will be a giveaway of five pollinator loving plants.

Pancake Breakfast

I had a great opportunity to welcome Colin Magee and Anne Coulter from Belfast, founders of the PANARTS Belfast Nashville Songwriter Festival.  They brought three wonderful songwriters from Belfast on Saint Patrick’s Day to NECAT Network’s studios for a special show taping.  Niamh McGlinchey, Allison Mcgrath and Rory Nellis all performed original songs.  Belfast is a Sister City of Nashville’s and we have a special relationship.

NECAT Belfast

The Volunteers of America will be holding a great fundraiser concert in Music Valley at the Texas Troubadour Theater on April 12th.  It’s a great musical line up.  See flyer below for details.

Volunteers Of America Fundraiser

The Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market is back in less than a month!  It’ll be returning to Two Rivers Mansion.  See flyer below for details.

Hip D Farmers Market

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Donelson School News - April 2019

Congratulations to McGavock Elementary 4th graders Quetzaly Roman Loaeza and Veronica Vargas Alonso for winning the Nashville Beautiful Art Contest showcasing the importance of recycling in the county.  Their art will be displayed on this truck pictured below for a whole year!

McGavock Elementary

I had a blast reading “Going Places” to Ms. Finley’s 3rd grade class at Pennignton Elementary as part of Read Across America Week.  I think the picture below shows how much fun these kids were.  They are definitely “going places”!

Pennington Elementary

The CMA Foundation, the national music education nonprofit and the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, will host its fourth annual Music Teachers of Excellence Awards on April 30th, 2019, and John David Hazlett, Director of Bands at McGavock High School is among the honorees!  The invite-only event will honor 30 music educators from across the country for their dedication and commitment to music education in their classroom and throughout their school community.  The CMA Foundation created the Music Teachers of Excellence program in 2016 in an effort to recognize the best and brightest music teachers from Nashville and beyond.  Award recipients are selected because of their dedication to bringing a quality music program to their students and the impact they’ve had on their school community through music.  In addition to a night of celebration, Mr. Hazlett will receive $2,500 to invest in his music classroom to help drive their program forward and an additional $2,500 as a personal stipend.

John David Hazlett

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Donelson Business News - April 2019

Congratulation to our new Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Terri Williams Nutter!  The DH Chamber release a press release, which is as follows:  Terri has an eclectic employment history.  She currently serves as Children’s Minister at Donelson Church of Christ, a position she has held for four years.  She holds an affiliate broker’s license with Beck & Beck Real Estate, Inc., and has 20 years’ experience in residential real estate.  Originally from Memphis, Terri moved to the Donelson area at the age of 17 to work as an entertainer at Opryland and has lived in the Donelson-Hermitage area off and on for over 40 years.  She worked in Branson, Missouri, in the height of its popularity as a destination, and after returning to Tennessee, performed again at Opryland and in the Music Valley area of Donelson, as well as in Pigeon Forge.  She has sung on the Grand Ole Opry, is a published songwriter, and was a recording artist at Warner Bros. Records.  She has also traveled and performed internationally.  Terri was the co-producer of Branson Fest for fourteen years and producer of the 1994 Branson Area Festival of Lights lighting ceremony for the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.  She has served as VIP and Volunteer Committee Co-Chair for United Cerebral Palsy, was the Community Relations Chairperson for Friends of Nashville School of the Arts, and toured the state as an ambassador with Gov. Lamar Alexander and other celebrities and dignitaries as part of Tennessee Homecoming ‘86.  She is currently the 2019 Chair of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Women In Business and a current class member of Leadership Donelson-Hermitage.  She is a member of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and of Donelson Church of Christ.

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New Donelson Branch Library Groundbreaking, Petition Signing Brunch & Lunch Tour and Why I Voted No on Amazon’s Incentive

Dear Friends –

I’m excited to announce that the closing happened on the piece of Donelson Plaza where Castner Knott was located and as they say the “keys have passed and checks have cashed”.  The people of Nashville-Davidson County own a central piece of property in the heart of Donelson where we will start a new era in Donelson’s future with a beautiful new 25,000 square foot Donelson Branch Library.  To celebrate this and kick off the work about to commence, I invite you to join Mayor David Briley and me at a groundbreaking on Monday, May 13th at 10:00am.  What will begin to occur soon is roadwork improvements, sidewalks and other related infrastructure upgrades.  The library construction likely won’t begin until early next year once the groundwork is laid with all the infrastructure.  Exciting times are ahead.  Keep tabs on the new website for Donelson Plaza.

