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.