Jeff Syracuse

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Our Donelson Library is Finally Moving Forward, an Update on the Donelson Transit Oriented Development District and a Day of Trewth to Honor Frank

Dear Friends –

It’s been a long time coming…  When I was first elected, I became aware that Donelson was at the top of the list as part of the strategic plan for our library system that identified the needs as far as facilities and services throughout the county.  Our Donelson Library was celebrating a bittersweet 50th Anniversary at the time, knowing that its 5,500 square feet built in 1965 had become insufficient for proper 21st century library services, which have grown far beyond just about being about books.  21st century libraries are community centers with modern technology and places to access multi-media elements such as music, movies and the internet.  As discussions began about a new library, so were discussions of how to implement our Urban Design Overlay, which envisioned a walkable, mixed-used, transit-oriented future.  It occurred to me that if we are to reimagine the heart of Donelson as a walkable town center, what the vision truly needed was a civic anchor at the heart of it.  Also during that time going back a couple years prior when I was President of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce I began a focus of trying to find a new owner for Donelson Plaza.  Holladay Properties stepped up in a big way and embraced the vision for the heart of Donelson and also agreed to begin working with Metro towards the possibility of incorporating our new Donelson Library as part of their plans for the Plaza’s future, which is also an aging property that is a prime opportunity for bringing the vision of the community to fruition.  Since we don’t have a town square per say, centrally locating the new library was important as an anchor.  The former Castner Knott / Ace Hardware location of the Plaza seemed perfectly situated.  As these discussions continued, the JB Estille Road sidewalk project became an important aspect to implement as a boulevard-style pedestrian-friendly street that would ultimately connect the new Library with Donelson Station (which is another project that has been moving forward that will be discussed in more detail in the months ahead with community engagement as it takes shape).

My heartfelt thanks to Holladay Properties and the many Metro Offices and Departments (Mayor’s Office, Library, Finance, Legal, General Services, Water, Public Works, Planning, and Arts) that worked together towards creating a very special opportunity for Donelson to build us a new beautiful 25,000+ square foot library.  It was a complex project that took some time to engineer and cost out all the various infrastructure elements and including how to structure the financing arrangement.  As you know, we have been going through meetings regarding our potential Transit Oriented Development District.  One costly element of this project was the entire related infrastructure around the library to include a relocated Cliffdale Road connection, sidewalks, shared parking, storm water and other relocated upgraded NES, Piedmont Gas, AT&T and Comcast utilities.  One element of the TOD District is the availability of Tax Increment Financing, which allows a developer to invest more into the project in lieu of deferred property taxes that will be higher as a result of what the new development will generate.  The TIF financing availability is there to incentive infrastructure, economic development and affordable and workforce housing.  The expense of the infrastructure around library was a perfect first opportunity to utilize the TIF availability and rejuvenate the heart of Donelson.

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Transit Plan, Short Term Rentals, Major League Soccer, Recommend Infrastructure for Pennington Bend and the Full Story on the Dancing Lights of Christmas

Dear Friends –

Mayor Barry announced the comprehensive transit plan and proposal for what taxes would support it to Council Members on Tuesday, October 17th and was in conjunction with the Tennessee Public Transportation Association annual conference at Music City Center. The proposal will not include any property tax increase. The passage of the IMPROVE Act earlier this year by the State Legislature, in addition to funding road and bridge projects across the state, authorized local government to collect surcharges on various taxes and fees currently being assessed by the local government, if approved by voters by referendum. Metro will seek federal grants where available, while also proposing four surcharges to fund the project implementation and long-term maintenance of the system.

