Sunday, July 24, 2011

Leadership, transparency, and quality of life: Fabian at the Cane Ridge Community Club

Cane Ridge Community Club

Earlier this month we attended a forum hosted by our neighbors from the Cane Ridge Community Club for candidates for Districts, 31, 32, and 33, as well as at-Large seats.

We enjoyed a great dinner and fellowship, and the meeting was well attended with a standing-room-only crowd.  Fabian shared his vision for the District and Nashville and also answered these questions from the hosts:

Q. Why do you want to be a Metro Councilman?

Fabian: This has been home for me and my family for 13 years, we love this place. I saw many changes to the area and tried to help my neighbors by participating in any available way (from attending the South Area Plan meetings to being on the Board of Zoning Appeals) but at the end of the day Metro Council is the place where zoning and planning issues are decided.   I am running for Metro Council for District 31 because I have the experience and knowledge to do it, (my training in Architecture and Urban Planning, and my experience in neighborhoods and at the Board of Zoning Appeals) and believe wholeheartedly that it is possible to grow our area in a balanced and smart way, meeting our needs and the existing infrastructure.

Q. What is your style of Leadership?

Fabian: I am very comfortable working with groups; I have been doing this for over 30 years (from being an assistant professor in the University to working in Columbus, Ohio doing neighborhood development to leading volunteers in the aftermath of last years flood) I believe in listening first encouraging people to speak out, trying to reach a consensus amongst as many people as possible and then acting based on it. I believe in transparency and sticking to my promises.

Q. What do you see as Metro-Nashville’s biggest Challenge in the next 4 years?

Fabian: These are Nashville's three biggest challenges:

• Paying off the refinancing of the debt we incurred last year.
• Bringing much needed services outside the core.
• Updating our infrastructure.

Q. How do we keep our most productive citizens in Davidson County?

Fabian: Our County has a component of transitory homeowners, people move in and after a number of years they move on.  We need to minimize this by

• providing local services and amenities, including sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities
• continuing to support our schools, police department and firefighters
• supporting existing and new small businesses
• bringing more efficiencies into our government
• developing a mass transit system
• traffic and speeding has become a big problem affecting quality of life in our area, it won’t be solved as a patchwork as it was made worse by the interconnecting of neighborhoods, we need to work with the City to pursue immediate regional solutions

Q. How do you plan to engage the Community in your quest to lead the District?

Fabian: Although there are several homeowners associations in the district, there are only two existing regional neighborhood associations. I will use the existing neighborhood associations as a model to support the creation of new ones in the Nolensville Rd corridor. People already know what needs to be done and we need to create an environment where we can use it for the betterment of the District. I will work to recruit leaders to form neighborhood watch groups in each of the subdivisions and communities in the district and give them regular information they can use to keep their neighbors informed.
I will also use social media as a way to maximize this interaction.  If I am successful and become a member of Metro Council, I will use the contact information I have gained from the voters and will contact them regularly via a weekly e-newsletter about upcoming events and what is happening in Metro government. Citizens especially need information about any proposed zoning changes; clean-up days, police activity and neighborhood watch activities. I will hold regular office hours for Citizens to meet with me about their concerns.
Communities don’t happen overnight, they need to be nurtured and supported, and I will do that. My campaign number and e-mail is my real number and e-mail, I encourage people to keep it and let me know what the concerns and strengths are so I can get to work immediately.

Q. Explain the difference between a resolution from an ordinance?

Fabian: Resolutions are usually used to make changes in internal policy or to take commendatory or memorializing action.  A resolution is used when the Council needs to finalize a lease or contract.  They also can be used to settle property damage claims exceeding $15,000 or other claims exceeding $5,000.
Resolutions are required to be adopted by a majority affirmative vote of all Council members voting and are only required to receive this vote one time.  Many times they are used to publicly recognize a citizen for outstanding community service and a commendatory resolution is usually proposed by the council member in whose district the citizen resides.
Ordinances, also referred to as “bills,” usually amend or add sections to the Metropolitan Code of Laws.  Ordinances require passage on three separate readings – at Council meetings held on three different dates – and require a majority vote of ALL council members (21 votes) for passage on the third and final reading.
Zoning-related ordinances (bills) disapproved by the Planning Commission require a two-thirds (27) affirmative vote for passage, as do ordinances affecting traffic control or street use that have been disapproved by the Traffic and Parking Commission.  Ordinances (bills) may not be amended after second reading without a suspension of the Council’s rules except on zoning, budget, revenue service charges, or tax matters.
Both ordinances and resolutions can originate from three different sources:  the Metro Department of Law, the Metro Council office and other departments of Metro Government.

Q. Do you plan to support the satellite campus plans for Nashville State Community College in Hickory Hollow?

Fabian: Yes!  This is going to make a huge difference in our community.  Many students who are unable to drive to the campus on White Bridge Road will now be able to get an education. The students’ presence in the area will be a catalyst for the opening of other businesses and will be a general boost to the economy in our area.  

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