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New Chair for Music Makes Us Advisory Council

Speaking of schools, I am wrapping up two years as Chair of the Music Makes Us Advisory Council and pass it over to Brian Sexton, who has served as Vice Chair for the last two years.  Brian is a fantastic community leader and will be a fantastic leader of this initiative.  This is an area I’m passionate about and like many of you I’m sure, my experience in band and music programs in school was the most formative and impactful growing up. I want to help ensure kids have the same, if not greater, opportunities that I had.

Donelson School News, Music In Schools, Music Makes Us

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$18 million in grant and loan funds made available through the American Rescue Plan

$18 million in grant and loan funds made available through the American Rescue Plan for small businesses in Nashville and Davidson County are now open to applicants. Metro Nashville is partnering with Pathway Lending to administer the funds. Eligible small businesses can apply for a grant or start a loan application.

American Rescue Plan, Donelson Business News

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Event Train to Big Machine Music City Grand Prix!

Tickets are on sale now for WeGo Public Transit’s special event train from Lebanon to downtown Nashville for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Sunday, August 7th. The train will depart from Lebanon Station at 12pm, Hamilton Springs at 12:08pm, Martha at 12:15pm, Mt. Juliet at 12:25pm, Hermitage at 12:35pm, Donelson at 12:45pm and arrive at Nashville’s Riverfront Station at 1pm. There is a 45-minute concert scheduled for after the race.

The return train to Lebanon leaves one hour after the conclusion of the concert. Round-trip tickets cost $15 plus a $2 processing fee and are available for purchase through with a credit card. Tickets will not be for sale on the platforms. Parking is free at the inbound stations. Anyone needing special accommodations to board should call 615-862-5950 prior to their trip. Customers will receive only one ticket for the round-trip and will need to show the ticket to train personnel when boarding.

Upon boarding, each customer will receive a colored wristband in place of the ticket, which will serve as their train ticket. Customers must show the wristband to the conductor for the return trip. Children aged 4 and younger will not need a ticket to board; however, they are required to sit on a parent or guardian’s lap. Children aged 5 and older will need a ticket. Weekday Star tickets and monthly passes are not accepted on the Grand Prix train.

Music City Grand Prix with Councilman Jeff Syracuse



Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, WeGo Public Transit

Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association Meeting

Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association will have a second meeting on Saturday, July 16th from 10am-noon to discuss the same two topics.  The first is to review the traffic calming program recommendations with neighbors and talk about next steps after input from the last meeting.  The second topic is to further discuss the Contextual Overlay, which is the only tool in the toolbox that is available to protect the character of our mid-20th century neighborhoods. 

We learned from a member of the Planning Department last time, and it was requested that a team member from Codes be at the next meeting to address those specific related issues.  So, be sure to attend this meeting and spread the word to neighbors.  As stated before, I currently have no intentions of filing any bill to implement an Overlay for Lincoya Hills.  This is purely an educational meeting, and the neighborhood will need to further discuss if this is the direction they’d like to take or not.

Lakeland Drive, Emery Drive, Donelsonwood Drive and Fitzergerald Drive neighbors – If you haven’t signed the Traffic Calming Petition or have any questions, please contact me. As soon as 70% of neighbors sign the required petition, traffic calming can be installed on your streets. If you’re reading this and know of a neighbor who lives on one of those streets, please help reach out to them and make them aware of this process and to contact me with any questions.

Donelson Neighborhood News, Lincoya Hill Neighborhood Association

Roots On The Rivers Music Festival

A wonderful partnership between the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion and WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 will happen on Saturday, August 27th when they present Roots On The Rivers music festival. Gates will open at 2pm for an afternoon and evening of community vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, and no surprise, six hours of great music from friends of Roots Radio.

Roots on the River with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

Maggie Rose and Lera Lynn are among Nashville’s most cutting edge singer songwriters and sound creators. 49 Winchester from Appalachian Virginia is blowing up out of their regional base on the strength of their celebrated new album Fortune Favors the Bold. Nashville’s soul star Mike Farris will join transplant Nicki Bluhm and veteran country outfit The Lost Trailers to round out a pretty dreamy day of tunes.

