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We've talked about the upcoming midterm election set for Tuesday, Nov. 6, including how to get involved on a local and state level, the five candidates running for three open Belle Meade commissioner seats, when early voting begins and more. But we have one last order of business before people head to the polls for early voting: the six amendments you'll see on the ballot.
Nashville voters will make the final call on items like extending term-limits for council members (a measure that has been voted down before, most recently in 2015), updating the city’s charter to include gender-neutral references and more.
Metro Council voted to add five of the six amendments, while the Davidson County Election Commission included Amendment 1—a community oversight board—after the proposal received thousands of signatures.
Read on to see what Nashville residents will vote on leading up to and on Nov. 6:
If approved, the oversight board would have independent power to investigate misconduct allegations against Metropolitan Nashville Police Department officers.
The 11-member board — two nominated by Metro Council, two nominated by the mayor and seven appointed by community organizations — would have power to review arrests and other incidents involving police, issue reports assessing allegations of misconduct by MNPD officers and make policy recommendations to public safety and justice administration agencies.
Members can serve three year terms without compensation. The board, which would be established no later than January 31, would cost $1.5 million to operate annually.
This amendment would revise the line of succession for mayor. If there is not a vice mayor, Metro Council would elect a temporary mayor. However, the temporary mayor would be prohibited to run for mayor or vice mayor in the following election.
This amendment involves special elections and vacant seats for council members, vice mayor and mayor.
A special election for mayor would be required when there are more than 12 months remaining in the term.
A special election for vice mayor would be required when there are more than 24 months remaining in the term.
A special election for a district council member would be required when there are more than eight months left in the term. Additionally, a special election would not be held for a vacant at-large council member seat.
The fourth and shortest amendment listed on the ballot would require the incoming mayor, vice mayor and members of Metro Council to take an oath to uphold Nashville's charter before entering the duties of the office.
The fifth amendment listed on the ballot would extend the number of term limits council members are allowed to serve from the current two-term limit to three. Each term is four years, meaning council members could serve a total of 12 years if re-elected.
This amendment would update the Metro charter to replace masculine pronouns like "he" and "his" with gender-neutral pronouns. For example, instead of "councilmen" or “policeman” it would say "council members" or “police officers.”