NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday, the State House voted to cut the size of Nashville’s Metro Council in half; however, the vote did not come without opposition.

For weeks, there has been back and forth focused on the future of the Metro Council, some of whom have already begun political campaigns for seats.

“We continue to overstep into local government affairs and this is the ultimate insult,” said Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville). “You’re setting up Metro Council for failure.”

Just minutes before the House voted on HBO48, Clemmons filed a motion to put the decision in the hands of the voters, appealing to fellow lawmakers to put the idea on the ballot during the next election cycle. However, that amendment failed.

“It’s just dynamics, and it works better to serve the people of both Nashville and every other city in this state, that will be capped at 20,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland).

Numerous times during the discussion, Lamberth pointed to other major cities nearly double Nashville’s size that do not have more than 20 people represented on their city council.

“This isn’t just about Nashville. This is about every single city in this state not being able to expand, and make the mistake that Nashville made 50 years ago,” explained Lamberth.

On Monday, the debate came to a close. Latinx leaders wrote a letter to Gov. Bill Lee and Speaker Cameron Sexton, expressing concern. Within the letter, the group said reducing the size of the Metro Council would have a “negative impact on minority representatives.”

“This particular proposal, I want you to hear me clearly, seeks to take the number back to pre-1961,” said Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville). “The number 40 didn’t just pop out the sky.”

According to Davidson County historians, votes to create Metro Nashville originally failed, that is until a compromise with Black leaders gave them a seat at the table. It created a Metro Council of more than 20 people.

“With just 20 people on the city council, you would leave out representation of large segments of the population, especially and specifically, at that time it would have been the African American community,” said Rev. Enoch Fuzz.

At the time, the agreement brought together the city of Nashville and Davidson County under one unit to be named “Metro.”

“When we talk about diversity today, compared to that 50 years ago. Fifty years ago it was African Americans and Whites,” said Fuzz. “We’ve come a long way, in terms of human relations. We’ve made great good strides in terms of human relations, and people don’t forget, you know you’re talking about going backward, but we’ve come a good way and we’re in a much better place, and we don’t want to go back.”

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Dr. Alexander Looby was among the first African Americans elected to sit on the city council, in the first step of a new political era. It gave Blacks 20% of the representation.

The bill was passed in the Senate Finance, Ways and Means committee Tuesday morning. It will head to the Senate floor.