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Metro Council Holds Long Meeting to Discuss Big Issues -- Sky Arnold

Nashville, Tenn  ---  A marathon meeting at Metro Council sees two controversial issues defeated.

Late Tuesday night members voted down two controversial Charter Amendments.

One would have cut the size of the Council from 40 members to 27 and the other would have given the Council the ability to make changes to the Tennessee State Fair.

The fairgrounds proposal was especially concerning to Council Member Duane Dominy.

"For the first year since I was elected in 2007, the Fairgrounds will make a profit this year.  This proposal placed the property and all the events there under a question as to whether or not they exist," said Dominy. 

A third big issue ended up moving forward.

That issue is whether to allow the same sex partners of Metro Employees access to health benefits.

The Council approved it on the 2nd of three votes.    

The Council also heard from the public about a wide range of issues including the proposed $1.8 billion budget.
  
A number of speakers voiced support for that budget including Police Officer Tina Wiggs.

The budget includes a 1% pay raise for Metro Employees but Wiggs wants the Council to give police officers a 3% raise.

"The police officers are the guardians of the city.  We stand up and protect everyone.  Who's gonna stand up and protect us," said Wiggs.

The Council will have the option of making changes to the budget, including addressing pay raises, when it makes a third and final vote later this summer.