Tag: Jeff Syracuse

Metro Council At Large Campaign

Finally, as you’ve no doubt heard and seen, I have decided to run for Metro Council At Large in the August 2023 election.  I want to take my laser focus and passion for Donelson and apply it to the whole county.  It’s been a humbling opportunity to lead Donelson through balanced growth and development as all of Middle Tennessee continues to grow at a rapid pace.  As “Downtown Donelson” comes to life through our new Donelson Branch Library and a revitalized Donelson Station to ensuring historic protections, single-family neighborhoods and rural areas in the county are supported and preserved, we can find a way to channel our success as a city into the support our neighborhoods need across all of Davidson County.  We need to push harder on creating the intersections between transit and affordable housing as well as our efforts to ensure our growth also means sustainable and resilient communities that grow with thoughtful intention. 

Downtown Donelson, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council At Large

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Permanent Supportive Housing

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.  Jeff.Syracuse@Nashville.gov and 615-886-9906.

Best,

jeff syracuse

Donelson Council News, Jeff Syracuse, Pennington Bend

Gladys Arnold - Centurian Award

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.

Donelson Neighborhood News, Jeff Syracuse, Mayor Briley

Donelson School News – February 2017

There are opportunities to make a direct impact on students that attend Metro schools right here in Donelson with specific needs.  There are a number of children in each of our schools that meet the criteria for being homeless and do not have adequate clothing and food needs.  Thanks to Grace Church of the Nazarene and Hip Donelson, you can donate towards helping support these students.  Donate towards the local school food pantries and clothing closets (school standard attire, socks, shoes, and underwear) by sending a tax-deductible donation but clicking here via the Grace Nazarene website or in person at the Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market starting again this May.  To donate items directly, they can be dropped off at Grace Church of the Nazarene at 2620 Pennington Bend Road, Nashville, TN 37214.

Two Rivers Middle School is also looking for reading tutors.  If you have 30-60 minutes to spare once a week to help a child read, then please contact Nicole Vaughn at Two Rivers Middle, 615-885-8931. They currently have 15+ children on a waiting list because they do not have enough tutors. 

To help you, below are Reading Clinic Training dates for this month.  The training is 90 minutes and it is helpful as you get to learn some cool reading games to play with the students.  Part of each reading tutoring session is listening to the child read for 15 minutes.  Next, you play a game with them for 5-7 minutes, then you listen to the child retell what they read (3-5min) and finally, the child writes for 3min.  Each training will be held at Carter Lawrence Elementary (1118 12th Ave South; the office of the Reading Clinics Director is there).  Please email Nicole Valentine at Nicole.Valentine@MNPS.org if you plan to attend a training and she will let the director know to reserve a spot.  The Two Rivers Middle Prep clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm according to the 30-minute time slot that works best for you (each tutor is asked to carve out 45 minutes once a week).  The clinic will be open for nine more weeks (minus spring break and state testing week).

  • Friday, February 17th from 9:30am – 11am
  • Wednesday, February 22nd from 9:30am – 11am

Metro Nashville Public Schools is requested input on the next component of their strategic plan.  Last November, MNPS solicited input on their Mission, Vision and Core Values Statements.  Next is the Student & School Characteristics, drafted by Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS Director.  Click here to view the Strategic Plan Process and give your input.

In Mayor Karl Dean’s last fiscal budget, he allocated $1 million to put aside towards investment in a campus each for Madison and Donelson of Nashville State Community College.  It has been a big effort by local and state elected officials as well as a number of community leaders.  Thanks also to Mia Keller with CBRE who was selected as the Tennessee Board of Regents broker for finding these campus locations.  I’m very happy to say that effort has been successful and the Tennessee Board of Regents has purchased the former ITT Tech campus on Elm Hill Pike.  The campus is in excellent condition and NSCC will be able to set up and open quickly.  Two stories about this development are here and here

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Metro Council District 15

Two Hearts Craft - Two Rivers Mansion

Donelson Non-Profit New – February 2017

The Friends of Two Rivers Mansion presents the annual Two Hearts Antiques & Crafts Show.  There will be many vendors, coffee shop and an appraiser on site on Sunday, February 19.   See flyer below for details.  This is a great opportunity to visit the mansion and this event gets bigger every year!