Donelson Plaza Site Plan

I’m so thankful to everyone who came out to my Birthday Party and Re-Election Kick Off.  My big thanks to Barrett Hobbs and all the staff at Scoreboard Bar & Grill.  They did a fantastic job and it was a special night.  Thanks to each and every one of you who came and showed your support.   Big thanks to my Treasurer, Jenny White, former 15th District Beautification Commissioner Naomi Regensburg and my son Joey for managing the front table where folks signed in and contributed.  Scoreboard’s regular Wednesday night musical entertainment was of course among the great singer, songwriter and musicians, Randy Moore.  Check out his incredible career here.  Everyone who contributed helped create a truly strong foundation for this campaign that will help ensure success in August on Election Day.  So again, my sincere thanks!  Here’s a few pictures of the evening.  Thanks to everyone for singing Happy Birthday to me.  It was a fun night!

Jeff Syracuse Re Election Campaign

Jeff Syracuse Re Election Campaign

Jeff Syracuse Re Election Campaign

Jeff Syracuse Re Election Campaign

The next step in the election process is to secure signatures of my 15th District neighbors to get my name on the ballot.  So, in keeping with the theme of having an enjoyable time on this campaign, I thought I’d do a “Brunch & Lunch Tour of Donelson”.  We’ve had so many great restaurants open up over the last handful of years in addition to the ones we know and love, so I thought as part of this process, we’d support local and gather together for coffee or a meal and I can also hear your thoughts, ideas or any issues you’d like to chat about.  Here’s the schedule of where I’ll be and when and I hope you’ll come out to support our local restaurants, sign my petition and chat about Donelson.

I’ll have a newly printed batch of fridge magnets.  They’ve been a big hit during this past term and I ran out about six months ago.  I’ll have them at all of our brunch & lunch meet-ups.

Fridge Magnets - Jeff Syracuse Re Election Campaign

As you may have read in the Tennessean, I spoke out against Amazon’s job incentive package.  To reiterate what I said on the Council floor, I welcome and support Amazon’s investment in Nashville.  It is historic in that it’s the single largest jobs announcement in Tennessee’s history.  I also don’t have a problem with supporting the standard jobs incentive package that we’ve been using for years.  From a broader perspective, I understand the discussion on whether or not we need to use these incentive packages.  The reality is that most all cities across the US are authorized by their State governments to use them and they do so as a competitive tool.  Unless there is some change at the federal level that equalizes their use, they’re not going anywhere and we will lose out on quality economic development in Metro if we don’t compete.  That said, what crosses the line for me with Amazon’s incentive is the correlation between asking for a jobs incentive while at the same time at the federal level, fighting against an equitable royalty rate for streaming services that is a fundamental income stream to the job of being a songwriter.  This coming month, I celebrate 20 years working at BMI, where I’ve worked tirelessly to line the pockets of songwriters, not shareholders.  While the streaming rate in question is a totally separate copyright than the area I’m involved with in my day job (mechanicals vs. public performance), songwriters have struggled immensely to maintain the stability of their own jobs over the last two decades as digital technologies have brought massive change to the way we all listen to music.  That has resulted in a stark drop in working songwriters right here in Nashville.  Even so, Nashville remains the place where the most concentration of songwriters live in any city in the world.  With the recent unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act in Congress that paves the way for stability for the industry and the January 2018 decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (a panel of federal judges that set the standard rates for royalties), we are finally getting to a place where songwriters will be able to eventually make a living wage for their craft again.  We can never take for granted what makes use Music City, USA.  Amazon, Spotify, Google and Pandora have all appealed the CRB’s gradual raising of the streaming rate.  Only Apple Music decided not to appeal.  My objection to Amazon’s jobs incentive deal is taking a stand with our neighbors here across Davidson County who do not deserve to be asked by a massive company that generated $11.2 billion in profit last year to take more money from their pockets if they are not going to respect an equitable rate for songwriter royalties.  That said, I’ve had respectful conversations with Amazon and while I will voted No on their jobs incentive, I pledged to work with them and engage them in our music community.

As the Chair of Metro Council’s Parks, Library & Arts Committee, I was proud to sponsor a resolution recognizing Metro Art’s 40th Anniversary.  A presentation of the resolution was presented at Metro Council recently.

Metro Arts

Metro Arts Annual Report for FY18 was released and I’m especially proud that they have positively impacted every district in the county.  I encourage you to read it here.

