GOVERNMENT

Davidson County, Tennessee

In 1963, the city of Nashville and Davidson County combined to address the city’s urban sprawl problems. Officially known as “the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County,” the merged body is more commonly referred to as “Metro Nashville” or simply “Metro.” It provides police, fire, power, water, and sewage treatment, among other services.

The Metro government was divided into two service districts when it was created in 1963: the “urban services district” and the “general services district.” The urban services area covers approximately 72 square miles (190 km2) of the former City of Nashville, while the general services district covers the rest of Davidson County.

Within the consolidated city-county, there are six smaller municipalities: Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Forest Hills, Oak Hill, Goodlettsville (partially), and Ridgetop (partially). These municipalities operate on a two-tiered government system, with the smaller municipality often providing police services and Metro Nashville providing the majority of other services. Previously, the city of Lakewood also had a separate charter. However, Lakewood residents voted in 2010 and 2011

Nashville is controlled by a mayor, vice-mayor, and the Metropolitan Council, which consists of 40 members. The mayor–council system is used, with a strong mayor. John Cooper is the current mayor of Nashville. Nashville and Davidson County’s legislative body is known as the Metropolitan Council. There are five at-large council members and 35 council members who represent distinct districts. The vice-mayor, who is now Jim Shulman, presides over regular meetings of the Metro Council. According to the Metropolitan Charter, the Metro Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Middle Tennessee courthouse and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee’s Estes Kefauver Federal Building and United States Courthouse.

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