Tennessean editorial board: Elect David Briley as Vice Mayor

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BY David Plazas, dplazas@tennessean.com CREATED July 14, 2015 9:46 a.m. CDT

While the Nashville mayoral race has dominated local politics this year, another vital position is up for election: vice mayor.

The vice mayor is the presiding officer of the 40-member Metro Council, has the power to assign councilors to committees, appoints committee chairs and casts tie-breaking votes.

This individual will be able to set the tone for how council members debate legislation and comport themselves on the council floor.

He or she can also help the mayor's proposals get through or act as a loyal adversary who can slow down proposals that need further consideration.

The vice mayor should act to keep the mayor in check and support the balance of power in Metro's strong-mayor form of city government.

While the current Metro Council has been criticized for having rubber-stamped much of Mayor Karl Dean's second-term agenda, last month a majority of council members revolted and rejected three priorities: a flood protection system for downtown, a new police headquarters on Jefferson Street in North Nashville and moving the Davidson County jail from downtown to Antioch.

Still, some of the most important work of Metro Council involves zoning decisions and building or maintaining Greenways, for example, and the vice mayor can influence that debate.

Editorial board endorsement

In 2015 two men are contending for this post, which is elected by voters countywide: David Briley and Tim Garrett.

While Nashville will benefit from either of these individuals, The Tennessean Editorial Board recommends David Briley.

Briley would best serve as a partner to the new mayor helping him or her move the city forward.

The Tennessean endorsed Councilman Megan Barry for mayor, and their styles would complement each other for the good of Nashville.

Briley, 51, an attorney who resides in downtown, served as an at-large councilman from 1999-2007. He ran for mayor unsuccessfully in 2007 and is the grandson of Metro's first mayor, Beverly Briley.

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