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Honoring Frank Trew, Important Community Meetings and Presenting a Vision for Our Stones River Regional Park

Dear Friends –

Our hearts have been heavy since the news of Frank Trew’s passing.  He was a close, personal friend of mine.  There was no one I worked more closely with on behalf of Donelson’s neighborhoods than Frank.  There was a shared passion of organizing neighborhoods and helping form Neighborhood Watch groups, supporting and celebrating local businesses and serving and taking care of our neighbors.  We talked a lot about Donelson’s future.  Hip Donelson has been that organization to bring the community together in great ways to support the community now and advocate for what we want to be in the future.  Frank’s leadership of Hip Donelson is a major reason you see “hip” pages on Facebook all around Middle Tennessee now.  Hip Donelson’s success of being that “virtual front porch” for neighbors to engage with each other has become a model many want to follow.  I encourage everyone to focus on Frank’s great example of service and follow his lead.  Our neighborhoods, schools, non-profits and civic organizations need each of us to be involved, serve one another and continue to keep us a strong community.

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Cavalia comes to Pennington Bend, Historic Overlay and Community Meeting for Belair Mansion and More Development Updates

Dear Friends –

Thanks to those who live in and around Pennington Bend who came to the community meeting about Cavalia, the equestrian theatrical show coming to Ryman Hospitality’s land just east of Briley Parkway.  Please visit the website at the link above for more information.  Below are some of the slides that were presented at the meeting.  Also of note is that as a token of good will, the management team of Cavalia is offering an opportunity for directly adjacent neighbors to see the show for free since they are the most impacted by this show.  If you attended the meeting and signed the Sign In Sheet, you should be contacted.  If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, please email info@cavalia.net and provide them your address to verify your residence.  Please do not abuse this kind gesture.

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Recapping the FY17/18 Budget Season, Legislative Updates and More New Developments in Donelson

Dear Friends –

My apologies for the delay getting this next newsletter out to everyone.  Both my day job at BMI and Metro are both on a July 1 fiscal year, so there’s been a lot of activity in my professional world over the past couple months.  Metro’s budget season for 2017/18 was in of itself an extraordinarily busy time for Council as we worked with the administration to help guide a strategic direction and prioritize investments with a $2.2 billion budget.  The Capital Improvement Budget is where projects are first identified and serve as a “wish list” and then prioritized for funding in the Capital Spending Plan.  The Operating Budget was also thoroughly discussed and one major challenge continues to be Nashville General Hospital, which has struggled in recent years to operate within their budget and have consistently come back to Council in the middle of the year to request an additional appropriation.  They have made improvements over the past couple of years and of course health care is a major issue at the national level so there are certainly broader issues but the bottom line is we must ensure our continued investment produces sustainable results. 

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Short Term Rental Bill Deferred, Stones River Bend Park Community Kick-Off and More New Restaurants Coming

Dear Friends –

The Business News section has the most updates this newsletter, but important information is in each section.  As always, don’t hesitate to let me know about things happening in the community to include in subsequent editions.

One of the hottest topics at Council right now is Short Term Rental’s and BL2017-608 is the latest bill to restrict non-owner occupied STRP’s.  The Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 2 was the public hearing for 608 and we were there until about 12:30am hearing passionate opinions from both sides of the issue.  We deferred the bill to wait for possible State action that could limit what we can and can’t do and based on that, there may be potential subsequent amendments to 608, so stay tuned.  I certainly see both sides, but lean towards protecting the character and integrity of neighborhoods.  This whole process has been messy to say the least. 

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Spring Clean-Up, the Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market Opens Soon and a New Restaurant is Coming to the Heart of Donelson

Dear Friends –

Hopefully Spring is here to stay and we get to enjoy it before the hot temperatures of summer.

Spring means it’s time to begin the 2017-2018 Metro Budget process.  This past week Mayor Barry held budget discussions with department heads, which can be viewed at the link above.  All departments submit a requested budget, which will exceed the available funds.  The administration continues the shift from incremental budgeting (year-to-year) to long-term financial planning.  Budget proposals will be for fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020.  As we grow as a city and a metropolitan government, this more strategic-focused process will bring more transparency and accountability.  This will also be the second year Mayor Barry’s administration will hear Public Investment Proposals (PIP’s), which is an innovative new way of approaching budgeting that challenges Metro Departments and agencies to creatively collaborate on citizen-centered pilot initiatives.  Learn more about the PIP’s here.  The administration will now put together a balanced budget proposal to send to Council in May for us to hold our own hearings with departments.

