NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The relationship between the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee has been icy, at best, over the past year. But new blood brings new beginnings.

“To me, that’s where at least we’re starting from,” Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said. “This is a new administration, we hope there’s a little bit of a new day.”

Nashville swore in O’Connell late last month, and state leaders say they intend to work with him.

📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts

“It is so important that we have partnerships between our cities and our state,” Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with Mayor O’Connell.”

It’s a different tune Lee is taking on after he signed off on roughly half a dozen bills this year intended to punish the city for denying the 2024 Republican National Convention.

“The vibrancy of Nashville, the prosperity of Nashville, the success of Nashville profoundly impacts every Tennessean,” the governor said. “Even those who live in the farthest corners of the state.”

Of course, the pair says they haven’t had any serious policy discussions thus far into O’Connell’s term.

It’s a little easier to come together on infrastructure developments, like on Thursday when both the mayor and governor celebrated the reopening of a major Nashville bridge.

“There really does, at least for these moments, the basic elements of governing – which are about infrastructure, economic development – my hope is that we can stay on stable footing there and maybe bridge to more productive conversations about other policy,” O’Connell said.

It remains to be seen if this is a honeymoon phase or a long-term relationship.

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

“Nashville needs Tennessee, Tennessee needs Nashville,” Lee said. “We are not separate from one another. We’re working together.”