Two Hearts Craft - Two Rivers Mansion

The Cumberland River Compact is hosting a couple of fascinating events in February and March about the voyages of the namesake of our side of town.  A reenactment and reflections of John Donelson’s journey to Nashville will be worthwhile time spent learning about the origins of Nashville.  Check them out here and here for more information and to RSVP.

Hip Donelson Lost & Found Pets is hosting a benefit at Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace on Saturday, March 11th.  As we all know, the leadership and volunteers with Hip D Lost & Found Pets do extraordinary work to advocate for our pets and help return them home when they are lost.  Please consider attending this fund event or making a tax-deductible donation at the link above.

Pints Paints Paws

Another success story of the influence Hip Donelson Lost & Found Pets has had on reuniting pets with their owners is the No Lost Pet Nashville program that Metro Animal Care & Control has implemented.  The program was developed by MACC to increase the chances of pets being returned to their owners.   They are implementing the program in phases beginning with Found Dog Yard Signs and Printable Found Pet Signs for both cats and dogs.  This will help reunite lost pets with their families, while improving live outcomes at the shelter.  Similar programs have proven to improve Return to Owner percentage by 2% in year one and by more than 4% in year two of the program.  This is just the beginning as the shelter is looking into the viability of using both Twitter and Interactive Maps to assist in reuniting pets with their families.

This is how it works: 
• MACC Officers will be equipped with yard signs in each of their vehicles. 
• Yard Signs and Printable Found Pets signs will be available at the intake desk when a stray is brought into the shelter and can be utilized by Community Lost and Found groups. If you are a Community Groups interested in sign pick-up please email macc.news@nashville.gov to schedule a pick-up time for signs. 
• Both signs contain an animal identification number, description of the animal and the date the pet was found. 
• Finders are asked to leave the sign up for a minimum of three days. 

Pictured below is Marylee Locey and Bethanie Conley of Hip D Lost & Found Pets, who work relentless on behalf of our four-legged kids.

Hip Donelson Lost & Found Pets

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Metro Council District 15

Madam Tussauds Job Fair

Donelson Business News – February 2017

A very exciting development is the announcement of “SoundWaves”, a $90 million water park that will built as an extension of the Opryland Hotel Convention Center & Resort.  As you’ll read in the story, Ryman is seeking an incentive package that will cap property taxes after the 2017 reappraisal.  I am sponsoring the bill and do so with confidence and secure quantifiable data that shows the strong economic impact this project will bring to tax revenues.  The $90 million investment will show a strong return after the third year of operation and compared to other incentives that have been given downtown, I am comfortable that this is a warranted short-term freeze of property taxes of a project that will generate millions in economic impact and provide hundreds of new job opportunities.

Another exciting development in the Opry area is the Bavarian Bierhaus at Opry Mills.  The 650-person beer hall will offer classic German brewery options and the oompah bands singing their tunes, so get your lederhosen ready for a great new entertainment option at Opry Mills.  It is scheduled to open in April.

Yet another entertainment option coming to Opry Mills this Spring is a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.  This will be music-themed and be in the location of the former Barnes & Noble book store.  They are hosting a job fair soon.  See flyer below for details.

Madam Tussauds Job Fair

Thanks to those that supported the re-opening of Donelson Bowl on February 11th after the break-in and vandalism that occurred.  The community support was strong and they were back up and running in just a matter of days.  Thanks again for the community’s support of Nashville’s oldest bowling alley.

Donelson Bowl

Paper & Ink Arts had a great Grand Opening recently.  The renovation to the building at 113 Graylynn Drive is extraordinary.  I encourage you to go check it out.  Everyone at the Grand Opening was given this catalog of all their projects and a set of calligraphy pens.  I may just brush up on my calligraphy (I used to do it as a kid) and start signing all my bills and resolutions with these pens!

