Jeff Syracuse Metro Council District 15
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.
There are many similarities with how Nashville and Belfast are growing and what industries we are both attracting and fostering. I made many friends, was able to take part in a few formal diplomatic functions and have a number of opportunities to follow up on furthering the relationship between our two cities. Below are pictures of Belfast’s beautiful City Hall, me standing outside City Hall with Councilor Guy Spence and the Nashville delegation with Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and US Consulate General Dan Lawton.
As I have been reporting here in my newsletters, we have a major Metro Water infrastructure project coming soon. District 14 Councilman Kevin Rhoten and I will be hosting a community meeting on November 9, 2016 at 6:30pm in the Larry Keeton Theater / FiftyForward Donelson Station at 108 Donelson Pike . Metro Water staff, the contractor and CM Rhoten and I will be there to help answer questions and prepare everyone for this project. It will cause traffic challenges and we have done everything possible to work to mitigate those likely issues. Please come to learn more and help spread the word to neighbors.
I’d like to give a special shout-out to a few folks who have really stepped up to serve Donelson in big ways. The sale of Donelson Plaza would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Mia Keller with CBRE. She represented new owner’s Holladay Properties and worked tirelessly with the old and new owners brokering the deal that brought the property back to local ownership. Mia has been focused like a laser in helping to bring the solid economic development opportunities Donelson needs to revitalize the heart of our community into a true town center. With the Tennessee Board of Regents officially in their new state headquarters in the Bridgestone Park building, their next goal is to focus on opening up Nashville State Community College campuses in Donelson and Madison. I’m proud to report that Mia has been selected by the Board of Regents to find locations for their new campuses. I look forward to continuing work with Mia to bring this new campus that will bring great opportunities for our students and families. Mia was recently nominated to serve on the board of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce and will continue to do great things for the community.
Congratulations to Lara Tucker, who has been re-appointed by Mayor Barry to serve on the Housing Trust Fund Commission. With the recent increase in funding to the Barnes Fund and passage of Workforce / Affordable Housing legislation, this is a critical time for Nashville to ensure successful implementation of these initiatives to address a big need throughout the whole county. Lara’s vast experience in real estate development at Change Healthcare and broad areas of service to the community (including Past-President of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce) will continue to be of great value to this commission.
Congratulations also to John Doerge, who was nominated by Mayor Barry to serve on the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority board as a Neighborhood Representative. In addition to his role in Human Resources at Deloitte, John has set the bar of service to the community with serving on the boards of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, PENCIL Foundation and many more organizations. With the recent $1.2 billion expansion plans announced for the airport, this is a great opportunity to serve in a critical capacity representing Donelson.
I was honored to sponsor a resolution recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I’d like to thank Donelson neighbor and friend Whitney Blanton, who serves as the Director of the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center, for reaching out right after I was elected to invite me to tour the center and learn about the work they do. They do extraordinary work on behalf of women, men and families and it was an honor to be able to present this resolution recognizing the services they provide each day. Thanks to Council Lady Jacobia Dowell for co-sponsoring this resolution with me and presenting it to Whitney and Metro Office of Family Safety Chair Diane Lance. Watch the presentation at the beginning of the Council Meeting from October 18th by visiting the Metro Council page on Nashville.gov. The Metro Council Broadcasts section is where you can view it.
Congratulations to the Donelson Branch Library on its 50th Anniversary! The Friends of the Library organized a nice reception. Thanks to State Representative Darren Jernigan and District 14 Councilman Kevin Rhoten for attending along with many neighbors. Jen Todd with the Tennessean wrote a wonderful article complete with video and pictures going back to the grand opening.