Also as Chair of Parks, Library & Arts, I had the duty to address the issue of the imminent destruction of the cherry trees at Riverfront Park.  Upon learning of the shocking news that 21 cherry trees would be cut down to make room for the NFL Draft stage, the public outcry was intense and rightfully so.  I am pleased that we were able to work with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation and the Mayor’s Office to stop that plan and instead only transplant 10 trees.  It is indeed a difficult time of year to transplant trees successfully, but I have faith in our horticulturist with Metro Parks who believes they can be saved.  During our regular Committee meeting, I asked our Parks Director, Monique Odom, Randall Lantz, Parks Horticulturist, and Butch Spyridon, CEO of our Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, to give us an update on the situation.  To ensure that we had enough room to fit everyone who wished to be part of the committee proceedings, I moved the committee meeting to the Council Chambers.  We all learned a lot and I have a better understanding of how to improve the overall coordination and transparency of our urban forestry and tree policies.  As I stated in the proceedings that you can watch here, I pledge to continue working towards that end.  Here is a fact sheet from Parks about the cherry trees.

The Davidson County Election Commission is hiring poll workers.  Please see below for more info.  Don’t forget that if you’re new to Davidson County or have moved, the link above will give you all the information you need to register or update your voter registration and provide a full calendar of this year’s important election.

Now Hiring Poll Workers in Davison County

Now Hiring Poll Workers in Davison County

I was happy to have had the opportunity visit WKRN News Channel 2 before the March 5th Council Meeting to discuss the agenda and the latest happenings at Council.  I enjoyed my time with anchors Nikki Burdine and Neil Orne.

News Channel

Speaking of happenings at Council, I was very happy to learn of Mayor Briley’s announcement that all Metro employees would be receiving their cost of living adjustments as well as step raises in his proposed budget.  That is a good start.  We’ve unfortunately been seeing plenty of strife happening with Metro Schools with Board Member Will Pinkston resigning and Director Shawn Joseph announcing he won’t be seeking a contract extension past 2020.  I’m very thankful for our District 4 School Board Member Anna Shepherd’s calm and confident leadership.  She has always been a presence of stability on our school board.  Ensuring we fully fund our schools is another essential aspect to the upcoming budget cycle and it will be vitally important we work closely with the school board and administration to pass a budget that reflects that Metro schools are indeed a top priority.  Metro employees, schools and public safety need to be made our top priorities in the upcoming budget.

Best,

jeff syracuse

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Donelson Neighborhood News - March 2019

Thanks to neighbors in the Pennington Bend area for your diligence and working together and taking care of each other during the recent major rain event that nearly caused some horrible flooding.  I was in constant contact with our Office of Emergency Management.  I encourage everyone to review the OEM link and review the NERVE system, which will be a key communication portal for everyone should it be fully activated in a major event.  OEM and NERVE were partially activated during the previous event.  My thanks as well to the Red Cross, who set up a shelter at McGavock High School.  McGavock also was served as a staging area for Metro Police before they headed into the neighborhood to communicate to neighbors to recommend evacuations.  Fortunately, we dodged a bullet and the rain stopped.  However, due to the incredible amount of rain, water levels on the Cumberland River will remain elevated for some time.  I also strongly encourage everyone to follow the Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s website and social media platforms.  They are very informative.  The Corps of Engineers has done a very good job managing their dams and water levels to avoid flooding.

Save the date!  Saturday, May 18th from 8am – noon will be our annual spring clean-up for Districts 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.  If your neighborhood would like to participate in a clean-up project, please contact Michele Mazzu at mazzum5@gmail.com and she can help support you with supplies.

It’s always good to be with neighbors who are working to strengthen their neighborhoods.  Thanks to Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association neighbors for inviting me to gather with them at Caliber Coffee recently to enjoy time with old friends and meet some new neighbors.  My thanks as well to Officers from our Hermitage Precinct for attending as well.  LHNA Board Member Mike Windus for snapping this picture of LHNA President Jenny White, 15th District Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu and me.

Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association

I ran across this original map of one of our district’s neighborhoods – Creekside Heights.  I love history and thought I’d share this.  It’s kind of hard to read, but still neat to see one of the original plans for one of our neighborhoods.

Creekside Heights - Original map of one of our district’s neighborhoods

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Donelson Non-Profit News - March 2019

Big news for Hip Donelson!  It’s their 10th Anniversary!  As such, there is a special sponsorship packet available for the upcoming Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market as well as special events this year to celebrate.  Hip D is bringing back Hip Supports Local events as well as a special commemorative t-shirt to show your pride in Donelson.  This will be a great year to celebrate service to our community, remember Frank Trew and his extraordinary efforts to make Hip Donelson what it is today and kick off the next decade of being thankful for living in a great community.  This will be the second year the Hip Donelson Farmers Market will be at Two Rivers Mansion and I hope you will consider being a sponsor and support another great year for the market! (Click image below to see full spnosorship package)

2019 Hip Donelson Sponsorship Deck

FiftyForward Donelson Station will be having their annual Pancake Breakfast, plant sale and other activities on Saturday, April 13th.  See flyer below for details and phone number to inquire further.  Also, special this year will be a “Planting for Pollinators” with 15th District Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu from 10am – 11am.  Bees, butterflies and other insects help to fertilize plants as well as add natural beauty to out landscapes.  Learn which plants pollinators love and things to avoid in order to attract them to your garden.  There will be a giveaway of five pollinator loving plants.