Paper Inks Arts

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Metro Council District 15

2017 Old House Fair

Donelson Neighborhood News – February 2017

The Metro Historic Zoning Commission Foundation will host their 5th Annual Old House Fair on Saturday, March 4 from 9am – 3pm at Sevier Park Community Center, 3021 Lealand Avenue.  The Old House Fair is a daylong festival that introduces property owners to new ideas, practical advice, innovative materials and quality services through exhibitors and presentations.

2017 Old House Fair 

Thanks to the efforts of River Glen neighbor Kerra Bennett, we are putting together a volunteer litter clean-up of Pennington Bend Road on Sunday, February 26 from 1-3pm.  In conjunction with our 15th District Beatification Commissioner, Naomi Regensburg, Public Works and MNPD, we will have brightly colored vests, signage, gloves, bags and signage along PB Road to help ensure safety.  Sergeant Jeff White from the Hermitage Precinct will be there as well to help with safety.  As the saying goes, “many hands make light work”.  We would love volunteers to help out!  Thanks again to Kerra for getting this going.  We will meet at Grace Nazarene on at 1pm on Sunday, Feb 26.

Abbington Park neighbors have been experiencing multiple issues with the undeveloped land where the third phase of their neighborhood is to be built.  This plans were approved a number of years ago so I can’t stop them from happening.  The issues and latest update is as follows:

  1. Dump trucks were going too fast through the neighborhood and on Pennington Bend Road.  Thanks to MNPD, they reacted quickly and have been on top of this.  The owner has a grading permit.
  2. The developer has a grading permit.  However, Metro Stormwater investigated the site at my request and found violations of that permit that included dumping in areas not allowed and not performing an equal amount of cut for the amount of fill that is being brought in.  Since this is in floodplain, the developer must ensure they are only rising up the areas allowed and they must ensure an equal amount of material is removed to retain an equal amount of flood water storage.  They levied a fine against the developer and put a stop order on the work.  They are requiring a mitigation plan that is due by May 3.  I had a meeting with Stormwater with many questions about the development, timing of the mitigation plan and how we can ensure they perform the grading work in a reasonable amount of time so neighbors do not have to endure dump trucks in their neighborhood consistently.  I have asked if another entrance could be established for the work that is not through the neighborhood.  I have also asked if Metro Stormwater needs additional legislatively authorized tools to have a greater control over these aspects of the development.  I will stay on this.
  3. Hunters are using the undeveloped land.  It is legal in Davidson County, but it has to be in hunting season.  Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency

Below are the site plans for the next phase of Abbington Park.

Abbington Park Concept Plan Site Layout

Abbington Park Concept Plan Site Layout

I had a great time at Donelson Heights United Methodist with Troop 700, discussing my role as a Council Member and the vision for where our community is headed.  They have a great group of kids, parents and leadership.  My son, Joey, is on track to earn his Eagle this year, so I know firsthand how important Scouts is and the positive impact it has on families.

Scout Troop 700 at Donelson Heights United Methodist

Scout Troop 700 at Donelson Heights United Methodist

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Metro Council District 15

Sidewalk Project Delivery Process

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

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Metro Council District 15

Laura-Carrill_20170208-234840_1.jpg

Laura Carrillo

Laura-Carrill_20170208-234840_1.jpg

Laura Carrillo has a very unique and special connection to Donelson.  Her family has helped care for Donelson’s crown jewel historic site – Two Rivers Mansion, for over 50 years and her dedication has helped make the Two Rivers Mansion, the 1802 House and 14-acre property the success it is today.  Laura’s grandfather, Z.L. Milton, purchased a lot on Pennington Bend Road in 1959 to build a retirement home after working for years at Nashville Street Car and Rail.  Laura’s parents married and moved into the home with Laura’s grandparents.  After acquiring a few more contiguous properties, the family still lives there after four generations.

Laura recalls, “My grandfather started me on this journey when I was 5 years old. Mary Louise Bransford McGavock passed away in November of 1965. In January of 1966 her estate auction was held in a downtown Nashville warehouse with 8 inches of snow on the ground. All of the contents from inside the Mansion were sold and the remaining 445 acres were bought by the new Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County. After the sale took place someone broke in the Mansion stealing carpets, drapes all the chandeliers and back banister. Metro Police quickly recovered the stolen items. Now some security had to be put in place to protect the Mansion. My Grandfather got word that they were looking for someone to move into the Mansion and care for it.  Not that my Grandparents wanted to live in a Mansion, but there was 445 acres to raise Black Angus cattle on. They moved from Pennington Bend to the McGavock Mansion (as it was known back then) in the winter of 1967 and stayed until 1972.  So many fond memories with Grandparents and family were spent there. I wanted them to stay forever.”