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Donelson Station is Ready for Development and a New Nashville State Community College Campus is Coming Soon

Dear Friends –

Over the past several months, Metro Planning, Public Works, MTA/RTA and I have been working on duplicating an effort already underway around the Music City Star’s Mt. Juliet Station where a developer is partnering with RTA on creating a Transit Oriented Development around the station on RTA land.  We have created a Davidson County version of this RFP (Request For Proposal) and it is now available for developers to review and submit proposals.  The link can be found here.  There is a story about it from The Tennessean here.  This is potential game changer that complements what Holladay Properties is formulating a vision of on the other side of Lebanon Pike at Donelson Plaza.  As these developments continue to take shape, I will keep everyone updated via subsequent newsletters.  It’s exciting times as we move ahead in realizing the vision for Downtown Donelson!

Lack of consistent and timely trash pick-up issues continue, but they are improving.  Red River Waste Solutions is the company that has the contract with Metro.  Metro put them on notice of violating the contract and they must act to resolve the issues they are experiencing quickly or they could lose their contract.  They have come to every Public Works Committee meeting and provided updates.  The company went through major management and personnel changes and now has a new management team working hard to fix their internal issues.  I have established direct communications with their team, so please do not hesitate to email me if there is an issue.  I will get on it immediately.

Charlie Cardwell, Metro Trustee, will be at FiftyForward Donelson Station on February 22 at 9:45am to discuss the Tax Freeze Act, which permits Metro to freeze the property taxes for homeowners 65 or older at the amount of the year they qualify.  Call 615-883-8375 to RSVP and then also stop by before for breakfast or stay after for lunch at Donelson Café in The Larry Keeton Theater.

The update to the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks & Bikeways is available and Public Works is asking for your comments.  Please review and you’ll note that Donelson is identified with a number of sidewalk and bikeway projects.  Thanks for your input!  Below is a great one-sheet that shows where we are headed strategically for sidewalk implementation.

Sidewalk Project Delivery Process

Metro Parks is ready to release a draft of the Metro Parks and Greenways Master Plan.  It was presented by Mayor Barry and Parks staff recently at the Nashville Downtown Library.  The plan will also be on display at the Hermitage Community Center (and other community centers throughout the county) from February 13 – 26.  Please plan on making your voice heard and give input to this plan.

Metro Parks is hiring Lifeguards for this coming summer.  See flyer below for details.

Metro Parks Looking for Lifeguards

Mayor Barry is challenging restaurants to reduce food waste, set a food-waste reduction target and work to reduce food waste over a three-month time frame.  By participating in the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge, restaurants will reduce the amount of food sent to Middle Tennessee landfills, while helping to relieve hunger by donating wholesome, edible food to local nonprofits serving over 110,000 food-insecure residents in Davidson County.

Metro Water Services has a new map that shows all currently active water main breaks and the current status.  This is a valuable resource.  Access the website and map here.

Check out Nashville Public Libraries new Music Library!  NPL BoomBox highlights local musicians from a variety of genres to help us discover new music.  Enjoy!

I’m very proud of my next Hearts of the People blog.  Laura Carrillo is a very special member of our community and has focused her passions professionally and personally on behalf of Two Rivers Mansion, a great deal of her efforts are behind the scenes and deserves our community’s deepest thanks and appreciation.

Best, 

Jeff Syracuse

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Important Community Meetings Coming Up and Many More Updates to Kick Off 2017

Happy New Year, Everyone –

I hope your Holiday Season was enjoyable and restful.

The required, every four-year Property Reassessment is coming this year and each Council Member had the opportunity to meet with Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite and members of her staff regarding the work they have done and the reassessment process coming up this year.  They have also offered an opportunity for communities across Davidson County to have informational community meetings to help answer questions.  Councilman Steve Glover organized a meeting on Thursday, January 12th at 6:30pm at the Hermitage Precinct for a presentation from the Property Assessors Office regarding the process throughout the Donelson-Hermitage-Old Hickory area.  (Councilman Glover also has a community meeting at 6pm prior to this about a development happening in his district.)  As we know, Nashville is booming and property values are much higher than they were four years ago, so make every effort to attend this meeting and stay informed about the 2017 Property Reassessment.

