Councilman wants department heads to live in county

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 10:45pm


Come Election Day in November, Nashville voters may decide whether heads of Metro departments are required to reside in Davidson County.

Metro Councilman Rip Ryman told The City Paper he is prepared to file an ordinance to amend the Metro Charter, mandating all directors and assistant directors of Metro departments live within Davidson County.

Current department heads who already live out of the county would have six months to move to Nashville if the charter amendment were to pass.

As a charter amendment, the ordinance would need to be approved by a two-thirds council majority and be cleared by the Charter Revision Commission to go on a ballot. Ryman said he plans to file the bill in early August, which, if approved by the council, would allow the issue to go before Davidson County voters on Nov. 2.

Every year during budget hearings, Ryman said he looks at the number of directors and assistant directors who live outside of Davidson County. This year, he noticed more than usual, at least seven or eight, he said.

“It’s my contention, especially with those type of jobs that are vital to the operation of the city government, that those directors need to live in the county,” Ryman said. “They’re the highest paid people in Metro. Our taxpayers don’t need to be paying them to live out of the county.”

Under current law, Ryman said, “You could have your police chief, fire chief, all those people living out of the county.”

Ryman said he’s talked to a few other council members who have indicated they would sign onto the charter amendment, including At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard, who plans to be a co-sponsor.

“I understand employees that want to farm and can’t afford Davidson County property, etc.,” Tygard said. “But department heads, when we have emergencies and whatnot, they ought to have a stake in it and have some skin in the game.”

According to Tygard, the Metro Department of Law has issued a legal opinion that supports the constitutionality of the proposed charter amendment.

15 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 6/24/10 at 3:40

Seriously do we really want someone dumb enough to move into the county if they live right across the county line to get a job the way this council spends money and the quality of the schools??

If this clown was my representative this idea would be enough for me to vote against him. Why would you want to restrict your employment pool? Does he think we are that stupid that he thinks that we would think that would improve our quality of life?

By: Teeb on 6/24/10 at 6:16

More grandstanding by useless politicians. Rip's just mad because he has to live in Davidson County in order to hold onto his elected position..

By: budlight on 6/24/10 at 6:49

I'm totally against this because I think we limit the employment pool as well. And what makes him think that someone living in Rutherford Co or Williamson Co would not "have a stake in the game"? After all, their job IS the stake in the game!

He must be a lib. They always think they know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY and the rest of the world is too stupid to be logical.

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Ryman.

By: wolfy on 6/24/10 at 8:00

And this would improve Metro how?

By: bluesman3145hotmail on 6/24/10 at 9:12

I don't see how this is a partisan idea and believe it is a wise proposal. There are more than enough qualified persons within Davidson county to fill these roles so "limiting the pool" is a weak argument.

I believe we should all govern locally. Just as I would not want someone living in Kentucky or Illinois making decisions about what goes on in the state of Tennessee, I would rather not have someone who lives in another county or city doing the same.

While having a job in a county is one thing, I believe citizens who also have their residence in that county will be more invested in its communities and neighborhoods and, as a result, the decisions made.

I know nothing about Rip Ryman but believe his proposal is sound.

By: may not on 6/24/10 at 9:28

What silly legislation!

Bluesman, all you need to know about Ryman is that he's a crackpot, and his buddy Charlie Tygard will go along with any lame notion Ryman has.

These two loons are vestiges of the "ole boy" Council, emphasis on "ole".

By: gdiafante on 6/24/10 at 10:37

Living in another state is a little different than in another county.

By: gruntz on 6/24/10 at 11:06

Bluesman: This is about Ryman wanting to increase his power and control at the expense of citizens who work for the county. Why stop at leaders? If you can't apply your arguments to all the employees of the county then you can't apply them to just the leaders. Let's just put a fence around the county too. Either Ryman's proposal is good for all or it's good for none. I'm embarrassed by Tygard. I thought he had more commen sense than this.

By: idgaf on 6/24/10 at 12:05

A fence is a good idea to keep taxpayers from leaving. lol

By: bookbunny28 on 6/24/10 at 12:24

It's very simple. These highly paid department heads that live out of county aren't paying property tax in Davidson Co.

By: budlight on 6/24/10 at 1:11

book, they are, however buying gas, spending money, I bet.

Blues, I disagree. I care about Rutherford, Wilson & Williamson County and I don't live or work there. Some people don't think as narrowly as you possibly do.

What's next? Restricting the address of your home in relation to your job?
Church to home? Recreation to home?

After all, this idea is born out of control.

By: BigPapa on 6/24/10 at 1:26

I like the idea. If you are going to run the Nashville Police Department you should live in Nashville; same with the schools. For those thinking these people are going to live in Wmson Co., where is your line? Would it be OK to be the Metro schools director and live in Knoxville, Cookeville?

What about having our governor live in Alabama or Georgia?

By: concernedtaxpayer on 6/24/10 at 11:23

This is actually a great idea. I would actually even support the idea of every Metro employee being required to live in the county. This would allow the taxpayers money to be spent in the county and some employees would spend money more wisely when they see how some of their tax dollars are being wasted.

By: bringingbackcom... on 6/25/10 at 8:54

"Both sides have some merit, bottom line is who is most qualified and are they reasonably assesible at any given time. I must admit though this sounds like something Craddock would attempt to wrestle to the council floor.!"

By: SRJ on 7/21/10 at 10:34

Well, it makes more sense than Council Woman Karen Bennett's request. She wants Metro to spend money on a permanent Christmas tree. She says that using a donated tree from a Metro resident is destructive. I find this to be just plain silly. Metro uses donated trees that have outgrown the persons lot size or have grown into power lines. After the tree has been used for the holiday, it is then turned into hardwood mulch and used for our greenway. I really think some of our Council Members need mental evaluations.