Fifty Forward Pancake Breakfast

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Donelson School News - March 2019

Nashville Youth Basketball AssociationThe Nashville Youth Basketball Association is offering a Spring Break Camp at McGavock High School led by Former NBA 1st Round Pick Dontae' Jones.  The camp will be for boys and girls ages 5 – 16 and held for three days during Spring Break and will last three hours each day.  Special guest coaches include former NBA and professional players as well as current college and high school coaches.  The camp will be held March 12 – 14, 2019 from 1 – 4pm.  The cost will be $75 for three days or $30 daily.  Daily snacks and drinks will be included.

Two Rivers Middle School will be having a Crop for Enrichment event on Friday, March 29th from 6pm to midnight and March 30th from 9am – 4pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church.  This will be a benefit for Two Rivers Middle.  See flyer below for details and contact information for more info.

Crop for Enrichment Jeff Syracuse Metro Council District 15

Great things are always happening at McGavock High School.  I was proud to attend and support the annual breakfast raising funds for the McGavock Coalition Scholars Fund that gives scholarships to eligible students.  Thanks to Hermitage Hills Baptist Church for hosting and all the sponsors and donors. There was great music from the McGavock Band, Orchestra and Choir as well as a special performance by Tristan McIntosh.  McGavock students the Hospitality Academy prepared a delicious breakfast.  To learn more and to give to this fund, visit www.mcgavockcoalition.org.

McGavock Coalition

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Planes, Trains and Other Events Plus Jeff’s Birthday Bash and Fish Fry Fundraiser

Dear Friends –

I’m coming up on another trip around the sun and I thought it’d be a good way to kick-off this campaign and have some fun as well.  I’m thankful to Barrett Hobbs and the Hobbs Family for hosting a Birthday Bash and Fish Fry Fundraiser at Scoreboard Bar & Restaurant on Wednesday, March 13th at 5pm.  Scoreboard is at 2408 Music Valley Drive just behind Cracker Barrel on Music Valley Drive.  Everyone is welcome.  Thank you in advance of the great support I’ve received already for my re-election campaign.  It’s an honor to serve this community and the 15th District.

Jeff Syracuse Campaign Kick Off at Scoreboard Bar & Restaurant

I’m very impressed with the new Metro Police Department Headquarters on Murfreesboro Pike.  I had the pleasure of attending the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.  It is a state of the art facility that includes the Family Justice Center, which will house components of the Metro Office of Family Safety as well as programs for Tennessee Department of Child Safety, Nashville Children’s Alliance, Victim Intervention, and Domestic Violence.  This new facility needs to be just one of the ways in which Metro needs to support our first responders.  I will continue to add my voice to the needed cost of living adjustments to all Metro employees and beyond that ensure we are paying wages that are competitive and indicative of the priority we need to set for public safety.

Metro Police Department Headquarters

Metro Police Department Headquarters

April is Transit Month and Transit Now Nashville will be offering another “Ticket to Ride” event riding the Music City Star from downtown to Donelson on Friday, April 5th.  We will then be walking over to Party Fowl to network and discuss the status of plans for the Music City Star, Donelson Station, as well as how transit needs to be addressed in the Opry area with the #34 bus line, especially with the announcement of the 130-acre development that Ryman is doing over the coming decade or so.  Stay tuned to their website and Facebook page for more information on getting tickets.

Transit Month in Nashville

A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival will be served by the Music City Star on Saturday, April 27th.  Tickets are on sale now at this link.  Thanks to the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this.

A Toast To Tennessee Wine Festival

The airport continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, which is indicative of course at how fast Middle TN as a whole is growing.  Even though we’re not even half-way through with the $1.2 billion expansion plan under the “BNA Vision” strategic plan, the airport is already engaged at looking at the next 20-30 years.  I’ve had the opportunity of attending a few meetings to learn about this process and it’s been quite fascinating.  There will be a community meeting on Tuesday, March 5th.  I encourage everyone to attend.  See flyer below for details.

BNA Master Plan

Stay tuned for more updates on this Master Plan process at their website.