The single-day mini-festival reflects a partnership with the Cumberland River Compact’s Root Nashville program, which aims to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050. Ticket sales support programming on WMOT. Tickets are $45 and accessible here at this link. If you’re a member of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion, you get a $10 discount. Email me for a special link for Friends members

Donelson Non-Profit News, Roots On The River

Piedmont Gas Donate to Donelson Gateway Project

Big thanks to Piedmont Natural Gas for supporting The Donelson Gateway Project. This very gracious donation helps a lot with our continued maintenance needs, especially during this dry weather when we need to water with our mobile water truck (shown behind us in the picture). All tax-deductible donations are sincerely appreciated and go directly towards keeping Donelson beautiful.

We are always seeking partners, sponsors and folks willing to help with the physical labor to maintain our sites. This is a non-profit that does a lot with a little and is something we can all be proud to support. The community was wonderful last year in supporting DGP and that went directly to purchasing a mower for all our sites as well as continued expansion and maintenance. We have many needs, so if you’re interested in assisting us, please let me know. Pictured with me are Piedmont’s Stephen Francescon, and Mike Rose, DGP President.

The Donelson Gateway Project Piedmont Donation with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

Donelson Gateway Project, Donelson Non-Profit News

August 4th Voting Schedule

Please don’t forget the August 4th election is fast approaching. All information is located at Below is the schedule. Make a plan to vote! 

Please be sure to check out a sample ballot on the website.  It’s a long ballot.  There are also four Metro Charter amendment proposals on the ballot.  I’m advocating for voting in favor of all four.  Council Member At Large Bob Mendes does an excellent job of explaining them.  Check out his blog post about it here.

August 4 Voting Schedule Councilman Jeff Syracuse


Donelson Council News, Make A Plan To Vote

FY23 Budget Season, Pennington Bend Meetings and the Mayor’s Office of Music, Film and Entertainment

The Metro FY23 budget season has begun.  Fundamentally, the Mayor’s Budget is a good one as I see it thus far and focuses on critical needs.  Council has begun our budget hearings to take a deep dive into the Mayor’s proposal.  The Citizen’s Guide to the Metro Budget can be found here.  Some of the highlights of the FY32 budget proposal:

  • 4% COLA and step increases
  • Support for Paid Family Leave
  • MNPD personnel support for the 9th precinct – 46 officers
  • Emergency Communications personnel support – 36 additional staff
  • Fire Department personnel support – 31 positions
  • Highest ever support for affordable housing between budget and federal American Rescue Plan funds with personnel support for Housing Division
  • Support for homelessness via American Rescue Plan funds with personnel support for Metro Homeless Impact Division to address substance abuse, mental health and finally moving forward for a 90-unit permanent supportive housing complex.
  • Codes, Fire Marshall, Planning and Water – focused personnel support to meet continued growing demand for services
  • Additional much needed support for Parks, Arts and Libraries

Here is an invitation to attend the groundbreaking of the permanent supportive housing complex on Tuesday, May 31st.

Permanent Supportive Housing

One specific announcement that I am very happy about is the creation of the Mayor’s Office of Music, Film & Entertainment.  Since I was elected in 2015, I have worked with all three administrations on the effort to continue efforts creating a public-private partnership to support our music industry and eco-system.  The Music City Music Council was an initiative created under Mayor Karl Dean, and then further supported under Mayor Megan Barry with the first full-time position in her office. 

The effort to further stronger governance and strategic planning stalled with the political shake-up within the Mayor’s Office and then 2020 hit and so it unfortunately went on the back burner of priorities.  Rapid growth and development coupled with the negative impact of the pandemic has shuttered venues and made it extraordinarily difficult for creatives to thrive.

I passed legislation securing funding from American Rescue Plan funds to study ways we can sustain and support our independent music venues, a critical small business sector as part of our overall music eco-system.  This is the beginning of what a revitalized Music City Music Council as part of this new office should be doing to support Nashville’s status as Music City, USA.  I find myself more and more stating that Nashville is becoming a victim of its own success. 

