NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Early voting officially kicked off in Tennessee Friday.
With that, NewsChannel 5 is continuing to hear from viewers that the Metro Charter Amendments are difficult to understand.
Here's an in-depth look at Metro Charter Amendments No. 3 and 4.
This one focuses on the Metro Nashville Public Health Department. The proposal specifies who can serve on the Board of Health, the governing body for the department. It requires that one doctor, one mental health expert, one nurse, two other medical professionals and two non-medical professionals make up the health board.
It also removes the requirement for the Director of Health to be a medical doctor, however, if that is the case, there must be a Chief Medical Officer on staff who could take on roles that require a medical degree.
Lastly, it updates some outdated terminology like replacing "insane" with "mentally ill."
This one officially establishes the Nashville Department of Transportation.
Before you say — wait, don't we already have one of those? It's true, we do for now.
Mayor John Cooper signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 to move trash pickup and other public works roles into the Water department in order to create NDOT. This amendment would make things official.
NewsChannel 5's Political Analyst Pat Nolan says this is a key part of Mayor Cooper's agenda.
"This mayor particularly wants to make NDOT a very important department and this is one more way of elevating that to say — this is an important department and we’ll see," he said.
Nolan added, it is imperative for the Mayor's office this passes.
"It doesn’t look good when a Mayor puts a charter amendment on the ballot that he endorses that fails. That’s never a good signal. And it’s particularly not a good signal when it comes less than 12 months before you’re on the ballot for re-election," said Nolan.
Early voting lasts until July 30. Election Day is August 4.