Among Metro’s small cities, Forest Hills clearly has the most swagger.
Mourn the loss of the statutory speed trap that was the late, great Lakewood, if you must. Let the charms of Berry Hill and Oak Hill seduce you. Strive for the home in Belle Meade while you stay staunchly middle-class in Goodlettsville.
But recognize: Forest Hills is the honey badger of the enclaves.
When consolidation took hold in 1963, the aforementioned small cities stayed quasi-independent, given the right to exist, maintaining any functions they had before Metro government became a reality.
Forest Hills, at the time, had no judge, no court, no police department. Enforcement of the tiny town’s specific codes was handled by the city recorder, a delightful little anachronism, bringing to mind a lifetime clerk handing down slaps on the wrist, dutifully memorializing them on parchment, all the while wearing a powdered wig.
This, apparently, is not good enough for Forest Hills. They want an actual, bona fide court with a judge and a gavel and the whole thing. So its board of commissioners created one, appointed local attorney David McMackin as judge and set the first docket for Dec. 20.
For its part, Metro says that’s a no-no, and there’s a pending case in Chancery Court between Big City and Affluent Satellite. With the gavel set to drop late next month and discovery not going as rapidly as Forest Hills would like, it’s asked the chancellor to rule later this week on the validity of the court.
This is not the first time the Hall-income-tax-fueled Forest Hills government has gone rogue. Back in 2009, it tried to create its own police force, drawing a predictable reaction from Metro Law Department. The three-member Board of Commissioners backed off, but, now, here we are again, with Forest Hills bowing up against the big boys at the corner of James Robertson and Third.
What’s next for the tony tiny town? Its own — swanky, natch — jail? A Tyne Boulevard tollgate? Secession from Davidson County and a merger with Williamson?
Anything’s possible from the swaggering suburb.