If we don’t support the working creatives in this city and the infrastructure that supports them, a major part of our culture and economy will be negatively impacted and so I’m very happy this new Office will help to refocus our efforts.  I continue to work with Mayor Cooper and his administration on creating an Office of Music, Film & Entertainment that has a strong private-public co-funded component that will help ensure it’s sustainability. 

Sustainability and resiliency efforts continue within Metro.  This summer, local experts, nonprofits, and researchers will team with citizen scientists to measure temperatures and humidity across Nashville and Davidson County during a one-day heat mapping campaign. The data will reveal the warmest and coolest neighborhoods in our city and help inform heat mitigation efforts by city public health and environmental officials, nonprofits, urban planners, urban foresters, and researchers.

Below are examples of heat mitigation strategies that Nashville could explore and possibly implement using data collected during the heat mapping campaign. The data collected is likely to be most impactful in terms of informing locations in greatest need of mitigation strategies. This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Increased education and outreach on heat risks and heat equity issues
  • Increasing trees and vegetative cover
  • Creating green or cool roofs
  • Use of cool pavements
  • Creation of cooling and/or hydration centers
  • Deployment of early warning systems
  • Encouragement of energy conservation measures

There are a variety of mechanisms that could be used to execute these strategies. This, and a variety of other mitigation strategy design and implementation factors, would need to be discussed among interested stakeholders and neighborhoods to make sure there is ample engagement and buy-in to move forward.

A volunteer recruitment process has begun. Individuals interested in participating in the campaign should complete this form.

Congratulations to Dr. Berthena Nabaa-McKinney for winning her election for School Board District 4 (Donelson – Hermitage – Old Hickory).  I endorsed her and will continue to support her in the County Primary Election August 4th.  The “Find 2022 Election Information” link at the Davidson County Election Commission website is very handy to prepare for and learn about the candidates.  Remember that if you need to register or update your registration (i.e. address change, even within Davidson County), you can do so online as well.  All information you need to engage with our elections is on that website.  A small number of voters decided judges, District Attorney and School Board races in the May 3rd election.  I encourage everyone to be mindful of elections and please participate!

I have not moved forward with a zone change in the Pennington Bend in a few years. There has been a need to align infrastructure with an improved pedestrian-focused policy via Nashville Department of Transportation specific for Pennington Bend before we move forward with the remaining developable areas in the area. After a lot of work behind the scenes, I’m prepared to move forward with bringing us back together with meetings over the next several months.

The first is a 42-unit single family development at 2600 Pennington Bend. Please make plans to attend a community meeting on Monday, June 6th at 6:30pm at Grace Church of the Nazarene at 2620 Pennington Bend Rd. We will discuss where we are headed from a broad perspective as well as hear a presentation from the developer, M/I Homes.

Pennington Mills Preliminary Concept Plans May 27 2022

A second community meeting for Pennington Bend will be on Thursday, June 23rd at 6:30pm at the Texas Troubadour Theater.  This is to discuss a development proposal of a highly amenitized RV resort with a small mixed-use component along Music Valley Dr for the 180-acre Gleaves Farm.  In addition, there is an empty 6-acre parcel along the western side of Pennington Bend Road that is part of the Wyndham Vacation Resort PUD (Planned Unit Development) that is being proposed as a for-sale townhome product.  I wanted to ensure these two developments were aligned in terms of both community engagement and proceeding through the Planning process.

Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association will have a meeting on Saturday, June 18th from 10am-noon to discuss two topics.  The first is to review the traffic calming program recommendations with neighbors and talk about next steps.  Please see the proposed speed cushion proposals below.  The second topic is to discuss the Contextual Overlay, which is the only tool in the toolbox that is available to protect the character of our mid-20th century neighborhoods.  As neighbors know, there was a three-story addition on a home on Windemere Circle that prompted a lot of questions and concerns about the future of the character of the neighborhood and what options neighbors have.  A member of the Planning Department team will be in attendance to explain the Overlay and answer any questions.  I currently have no intentions of filing any bill to implement an Overlay for Lincoya Hills.  This is purely an educational meeting, and the neighborhood will need to further discuss if this is the direction they’d like to take or not.Lincoya Hills

Lincoya Hills 2

I am very happy to welcome new Donelson Branch Library manager Ryan Darrow.  Ryan has hit the ground running and is already doing wonderful things engaging the community and leading his team to serve Donelson via the library.  He has begun to revitalize the Friends of Donelson Library and work towards the group being a strong, supportive organization especially as our new library is built.  Click here to sign up if you’re interested in being part of this group and support our current and future library.

