Not to say the minutiae of Metro’s home-based business law doesn’t get people fired up, but heading into the July 5 meeting of the Metro Council, there was little reason to expect post-Independence Day fireworks.
But tucked into the list of memorializing resolutions, outgoing District 5 Councilman Jamie Hollin sought to honor the Nashville high school students who took a stand against the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
When Councilman Phil Claiborne and Councilman-Slash-State-Rep. Jim Gotto objected to a suspension of the rules to introduce the honor, Hollin, to put it mildly, became upset.
The drawling, tobacco-chewing Young Turk let loose a profanity-laced tirade, cannonading Claiborne and Gotto with obscenities.
Hollin, as anyone who has spoken with him in any semi-non-official format can attest, sometimes plays it a bit blue.
“If you know me, you know I have a horrible and awful habit of using cuss words. I regret that I do, but sometimes that’s the type of language necessary to convey a point,” he blogged the night of the incident.
The latter parts of the debate were caught on camera in the subterranean recesses of the courthouse parking lot by an enterprising Tennessean intern — who, in a credit to his vocation, refused a request by Councilman Michael Craddock to cut the tape.
Hollin — chewing tobacco tucked into his lower lip and wearing blue jeans — shouts into the face of Slash Gotto, reminding him of the times he stood up for him and loudly questioning the double-office-holder’s motivation.
With Hollin not seeking re-election and with no chance to keep the honoring resolution on the agenda before his term is up, the objected-to suspension of the rules was Hollin’s only chance to recognize the students’ civic engagement.
Even in the light of morning, as the story spread far and wide, Hollin wouldn’t back down, making no apologies for standing up for his principles. And for the students.
Interestingly, these types of resolutions are usually lost to the mists of memory — perhaps those so honored frame the official copy, but many likely end up in desk drawers forgotten.
But there’s little chance this one — one unlikely to pass — will meet the same fate.