 

Metro Water Services is offering its first ever Citizen’s Water Academy.  The Citizen’s Water Academy is an opportunity for MWS customers to learn about our most precious natural resource, water, and how MWS manages it from “river to river”.  The program includes tours of various MWS facilities, informative and interactive presentations, and the opportunity to interact with MWS staff and other water experts over four two-hour sessions.  Through the Academy, MWS hopes to provide a better understanding of our resource and our processes to build a diverse network of leaders and influencers who are willing to share their knowledge in the community and serve as ambassadors for water. Class size is limited and the selection process is competitive.  Please visit this link for more information and to fill out the application to apply.

The Spring 2019 dates and times are as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 9 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 16 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 23 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 30 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm or Saturday, April 27 9:30am – 11:30pm (Group will decide)

Participants must have availability for all listed dates and times and must commit to attend all 4 sessions.

The application deadline is March 8, 2019. Applicants will be notified of acceptance no later than March 14, 2019.  If you have questions about the program or application process, please contact Sonia Allman at Sonia.allman@nashville.gov.

Best,

Jeff Syracuse - Metro Councilman  - District 15

 

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Donelson Neighborhood News - February 2019

Gladys Arnold here in Donelson recently turned 102 and is the first recipient of a Centenarian Award given by newly created Davidson County chapter of The Century Club by Family Staffing Solutions.  Gladys is a beloved member of FiftyForward Donelson Station.  I was honored to present a proclamation to her from Mayor David Briley and celebrate her birthday with her.

Gladys Arnold - Centurian Award

 

Gladys Arnold - Centurian Award

I’m very happy to report that the Logue House at the corner of Lebanon Pike and Cottage Lane in Donelson Hills is receiving a Metro Historic Overlay that will protect it for generations to come.  I was also able to secure a Metro Historic Marker and Mayor Briley and members of the Historic Commission joined us for a wonderful event to celebrate.  Big hearted thanks goes to owner Gary Slattery who has been so supportive of protecting this property.

Historic Logue House

Historic Logue House

Our Hermitage Precinct is always looking for feedback from residents.  Below is a Community Policing Survey you can use to provide feedback.  Please send it to Sgt Jeff White at jeffrey.white@nashville.gov or drop it by the precinct.

Community Policing Survey

Mayor Briley has begun to attend neighborhood meetings to listen and get input from neighbors all across the county and recently he came to River Glen in the Pennington Bend area.  I can’t thank our Mayor enough for the time spent listening and especially this neighborhood that is still struggling with some post-May 2010 flood issues.  Our Mayor was genuine and very gracious in his desire to try and help.  After he left, the meeting went on and I was then shocked and very moved to be presented by Coleen Sakamoto, a member of their HOA board, with this handmade lei made from flowers flown in from Hawaii where she is originally from as a thank you for representing them and trying to help with their ongoing issues as well.  It’s extraordinary and I’ve never seen or smelled more beautiful flowers nor have I ever seen a true Hawaiian lei!  It was a really thoughtful gesture and I’ll treasure it always.

Neighborhood Meeting at River Glen with Mayor Briley

Mayor Briley also recently visited the Maplecrest Neighborhood Association and listened and addressed issues as well as laid out his vision for the future.

Neighbors in the Sunset View neighborhood and close by have been experiencing quite a bit of disturbance by a group of car enthusiasts who were using Two Rivers Park’s Wave Country parking lot that steadily escalated way beyond just parking and showing off their cars.  Donuts in the parking lot were loud and making the parking lot look awful.  Videos online showed extremely loud cars with flames out the tailpipes.  It is assumed this was also the staging ground for many motorcycles who have been racing on Briley Parkway.  Thanks to the efforts by Metro Parks Police and Hermitage Precinct, this behavior was stopped.  It’s not easy to catch these random pop-up events, so I worked with Metro Parks and they will be installing some additional elements to the parking lot to ensure there will be no after-hours access by groups like this.  See image below for details on improvements coming to the Wave County parking lot.  Through assistance by Metro PD, I also reached out to the leaders of this group and invited them to sit down and chat.  Most involved are teens or in their early twenty’s.  We met recently and we discussed the situation that while I don’t think they’re criminals, they can’t continue to operate this way if they want be a legitimate group, which they do indeed desire.  We discussed the proper process for requesting use of a Metro Parks property and what activities would be allowed and not allowed.  It seemed to be a productive time spent and my hope is that this year they will legitimatize their events.  That said, they will no longer be able to access Two Rivers Park for this any longer.

Wave Pool Parking Lot Upgrades

I submitted a recommendation for modifying the speed limit on McGavock Pike from Lebanon Pike north to the RR tracks from 40 mph to 35 mph.  It was approved and will be implemented soon.

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