Property Reassessment Meeting

Congratulations to 15th District neighbor and owner of Cumberland Hospitality Group, Barrett Hobbs, on his appointment by Mayor Barry to the Metro Historic Commission.

Barrett Hobbs - Mayor Barry - Jeff Syracuse

The 15th District has unfortunately been experiencing some trash pick-up issues over the past several months.  Not the whole district has been affected, but random streets have been missed (me included) and collection times have been inconsistent.  The collection before New Year’s was by far the worst experience the district experienced.  I serve as Vice Chair of the Council’s Public Works Committee and so I have brought this issue up and asked to see 1) Red River Waste Solution’s contract with Metro so I can review it, and 2) Receive documentation associated with the procurement of the contract.  I will be reviewing this and have also learned the Mayor’s administration and Public Works leadership has taken a more active role in ensuring they do not violate the contract any further.   I also had a friendly, but frank conversation with President and COO Weldon Smith and members of their staff came to the Public Works Committee to hear from us.  They have had some long-term key staff members leave the company and are rebuilding their team so we can return to safe, consistent, timely and efficient trash pick-up.

Short Term Rental Properties (STRP’s) is a hotly debated issue right now.  After a judge found the STRP legislation vague and ruled against them, it was back to the drawing board.  Legislation was filed (BL2016-492) to regulate them, but some feel it does not go far enough.  There are basically two type of STRP’s – owner-occupied and non-owner occupied.  Non-owner occupied STRP’s are owned sometimes by an owner from out of the country with a local management firm managing the rental.  These types of scenarios have too often including here in Donelson, most notably the development along Miami Ave of homes specifically for STRP use.  There have been instances where the home is rented out specifically to host large parties that are incredibly disruptive to what is usually a quiet neighborhood street.  The Nashville Neighborhood Alliance has proposed an amendment to phase out STRP’s in R and RS zoning (single family residential).  While I do understand the argument to not let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch, the situation has actually amounted to some negative impact to the character of residential neighborhoods.  Some argue they pretty much serve as mini-hotels in the middle of neighborhoods.  I am an advocate for our protecting neighborhoods, so I’m poised to support this amendment that will phase out non-owner occupied STRP’s specific to R and RS zoning over the next two years.

The update to Nashville’s Strategic Plan for Sidewalk and Bikeways (called Nashville WalknBike) is wrapping up and a draft will be presented on January 9th the public.  Visit their website for a list of Community Meetings where team members from Public Works will present the draft plan, answer questions and take feedback.  One of those meetings will be here in Donelson at Stanford Montessori School at 2417 Maplecrest Drive on Tuesday, January 10th at 7pm.  I know this is a big issue for many of us in Donelson, so please plan to attend and be involved.

Metro Animal Care and Control will begin offering three-year rabies vaccine and three-year license at monthly low-cost rabies vaccination clinics starting on the third Saturday of the month in February (February 18, 2017) and go through November.  Metro Animal Care and Control is located at 5125 Harding Place, Nashville, TN 37211.

With cold days ahead, it’s important to remember those that are homeless and need a shelter in times of cold weather.  As you may have read in The Tennessean, Nashville’s homeless rate spiked 9.8% from 2015 to 2016.  Before our December 20th Council Meeting, Open Table Nashville and the Mayor’s Office gave Council Members an update on current efforts and challenges this winter.  To that end, it’s good to be knowledgeable about Nashville’s Cold Weather Response Plan, which is a collaborative effort across non-profit organizations and government.  There is a How You Can Help section on their website.

Cold Weather Community Response Plan

Metro Public Works has completed the signal timing optimization project.  Read about it here in the Nashville Business Journal.  I know there are a few signals in particular for folks that don’t change fast enough.  Hopefully this will help.

