Four Metro Nashville Charter amendments pass due to overwhelming vote

Nashville Mayor John Cooper delivers the State of Metro Address on April 29, 2021.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper delivers the State of Metro Address on April 29, 2021.(WSMV)
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 9:40 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Residents in Davidson County reportedly voted overwhelming to pass four amendments to Metro Nashville’s Charter that will enable the city’s government to better severe its citizens Thursday.

“These important changes to Metro’s governing document will make our job providing critical services to residents more efficient and effective,” said Mayor John Cooper. “From eliminating outdated requirements on new police recruits to updating Metro Public Health Department’s operations to officially establishing the first ever Nashville Department of Transportation, this is how a growing city like Nashville adapts and meets the needs of citizens. I’m grateful to all the residents who voted in favor of updating the Charter and Council Members Henderson and Mendes for their leadership in helping us reach this successful outcome.”

The changes approved by voters are:

1. Revising the Charter amendment process: Going forward, petitions to revise the Metro Charter must be signed by 10% of registered voters and returned within 90 days of certification.

2. Revising MNPD personnel requirements: This change eliminates military-based physical fitness requirements for new police officers and allows the Civil Service Commission to set fitness requirements. Also, the new language expands the current “U.S. citizenship” requirement to allow legal residents who have served honorably in the military to be MNPD officers, consistent with recent changes to State law.

3. Metro Health Department / Health Board administrative changes: The new language alters several administrative details regarding the Health Board, such as adding members; updating members’ qualifications; moving certain functions from the Board to the Department; and eliminating the requirement that the Director of Health is a medical doctor.

4. Formal creation of the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multi-modal Infrastructure (NDOT): This change removes the Department of Public Works from the Charter and formally creates the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (“NDOT”).

“Metro Council passed these four amendments unanimously earlier this year, and it’s heartening to see such strong support from residents across the city to make these critical changes,” said Council Member Bob Mendes, Vice-Chair of Metro Council’s Charter Revision Committee. “Amendment One, in particular, is a welcome change that brings Davidson County to a threshold more in line with other counties across the state for potential future changes to the Metro Charter – an important and meaningful step in good governance for Nashville.”

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