I was honored to be approved from officials from the City of Liverpool on engaging with Nashville on a second Liverpool International Songwriting Contest.  Starting during the pandemic as a way of promoting kindness and engagement when we were all separated, this year’s event, called “Road to Nashville”, will focus is on the stigma of mental health, especially in the songwriter / artist community.  So far as of the writing of this newsletter, there have been over 1,200 song submissions from 11 different countries.  Every songwriter who submits a song will have access to a life coach and/or a psychologist in the country where they reside.  The finals will be held on October 9th (John Lennon’s birthday, another Liverpool connection) at Exit / In here in Nashville.  It’s been a wonderful project to be part of.  For more information and to submit a song, visit this link.

Liverpool Internationl Song Contest 2022 Road to Nashville

CMA Fest is back and now there is an opportunity ride the WeGo Star to the festivities.  Read more about with links and more info at this link to a new story about it from WKRN Channel 2.

The Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market is off to a great start, back again on Friday’s from 4-7pm at Two Rivers Mansion.  This is a volunteer-driven market, so if you, your neighborhood, or community organization can help, please see the flyer below for details to contact Hip Donelson and help keep this the wonderful market that it is.

Hip D Market Flyer

Hip D Market Volunteers

The Donelson Lion’s Club will host a Community Shred & Medication Disposal event on Saturday, June 4th from 9am-12pm at the Tennessee School for the Blind.  See flyer below for details.

Lions Club Tennessee School for the Blind

Metro Parks’ popular Wave Country opens this Memorial Day weekend. Wave Country, located at 2320 Two Rivers Parkway, will open at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 28. The city’s first wave-action pool will be open six days a week through August 6.  Here’s the schedule for 2022.

  • Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Closed June 17 and will operate only on weekends after August 6th.

Visitors have access to two water flumes, two speed slides, and one kiddie slide. There’s even a kiddie pool with water-dropping features and a children’s playground. Admission includes floats while they last. Children must be 48 inches tall to ride the flume and speed slides. Several fast-food concessions are available but visitors and welcome to bring their own food, chairs, and pop-up tents.  Glass containers and alcohol are not permitted. Bags and coolers will be checked upon entry. The Super Umbrella areas are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is $12.00 for adults (13 years and older); $10.00 for minors (3 to 12 years old); and, children (2 years of age or under) are admitted free. Children 12 years of age or under must be accompanied by a paying adult.

The road that runs behind McGavock High School has never had a real name.  It is highly travelled and as it’s the entrance to Two Rivers Golf Course, Two Rivers Dog Park and McGavock High School, it could use its own name to assist with mapping systems and emergency services.  I worked with Metro Parks and Nashville DOT on this, and we will name it Two Rivers Lane.  It will soon have its own street signs.  I’m also working traffic calming speed cushions as drivers travel at fast speeds and it’s a narrow street with many pedestrians around.

If you live on Donelsonwood Drive or Fitzgerald Drive, I will be coming in a week or two going door-to-door to speak with neighbors about traffic calming speed cushions.  The 100-unit townhome development on Lebanon Pike next door did not require a zone change, so I didn’t have any opportunity to engage neighbors and control it more.  However, the developer, Legacy Homes, has agreed to pay for speed cushions as there will be an entrance to their development through Fitzgerald Drive and I want to deter speeders cutting through.  The installation requires the permission from neighbors, so I will be coming around with more information and a petition to sign if you support this.  Please reach out with any questions and please spread the word to any neighbors you know that live on these two streets.

For the past eight years, Aspen Dental offices across the country have opened their doors on the annual Day of Service, to provide free dental care to veterans. Aspen Dental created the Healthy Mouth Movement to help ensure our veterans get the care they need. The Aspen Dental Day of Service will take place this year on June 11, 2022. Since 2014, the Healthy Mouth Movement has provided over $23 million in donated dentistry to more than 30,000 patients in need.