The 15th District has been very fortunate to receive four funded projects via Metro Arts Commission THRIVE Program over the past couple of years.  Here’s a highlight:

FY17

  • Artist Elizabeth Davidson was awarded $3,000 to activate community with her production of a one woman play based on the life of the indomitable American author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and her writing of her most famous novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin". 
  • Nashville-based Shelby Bottom Duo (Michael August and Nell Levin) was awarded $3,000 to engage 4 community based organizations (3 labor unions and 1 university) with vested interest in workers’ rights in their original multimedia educational show A Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement.
  • Playwright Carolyn German was awarded $4,000 to work with McKendree Village, Donelson Public Library, and FiftyForward Donelson Station to coordinate opportunities for seniors to come and share their stories.
  • Mural and graffiti artists J. Dante Bard and Troy Duff were awarded $4,000 each to activate two different sites at the pedestrian tunnel of the Two Rivers Parkway Greenway.

FY16

The $40 million Metro Water Services Cumberland Low Water Project along Elm Hill Pike, Donelson Pike and Lebanon Pike will be underway soon.  You may have seen the large signs such as the one below.  There is a 24/7 Project Hot Line – 615-953-2899 for up to date information as well as the website link above.

Metro Water Services Project Sign

Best

jeff-syracuse

 

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Opry / Music Valley Traffic Flow Improvement Plan, 29th Holiday Lights Competition and 32nd Annual DH Chamber Christmas Parade

Thanks goes to our Metro Nashville Police Department and Metro Public Works Department for their hard work in working with business all throughout the area.  The below communication describes the traffic flow improvement plan for the Opry / Music Valley area.  While no plan will be perfect, there are more resources this year and MNPD is dedicated to managing these resources as effectively and efficiently as possible for both our neighborhoods and visitors to the area.

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Important Community Meeting, More Good News for Donelson and Strengthening Diplomatic Ties with Belfast, Ireland

I was thrilled to receive an opportunity for a trip of a lifetime representing Nashville as part of the Sister Cities program.  Belfast, Ireland has been a Sister City of Nashville for 20-years.  Aside from Canada and the Bahamas, this was my first time travelling overseas.  It was an extraordinary trip and I learned a great deal about their history, progress on overcoming socio-economic and political challenges, how they merge redevelopment with historic preservation, foster urban renewal and much, much more. 

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Great News – The Donelson Plaza Returns to Local Ownership!

There are a few consistent desires of neighbors across our community that I hear quite often.  Folks would like to ride the Music City Star at more convenient and additional times and they’d like to see more retail and restaurant options in the area.  Our Downtown Donelson Urban Design Overlay is a long term plan that fundamentally addresses these issues and provides the vision for sustainable growth and revitalizing the heart of Donelson into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented town center.

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Donelson Council News - August 2016

Reflecting Back as a New School Year Begins…

I will freely admit it was hard just to start this next newsletter…  Just as the “new normal” began last Fall as your newly elected member of Metro Council, I struggled with another new reality.  As many of you already know, my Mom passed away on June 30th after a long battle with a neurological illness, to which even now we never were really able to receive a true diagnosis.  It was focused in the mid-brain, an area very difficult to scan, diagnose and treat.  It slowly debilitated her over many months to the point she was a quadriplegic.  It actually started while I was campaigning last year.  I first really noticed her symptoms when Mom & Dad drove up from Atlanta to be with me at my election night party.  It was a very difficult Christmas Season for my family and then Mom’s health really started to decline after the first of the year.  It was so difficult for me to juggle everything as I had to put family first and be in Atlanta most weekends.  I was also surprised and thankful to receive a promotion at work in October that came with a great deal more responsibility.  It’s said the Good Lord doesn’t put any more on your plate than you can handle.  Well, then I am truly a blessed man because there were times over the past months I just wasn’t sure if I could.  The support from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, Metro government colleagues and so many more was just extraordinary and my words of thanks will never be enough but I will be eternally grateful.

