NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Monday marked Mayor John Cooper’s 100th day in office and he’s released a report that highlights what he’s accomplished during his tenure.
In his First 100 Days Report, Cooper touts that several of his administration’s priorities have already been met, including addressing the city’s budget woes.
The state comptroller's office failed to approve Nashville's budget originally passed in June 2019, saying it was not "structurally balanced," meaning it relied on one-time revenue – not recurring funds – to make Metro's budget balance out.
The plan to patch up the $41.5 million shortfall with recurring funds impacts several different areas. It calls for a 50% reduction in the amount of money the city would have given to non-profits this year through the Barnes Fund -- a fund created by the city that makes grants to non-profits who help create more affordable housing in Nashville.
Cooper also announced a capital spending reform plan that would require Metro to fully plan public projects before construction begins. He also got a $12.1 million PILOT from the Convention Center Authority and an additional $3.6 million payment from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation for FY2019-20.
In November, the mayor announced that Metro school teachers would still get their 3% cost of living raise in January as promised to them by the previous administration.
Cooper drew criticism from some Metro Council members back in December when he said the city was “in receivership” – a specific financial term that means the state comptroller's office would be stepping in to rescue the city's budget, deciding how to spend the city's tax dollars. But that was not the case. He later walked back on the term.
Back in October, Cooper rescinded former Mayor Briley's controversial executive order that called on Tennessee lawmakers to repeal a controversial law banning sanctuary cities. He instead created an immigration task force to determine how Metro departments and agencies respond to requests from federal immigration agents. Read more: Task force: Metro agencies need policies for dealing with immigration requests
The mayor's office is also hosting a series of listening sessions to get the community’s input on the city's transportation planning. They hope to have a plan by September.