I continue to attend regular meetings as our new Donelson Branch Library and am very pleased to report that construction is scheduled to start in August.  Fencing should go around the area towards the end of June or July.  We’re finally there!

As always, reach out if I can be service. and 615-886-9906.


jeff syracuse

Donelson Council News, Jeff Syracuse, Pennington Bend

Trash Pickup Update, Development Community Meeting, Traffic Calming and More

After weeks of a new low in performance by our trash contractor, Red River, things are finally improving after hiring another contractor to begin picking up routes to coincide with Metro picking up a few other routes that should allow Red River to be able to handle the remainder.

As many have heard, Red River filed bankruptcy last October and so they are afforded protections under the law.  Metro has legal counsel in Dallas aggressively representing our interests.

Red River’s contract began in 2004 and while it worked OK for some years, their poor management, inability to keep up with our growth, and failure overcome equipment, truck, and personnel challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic is why we find ourselves in this continued frustrating and untenable situation.

As many will recall, I filed a resolution last year calling for the end of the contract with Red River.  That prompted some structural changes to the contract, which made the situation better for some months afterwards, but Red River’s internal problems have only become worse, and they are spiraling downwards.

What Metro has learned is we can never allow one company to be responsible for so large of an area.  What we are trying to avoid is extremely expensive emergency contracts if Red River completely folds.  That would cost us millions of dollars.  That is why we temporarily diverted resources from recycling to trash pick-up.  We continue advocating to the bankruptcy court to allow us to modify the contract so that we can continue to make logistical changes as needed.  We are also beholden to the pandemic related supply chain logistical issues in that we cannot secure trucks and equipment fast enough.

Please continue to file a Hub Nashville request via website, phone app or by calling 311.  This continues to help us substantiate Red River’s failure and poor performance.

Please make plans to attend a virtual community meeting about a development proposal about 2001 Lebanon Pike on Monday, March 14th at 6:30pm.  The proposal is a residential development with about 90 townhomes on the 12-acre site.  The zone change request is to go to a “Specific Plan (SP)”, which would control the elements of the proposal.  It is envisioned as 85% brick/mortar and all for-sale product, no rental.  The historic home on the property will be saved and reinvested in to likely become an office.  Please join the meeting virtually at the link below as the engineer, Roy Dale, presents the proposal.  No formal rezoning has begun as we will have this community meeting first.  Join Zoom Meeting here:

In a recent prior newsletter, I went into detail about how the redistricting process impacted our local Metro Nashville-Davidson County districts.  Remember you can always check out past editions of my newsletters by going to e-News Archive on my website.

The State and Federal redistricting process was of course a much more contentious, partisan process.  Here is a good website that covers the changes and impacts to us.  It’s important to take note of any changes to your household that affects the Federal and State elections. 

We have important elections coming up May 3rd.  Please get to know these candidates!  The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is March 15th.  Please visit the Davidson County Election Commission to view all information, including how to update your voter registration if need be.  I will be sharing my endorsements in a subsequent newsletter.  I will share that I am endorsing Dr. Berthena Nabaa-McKinney as our next District 4 School Board Member.  She is an extraordinary neighbor, passionate and dedicated community leader and has a very impressive academic and professional resume.  I encourage you to support “Dr. B” and get to know her.

Using United Way’s VITA free tax prep program, IRS-certified preparers will file your taxes safely and accurately at no cost.  Families with household income below $70,000 are eligible for both in-person and Virtual VITA across Middle Tennessee.  A no-cost, do-it-yourself version is available for taxpayers at any income level.  Visit the United Way’s VITA website or call 211 to get started.

United Way File Free Taxes

Metro Council extended the relief program administered by the United Way to assist with help covering rent, utilities, or mortgage through 2023.  Please visit this website to learn about the programs that are available.