Laura is able to combine a close personal connection to the Mansion and its history and a professional one as she has worked for Metro Parks for over 25 years.  She further recalls, “Growing up down the street, attending both Two Rivers Middle and McGavock High, I would see the Mansion almost every day.  A friend was getting married back in 1990 and I tagged along on the site visit.  I just wanted to see the inside again and walk down memory lane for a moment.  By accident I heard of a job opening there and the company I was working for was going out of business.  I applied for the job and two weeks later they handed me the keys to the Donelson Castle!!  Another journey had started and the plan was just to be there for a short time, which was 25 year ago this past March. “

Laura says she was born in the wrong century.  As a lover of antiques, especially from the mid to late 1880’s, it’s a passion that she shares with husband, Joe.   When they were dating, they’d spend all day in small towns going through all the antique shops and flea markets.  Laura’s Mother-in-law had been an antique dealer and owned a shop.  Laura and Joe plan their vacations around antiquing and touring historical homes.  They even have his and hers antique booths to see who does better each month.  They’ve both brought that passion to the Two Rivers Mansion with the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion’s “Two Hearts Antiques & Crafts Show, which this year will be Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 from 10am-4pm and Sunday, February 19 from 12pm – 4pm.  The Mansion is full of vendors both downstairs and upstairs, so it’s a great opportunity to see the mansion as well.  Members are free.  $5/adults and $2/kids.  There’s a Coffee Shoppe as well. 

As to the future of the Mansion, the future is bright.  One of the latest successes of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion is completing the process to research and design a Two Rivers Master Plan, which was recently finalized was presented to the Metro Parks Board on January 3, 2017.  It will help guide the preservation and advancement of the property.  One exciting element is the recommendation to rebuild the carriage house that would become an event center.   The building would be designed to hold 200 – 300 people and could be used for all types of events.   The inside of the Mansion and 1802 house would become house museums.  Tours are only available now on a limited basis, but hopefully more will be available in the future.  Laura’s personal and professional passions are on full display as she greets guests in her 1850’s costume and shares the whole McGavock story.

Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Laura Carrillo, Metro Council District 15, Two Rivers Mansion

Markey Blue Janury 21 - The Larry Keeton Theatre

Donelson Non-Profit News – January 2017

Markey Blue returns to The Larry Keeton Theater on Saturday, January 21st as part of the Larry Keeton Live series.  They have sold out in the past pretty quickly, so be sure to buy tickets here in advance.  Lots of great shows coming up in 2017, so be sure to check out their website and make plans to enjoy a great performance!

Markey Blue Janury 21 - The Larry Keeton Theatre

I was honored to be asked to serve as a dog walker at the 7th Annual Dinner With Your Dog fundraiser for the Nashville Humane Association on Saturday, January 21st at the Hutton Hotel.  This year’s dinner is hosted by Tanya Tucker and chaired by Marcia Masulla.  As part of my involvement, I’m challenged to raise $777.  I’m almost 70% of the way there thanks so far to those listed on my CrowdRise fundraising page.  It’s a tax-deductible donation.  Any help is appreciated to reach the goal of $777!

Thanks to Metro Public Works for moving the signs below honoring our McGavock Band and Donelson Christian Academy Wildcats football team.  It was moved just across from Donelson Hills Drive on Lebanon Pike.  Now it can be more visible and properly displayed as part of our landscape design of The Donelson Gateway Projects site at Briley Parkway / Lebanon Pike.

DGP sign relocated to Donelson Gateway

7th Annual Dinner With Your Dog Fundraiser, Donelson Non-Profit News - January 2017, Jeff Syracuse, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15, Markey Blue at The Larry Keeton Theatre, Metro Council District 15