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Donelson Council News - June 2016

Dear Friends,

Over the past nine months since taking office, I’ve been focused on setting a strategy to achieving the goals of my time in office – strengthening neighborhoods, improving community support of our schools, supporting non-profits and continued positive economic development.  I’m proud to report that a substantial element in the Mayor’s budget proposal helps us address all of those areas – a new library for Donelson and is something I’ve been working on and advocating for, so I’m very happy to see this.  Mayor Barry has proposed $6 million for the replacement of our Donelson branch, which was built in 1966 and is quite inefficient from an infrastructure perspective as well as size and layout to meet our needs.  Our current library is about 6,000 square feet.  A proposed new library could be about 20,000 square feet, so the current site is not very feasible for redevelopment.  In addition, as we all know, it can be a difficult location to enter and exit.  My vision is focused on renewal and investment around the Music City Star Donelson Station to create a walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented town center for our community that offers more restaurants and retail options as well as green space.  A new library would serve as a perfect community center in the heart of Donelson that would help anchor this renewal.  I continue to work with the Mayor’s Office, our Metro Library Director Kent Oliver and Donelson Library Branch Manager Chris Morin on identifying a suitable location that can maximize this investment to help bring greater accessibility, use and expanded programming to better serve the current and future needs of our community.  Should the budget pass with the library funding included (I’m confident it will), there will be community input in this process and I’ll need your help to get the word out when there is a meeting scheduled.  It will probably happen in late Fall, so stay tuned.  As always, I welcome your input any time leading up to a community meeting.

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Donelson Council News - April 2016

Dear Friends,

This may be my longest newsletter yet!  Lots of good things are in each section.  Be sure to visit the Neighborhood News section about an important Community Meeting on sidewalks coming to the heart of Donelson and a lot more important information on great neighbors doing good things for Donelson.

McGavock High School graduate and MTSU student Robert Bagwell contacted me to ask if he could feature me in a personal profile video project.  I was honored.  It turned out really nice and of course my favorite part is how Joey is featured.  Check it out here.  Another personal profile that Robert did featured Donelson’s own former MNPD Chief Joe Casey.  Check that out here.

Mayor Barry will deliver the State of Metro address on Friday, April 29th at 11:30am at the Ascend Amphitheater downtown.  The administration has requested everyone RSVP here to get a count of those attending.  McGavock High School Marching Band as well as other performances will occur as well.  The Mayor presents her budget proposal to Metro Council after the address.

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Council News - February 2016

Dear Friends,

This year is a big voting year for all levels – local, state and national.  The first is our presidential and county primary election on March 1st.  Early voting has already begun.  See the below flyer for the full schedule.Early Voting Schedule Davidson County Election Commision

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Council News - January 2016

Dear Friends,

The new Star Wars movie was a fun part of the Holiday Season for many families.  I certainly enjoyed taking Joey to see it and having an engaging and philosophical discussion about this very timeless story.  It’s also an excellent analogy for how 2016 began – faster than light speed!  January has flown by but it has been an incredibly productive month.  I have been working very hard on a number of initiatives.

I want to begin this newsletter with acknowledgement specifically to our Music Valley / Pennington Bend neighbors and businesses, which have seen the 2015 Holiday Season traffic as the most challenging one yet.  As the Middle Tennessee region continues to grow, we can only expect it to increase and we need to take proactive action on.  Councilman Claiborne began the effort this past summer by bringing together many Metro and State departments and agencies, businesses and neighbors to meet and discuss the increasing challenges.  Metro Public Works did hire a consultant to analyze traffic flow and propose possible solutions.  While a couple of those proposals were implemented, we learned that we need increased resources and better coordination to successfully achieve improvement.  My primary concern is public safety when our roads are gridlocked and emergency vehicles have a difficult time reaching our neighborhoods, hotels and other tourist destinations.  I’ve engaged the Mayor’s Office and Metro Departments to begin early this year to assist in developing a plan that puts public safety first, improves traffic flow and helps ensure all our businesses can benefit from the positive economic impact from the tourist activity the area receives.  I will keep everyone informed with any new developments with this effort.

There was a big turnout for the 32nd Annual Donelson-Hermitage Chamber Christmas Parade and I enjoyed being a judge along with School Board Member Anna Shepherd, Councilman Kevin Rhoten (District 14) and DH Chamber 2016 President-Elect Sharon Kipp.  A very special moment in the parade is when the Music City Young Marines stopped at the Judge’s table and presented me with a U.S. Flag.