MNPS is recruiting community members to volunteer as tutors and work one-on-one with Metro Schools’ students who need a little extra help in reading or math. With a commitment of 90 minutes a week, you can help accelerate a child’s learning progress and lay a foundation for future success.  Though most students can benefit from tutoring, Accelerating Scholars is currently focused on students in most need of support as determined by school personnel based on individual assessments in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade literacy and 8th and 9th grade math.  As our community continues to respond to and recover from the challenges created by the pandemic, MNPS is working with PENCIL, Vanderbilt’s Tutor Nashville, and many other organizations to expand the successful high-impact tutoring program for even more students. MNPS is working to pair tutors with elementary school students who need reading help or with middle school and high school students who need support as they learn math. 

The city’s youth summer employment initiative, formerly known as Opportunity Now is now the POWER Youth Summer Employment Initiative. 

The summer youth employment portal is open with more than 700 work experience and employment opportunities for Davidson County youth and young adults ages 14-24.

The youth opportunities are coordinated by age-appropriate groupings.  

  • Experience Work/project-based experiences (14 and 15 years old)
  • High School Internships (16-19 years old)
  • Direct Hire and External Postings (18-24 years old)

Applicants must have a Davidson County address and apply by April 8.  All positions will begin the first week of June and end in mid-July for youth ages 14-19.  The direct hire and external positions are year-round.  To apply, youth visit Metro Action’s POWER Youth portal on the Metro Action Webpage for the complete listing of opportunities.  Youth and Young adults will receive pay for their summer work experiences.  The summer employment initiative is a part of the Metropolitan Action Commission’s expanded opportunities for youth and young adults of Nashville and Davidson County.  For more information about the agency’s POWER Youth Program email the POWER Youth team at or 615-862-8860.

The Power of Youth Summer Employment Portal

What is it like to visit a Metro Parks community center?  How convenient is the checkout service at Nashville Public Library? How easy is it to catch a WeGo bus?  Mayor John Cooper and Metro Nashville’s departments are looking for those answers and more as they deploy community-wide customer experience surveys, which are open now.  “Like any enterprise must do, Metro government is reaching out to our customers – asking the people we serve to help identify how we can deliver better and more efficiently,” Mayor Cooper said. “As any successful small business or company must, city government will continue to earn our customers’ confidence – and that starts with asking for their feedback and ideas.”  Surveys take two minutes or less to complete; go to hubNashville to participate.

Lakeland Dr / Emery Dr and Lincoya Hills were selected for this round of Traffic Calming.  Visit the website here to see the design plan for Lakeland / Emery.  Lincoya Hills just had their first community meeting, and the design is still forthcoming.  If you live on this stretch of Lakeland or Emery and you haven’t signed the petition to allow the traffic calming elements to be installed, please contact me and I can connect you with neighbors leading the process.  If you live in Lincoya Hills, please contact Jenny White at to engage in their process.  Merry Oaks traffic calming elements still require signatures to proceed with installation.  At the site above, you’ll also see the Merry Oaks design plan that was approved a couple years ago.  If you live on those stretches where traffic calming will be installed and haven’t signed, please contact me and I’ll assist with that.

The Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble is a board I serve on and is led by Donelson’s own Rich Ripani.  He has led the creation of an extraordinary organization providing opportunities for kids to shine in performing jazz.  Below is the poster for NYJE Jazz Fest 2022 in Hendersonville. 

NYJE Jazz Fest 2022 in Hendersonville

I close this newsletter sharing an Op Ed that I wrote and was published by the Tennessean.  I have growing concerns about our sustainability as “Music City”.  Our local independent music venues are all in danger with development pressure around them, some are moving towards corporatization, and as Nashville becomes less and less affordable, the working creatives in this city are being forced to leave for more affordable cities.  In this digital age, creatives, especially songwriters, can work from just about anywhere.  It’s an issue that is critical to future of our city’s dominance as a global capital of music and one I’ve been focused like a laser on.


jeff syracuse

Donelson Council News, Hub Nashville, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, United Way File Free

The Holidays are here with Tree Lightings, Parade, and Finally the Unveil of our new Donelson Branch Library

Dear Friends,

The Holiday Season is here and there is much to be thankful for and celebrate.  I hope you and your families and friends enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Here are some events coming up to put on your calendars:

  • The Donelson Hermitage Neighborhood Alliance has put together the 1st Annual Hermitage Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 2nd. 5:30pm decorating, 6pm tree lighting. It’ll be at the Hermitage Library.  See flyer below.

