The Structure of Metro Council
Nashville’s Metro Council is as old as the Nashville we know today. It was created to consolidate the previously separate governments of Metro Nashville and Davidson County, on April 1, 1963. With the third largest city council in the US (after New York and Chicago) our 35 district members are rooted in relatively small districts where their constituents can interact with them on a personal basis. A district’s residents, faith communities, businesses, organizations and institutions can contact them easily and personally monitor their effectiveness in representing them.
The Council has two basic legislative functions:
to enact ordinances or “bills” which address most of metro’s business, including authorizing the overall budget, street closures, zoning changes, etc.
to adopt or reject resolutions, which typically have more to do with modifying the internal workings of our local government, distribute the funding to various Metro departments, approve grants and contracts created by the departments.
The Council includes five at-large members elected from across the city that represent the whole city. The vice mayor serves as president of the council, presiding over council meetings and voting in the event of a tie. The council’s 15 different committees read and comment on any legislation that comes before the council. After legislation has been approved by the council, it goes to the mayor, who has the power to veto it.