A Nashville lawyer is making a second attempt to weaken the local government’s power. Jim Roberts submitted over 14,000 petition signatures to the Metro Clerk’s Office on Thursday. The courts may have to step in to determine how many signatures are needed to qualify the petition.
The petition pitches charter amendments to abolish officials’ lifetime benefits, limit the Metro Council’s power to set future property tax rates and make it easier to take back property from sports teams.
Roberts tried last year to force a vote on those issues, but a court struck them down. He is trying again with tweaks to language, and he hopes the petition sets the tone for elected officials as they plan the upcoming budgets.
“I fear the mayor’s just going to say it’s business as usual. We’re just going to spend, spend, spend. We’re going to issue millions of dollars in debt, and we’re just going to pretend like nothing is wrong,” Roberts says.
Mayor John Cooper has already released his capital spending plan which focuses on taking out debt to improve neighborhood and school infrastructure.
The next stop for the petitions are to the Davidson County Election Commission, where signatures will be verified.