Young Marines - Donelson Christmas Parade

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Council News - November 2015

Dear Friends,

It’s nice to sit down and write this next newsletter reflecting on an incredibly busy couple of weeks that have been both productive and enjoyable.  I began a new job at BMI as an Associate Director of Licensing Customer Relations and am thankful for continued professional growth and opportunity to serve BMI’s songwriters, composers and publishers.  We had our third Metro Council meeting on Tuesday, November 3rd and it was also the National League of Cities conference that same week.  I’m looking forward to the Holiday Season approaching and hope everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy quality time with family and friends.

The National League of Cities held their annual Congress of Cities conference in Nashville during the first week of November and it was a great way to showcase our city’s success, thriving businesses, music and much more.  Attendees were Mayors and Council Members from all across the United States and was a great opportunity to share ideas and best practices.  I had the opportunity to bring Joey to the NLC Board of Director’s dinner where Emmylou Harris gave a wonderful performance after the dinner.  Joey got to meet her as well.  I love this picture of Joey with Emmylou taken backstage before the dinner and performance.

Emmylou Harris and Joey Syracuse - Jeff Syracuse Metro Council District 15

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Council News - October 2015

Dear Friends,

I hope everyone is well and enjoying these cooler temperatures.  I’m very thankful to each of you for the continued congratulations and well-wishes I receive as I see you out in the community.  Every one means a great deal and fills me with encouragement.

I was asked to officiate my first wedding on September 12 and it was a memorable experience.  Congratulations again to Tim & Jill Halterman and I wish you many wonderful years together.

Tim & Jill Halterman - First Wedding Officiating for Jeff

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August 2015 – A month of Preparation & Transition

Dear Friends,

This past month has been truly extraordinary and I am quite blessed.  Each and every message of congratulatory well-wishes has truly meant a great deal to me.  Sincere thanks goes to our Councilman, Phil Claiborne, for all his time, support and effort over the past couple of years as I worked towards running for the District 15 seat.  It’s made the transition to hitting the ground running that much smoother as well.  There are strong long-term initiatives and specific projects that began with CM Claiborne that the community will benefit from in the years ahead.  I believe there is a collective feeling in Donelson that very bright days are in front of us.  The energy in the community is palpable.  Look for an announcement coming soon about my first initiative to bring all our diverse neighborhood leadership together to help me be a strong voice for our community’s growth, development and preservation.  There is much to learn from each other and collectively support the variety of issues we face.

I’m proud to share the video of me taking the Oath of Office, administered by Judge Randy Kennedy.  Thanks to neighbor and friend Chris Lackey who was there and caught the memorable moment of Judge Kennedy recalling all the prior District 15 Council Members since Metro was formed and reflect on his time as a Metro Council Member in the Donelson-Hermitage area.  Big thanks to my lovely Markey for standing beside me, as well as CM Larry Hagar and my good friend Andy Depuy.  I also received the below Official Certificate of Election from the Davidson County Election Commission.

Official Certificate of Election - Jeff Syracuse Metro 15

My next Soul of a City blog is online.  It’s poignant that I feature Roland White & Diane Bouska as I reflect on another past big milestone of helping strengthen my neighborhood.  Not having organized a block party before and it being something never done in the neighborhood that anyone could remember, I had a little anxiety if anyone would show up.  Not only did 100+ neighbors come, everyone brought an amazing variety of homemade delicious food to share.  Roland and Diane and a handful of other talented neighbors shared amazing music with us.  They also gave a wonderful performance for the whole community at Music at the Mansion a couple years ago.  Enjoy the selection of their tunes and be sure to catch one of their shows down at The Station Inn!

Our first official Metro Council meeting is Tuesday, October 6.  In future newsletters, I will include a section to inform you on Council activities and decisions.  Please make sure you get out and vote in the run-off election coming September 10.  Early voting is going on now.  All voting information can be found at www.nashville.gov/vote.

I look forward to seeing you soon out in the community!

Best,

Councilman Jeff Syracuse Metro 15

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