Nashville Mayor David Briley focused on the future of transit and education during his first State of Metro Address on Friday.
During his speech, Briley admitted the transit vote was a setback.
Regarding the city's budget, Briley said he wished he could have given more money to schools and to Metro employees.
"I wish we could have done more for our hard-working Metro employees and more for our schools, but it's my job and this government's job to manage the circumstances that we've been dealt, live within our means and think creatively about how we do things. This year, that means tightening our belts and keeping taxes low," Briley said.
Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools Shawn Joseph issued this response:In his State of Metro address, the Mayor once again affirmed his belief in education as residing at the core of our city’s mission, and his desire to support our schools. He also expressed his frustration that he could not do more of what’s needed in this extremely challenging budget year. I commend the Mayor for halting the practice of using our cash reserve for recurring expenses, a tough step but one that is critical to the city’s fiscal health.
Unfortunately, the resulting proposed $5 million budget allocation from the city will leave Metro Schools with $17 million dollars in unfunded mandatory expenses, and so represents a $17 million dollar cut from current funding levels.
Meeting our standing obligations will require that we halt any new programs and dramatically reduce central support. In addition, the proposed budget allocation will force us to defer pay increases for teachers and staff, posing a challenge for them and limiting our ability to attract and retain staff.Briley also discussed his plan to turn the former home of Greer Stadium into a public park.
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