Hermitage Tree Lighting

  • The 36th Annual Donelson Hermitage Chamber Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, December 4th at 2pm. It’ll be on the same route it’s been for several years along Donelson Pike from Elm Hill Pike to Donelson Station, so pick a good spot anywhere on either side of the street on the sidewalk. For all information, street closure information, application to enter a float and more, visit
  • Yoga Muttz Movement Lounge in Donelson Plaza has organized a Winter Fest on Saturday, December 4th from Noon – 5pm with 30+ vendors, food truck, pictures with Santa, adoptable pets and more. It’ll be in the green / civic space in front of the future library. See flyer below.

Winter Fest

  • The Donelson Christmas Tree Lighting will be a great event starting at 4pm just after the Christmas Parade is wrapping up. Come a little early to help decorate the tree. There’ll be plenty of things to enjoy at the event, including:

Donelson Christmas Tree Lighting

  • The Stones River Woman’s Club returns with their Christmas Open House at Two Rivers Mansion on Saturday December 4th and Sunday, December 5th. Enjoy a bake sale, refreshments, a Christmas Shop to buy gifts and more. See flyer below for details.

Two Rivers Mansion Open House

The status of the emissions program has been a recent hot topic.  The bottom line is this program will be ended as we know it.  At the Council meeting on November 16th, we deferred the resolution to end the program until January 4th, but regardless of whether we passed the resolution that night or on January 4th, the termination date of January 14, 2022 will likely still be the same.  We allowed the Health Department to research a few things first, including likely upcoming stricter EPA regulations of emissions and to look at alternative methods for monitoring emissions, but the EPA approved a revision to remove the vehicle emissions testing program from Tennessee’s air quality plan this past August and the program is ending in Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties.  Thus, I’m comfortable ending the program here in Davidson County as well, but I was fine with deferring one time to allow our Health Dept to return with a report before officially ending it.  I know none of us are happy with the long lines because of the labor shortage we’re experiencing, but it’s also time to reevaluate the efficacy of the program as less than 10% of all the cars tested fail and cars are only improving in efficiency and reduced emissions with greater hybrid and electric cars coming in greater numbers.

You may have seen the recent WKRN news story from Julia Palazzo regarding the unsafe intersection at Old Lebanon Pike / Lebanon Pike.  I was sad to learn of another pedestrian death trying to cross in this area.  It’s not safe for pedestrians or vehicles and it’s time for a formal study to assess our infrastructure in the core of Downtown Donelson and determine what improvements could be feasibly made.  I have a Capital Improvement Budget request to perform such a study and a consultant should be hired in a few months.  We need to ensure infrastructure is not an after-thought.  More information on this in the months ahead.

JVI Secret Garden will have a special addition to their unique Christmas experience this year.  When you go to buy a tree, wreath, plant, or decoration, donate $3 or more to The Donelson Gateway Project and receive a s’more to enjoy by the fire.  Thank you for supporting your local community beautification effort!

JVI Secret Gardens

The Donelson Gateway Project ( has continued to make a big impact for Donelson, both with beautified physical and figurative gateways into the community. Entranceways, schools, and more areas have been invested in and it’s thanks to your donations and volunteerism to make these projects happen. DGP is a non-profit that is in need of your support as the needs begin to outweigh our resources, which is why I’m highlighting this in my newsletter here. As we approach “Giving Tuesday ( ”, we hope you’ll consider a tax-deductible contribution towards this wonderful small non-profit that does great things to make Donelson inviting and beautiful for all.

Donelson Gateway Project

Phat Bites is hosting an Open Mic for Young Musicians on Saturdays from 3-5pm.  It’s open to any young solo instrumentalist or vocalist.  Slots must be reserved.  Contact Suzanne at to reserve a spot or for more information.  See flyer below.

Phat Bites Open Mic


jeff syracuse

Donelson Christmas Parade, Donelson Council News