Mayor Karl Dean gave the 50th State of Metro speech on May 20 as part of the opening of the Music City Center. More >>
Mayor Karl Dean gave the 50th State of Metro speech on May 20 as part of the opening of the Music City Center.More >>
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
Following the ceremony to open the new Music City Center, Mayor Karl Dean gave the 50th annual State of Metro Address, in which he pushed for improved public education, more mass transit and creating new housing for low-income residents.
The mayor applauded the benefits of immigrants coming to Nashville and their entrepreneurial spirit contributing to the city's growth. He said the city must continue to welcome immigrants.
"Nashville needs to be known as a city of opportunity," said Dean. "We're on the right path. We need to keep pushing. This is not the time to be timid."
The mayor said education remains his top priority and will be until he leaves office.
He's a proponent of school choice, which includes support for more charter schools.
"Its going to get uncomfortable at times for grown-ups. Things are going to have to change. We can't be guided by the same approach we've had to public education for the last 30 years," Dean said.
Increasing the number of charter schools has been a point of contention because the dollars follow the students. When kids leave public education, tax dollars go where they go. That means less money for public schools.
The mayor also announced a fund to help non-profits create more affordable housing, saying the city needs to embrace and welcome immigrants.
And he pushed for an expanded rapid transit bus system, but council members want more details about how it would affect traffic.
"I think before we go forward with this, that we know exactly what it is, how its going to affect the city, and hopefully move our city forward," said Metro Councilman Tony Tenpenny.
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