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Local update: Metro Council honors Shan Foster; Street modifications come to Edgehill and 19th avenues 

This update from the Office of Local Government Relations is part of  ON THE HILL - Issue 8ON THE HILL is a biannual report summarizing activity at all three levels of government, as outlined by representatives from our Offices of Federal Relations, State Government Relations and Local Government Relations.  


Metro Council honors Shan Foster


AD Candice Lee, Vice Mayor Jim Shulman, Mr. Commodore, Shan Foster, Councilmember Tom Cash, and AVC Alfred Degrafinreid (Vanderbilt University)

On Saturday, Feb. 5, Commodore Nation celebrated the retirement of Shan Foster’s number 32 during half-time of the Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball vs. LSU.

The Metro Council voted to adopt a resolution honoring Shan Foster for this special occasion on Feb. 1.  Foster is Vanderbilt’s all-time leader in points (2,011) and 3s made (367) and holds the Southeastern Conference record for consecutive games (34) with a 3-pointer made. He was an Associated Press All-American in 2007-08 and was a second-round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Foster is the fifth former Vanderbilt basketball player to have his jersey number retired joining Clyde Lee (1962-66), Perry Wallace (1966-70), Wendy Scholtens (1986-90) and Chantelle Anderson (1999-03).


Street modifications on Edgehill and 19 th  Avenues

Two new stop signs were installed several weeks ago at the intersection of Edgehill and 19th avenues to create a four-way stop intersection. As a major thoroughfare into campus, Edgehill Avenue has heavy pedestrian and automobile traffic. A traffic study was commenced by Metro Planning after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. Vanderbilt’s Office of Local Government Relations and Office of Emergency Preparedness engaged with Metro’s Traffic and Parking Commission to produce a solution to improve the safety at this intersection. This effort was collaborative in nature and included members of the Vanderbilt Acorn School, the University School of Nashville, Peabody College and Vanderbilt Public Safety. While the Traffic and Parking commissioners unanimously approved the measure to add the stop signs, it took Metro Public Works several weeks to install them.  

stop sign


Relocation of parking meters on Jess Neely and West End

We successfully lobbied Metro Council and the Traffic and Parking Commission for the relocation of 53 parking meters from West End Avenue/Jess Neely Drive to a destination on Vanderbilt Place between 28th Avenue and 31st Avenue. More than a year ago, we asked Traffic and Parking to bag the parking meters on Jess Neely so that VU could collect bike and pedestrian data on that corridor. The data allowed us to request the removal of those parking meters.


Vanderbilt partners with MNPS for online tutoring, strengthening education equity

Vanderbilt University launched the Tutor Nashville program last spring with support from Vanderbilt’s chancellor, provost and the dean of Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development as a way for Vanderbilt students to help support learning amid a largely virtual year in the Metro Nashville Public Schools system. ( Midori Lockett , chief community impact officer for the Division of Government and Community Relations, is the community liaison.) This year, MNPS and Tutor Nashville are taking a high-impact approach that consists of multiple short tutoring sessions per week. This strategy has been shown to lead to consistent, substantial positive effects in academic and social-emotional learning.

Another partnership between MNPS and Vanderbilt University came about last fall aimed at producing actionable, innovative and scalable research to address racial and social inequities in pre-K–12 schools. This partnership is housed within Peabody College. Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, Provost C. Cybele Raver, Peabody College Dean Camilla P. Benbow, Peabody professor Marcy Singer-Gabella and MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle announced the new Nashville Partnership for Educational Equity Research, or PEER, at the Sept. 28 Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools board meeting. Peabody College shares a long history of cooperation and a deep commitment to addressing educational inequity with Metro Nashville Public Schools, with a conviction that diversity of perspectives is a core strength.


Dean Camilla P. Benbow, MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle, Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, Vanderbilt Provost Cybele Raver, and professor Marcy Singer-Gabella. (Vanderbilt University)


Nashville Fair Board stalemate comes to an end as council approves two new members

The Metro Council unanimously approved two new members of the Board of Fair Commissioners on Jan. 4. The decision brings an end to a months-long appointment stalemate and removes one of several remaining hurdles for Metro's highly anticipated deal with Bristol Motor Speedway to overhaul the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. One of the seats had remained empty for nearly a year amid an intense push for diversity on Metro's boards—and, specifically, Hispanic representation on the Fair Board. The board oversees development at The Fairgrounds Nashville, which has a growing Hispanic population to its south. Mayor John Cooper and Vice Mayor Jim Shulman jointly nominated Mario Avila, a Hispanic resident, Vanderbilt adjunct professor and director of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures at Vanderbilt University. Jasper Hendricks III, an expert in advocacy, public policy and consulting for various nonprofits, was also appointed to the board.

Avila is the founding director of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures at Vanderbilt, where he is also an adjunct professor teaching social enterprise and entrepreneurship with a focus on business principle-driven methods to alleviate poverty. The Turner Family Center serves as a resource and think tank for partnerships linking profitable business ventures with social impact goals. Hendricks, originally from Virginia, formerly served as director of advocacy and public policy and interim development manager for the nonprofit Nashville CARES, whose mission is to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee.


Councilmember Colby Sledge, Mario Avila, Jasper Hendricks III, Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda


Two faculty members approved for service on Metro Boards, Commissions

Two faculty members were approved by the Metro Council in November for service on Metro boards and commissions. Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History, was appointed for service on the Metro Historical Commission, and Janey Camp, professor of civil and environmental engineering, was appointed for service on the Metro Stormwater Management Committee. 



Metro Health Department Chairman Alex Jahangir invited to drop the anchor at VU football game last fall


jahangir anchor jahangir



Our Local Government Relations Team

Alfred-Deg-II         lynn                         
Alfred Degrafinreid II   Lynn Maddox              
Associate Vice Chancellor   Special Projects Director              
for Local Government   and County Liaison              
and Community Partnerships   email              
email   615-322-6384