The Tennessean reported Tuesday that Yuri Cunza's appointment to a Metro Commission was coming under attack by Metro Councilmen Harold White and David Briley, who questioned whether Cunza's Peruvian citizenship makes him fit to serve on the Nashville commission. Cunza, a Nashville resident since 1996, President of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and an entrepreneur in film and media, was nominated by Mayor Bill Purcell to the commission and has served on other Nashville commissions in the past.
"Purcell said Cunza has the experience and dedication to be qualified to serve on the charter commission. His office also offered three examples of other [citizens of other countries] who serve on Metro boards: Renato Soto, who served previously on the Charitable Solicitation Commission; Simon Mais of the Tourism and Convention Commission; and German Castro of the Human Relations Commission."
"'I have been working hard to expand the diversity of the boards and commissions,' the mayor said. 'Mr. Cunza has been serving the community on the district energy systems board, the arts board and the racial-profiling steering committee. He's been a person giving of himself to the larger community.'"
"Councilmen Harold White and David Briley said they will raise questions at tonight's Metro Council meeting about Mayor Bill Purcell's appointment of Peru native Yuri Cunza to the Metro Charter Revision Commission."
David Briley was quoted in the article, but he has stated that he was misquoted and has called Purcell's office to clear up his position on Cunza's appointment.
"'I just have some questions that I want to ask him,' White said. 'I will speak those (Tuesday) night. … I haven't made up my mind one way or the other.'"
At Tuesday night's Council meeting, a hearing on Cunza's nomination was postponed, but White attempted to comment anyways.
The article does not state whether there is a citizenship requirement for commission service.