I attended the Board of Mayor and Aldermen workshop last night – along with Deborah B. – and some of the items discussed are definitely worth flagging at this time. One issue was that the City *must* consider increasing the sewage rates because Nashville has more than doubled what city residents are now paying. As a result, the city is eating the additional fees – to our detriment as residents because … well because the city has no money to do this.
Mayor Senna Mosley said (and even though this is in quotes, I’m really paraphrasing), “If you need to buy a loaf of bread but the price of wheat has gone up, the cost of the bread also goes up through no fault of the grocer. But you still have to pay for the bread.” The point is that the city has no control over what Nashville charges and it has reached the point where it can no longer afford to carry the costs for residents. The price has gone up from $.47 to $1.27 p/X number of gallons.
Mayor Mosley proposes that as the fees are increased, the public be informed of the details through a number of avenues: Channel 3, online, and more. In addition, at one point the Mayor suggested that the city budget be made easily available for residents. Both Deborah and I want to chime in that this is a good move. People are more knowledgeable than given credit… we do know what “line item” means and how to read budgets. So kudos to the city if they do take this step in making government operations more transparent.
The next meeting is scheduled on December 7th at 7:00 p.m. If you want to make a day of it, come to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 5:00 p.m., take a dinner break, then come back for the meeting.
Are there other ways you think the city can be more transparent for residents?