Littlefield Weighing Stance On $450,000 Disparity Study

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mayor Ron Littlefield said he is going through documents relating to a controversial $450,000 study on racial "disparity" in Chattanooga.

He said he should finish his review by Friday afternoon, but he said he "tends to favor going forward with it."

Some members of the City Council are balking at the study, saying it is too expensive.

Mayor Littlefield said not all of the $450,000 would go to a minority consulting firm. He said the firm of Griffin & Strong would receive $265,000.

He said $118,000 would go to UTC and $67,000 to the Community Research Council.

Mayor Littlefield said $350,000 is available in the current budget for the student, and $100,000 would be included next year.

He said, "Some council members have urged us to go forward, while others are saying it is an awful lot of money."

He said it is important that the city "makes sure it addresses" disparity issues.

He said data from the study would be used to help the city meet legal challenges regarding its action or inaction on discrimination matters.

The matter is due to come before the City Council on June 20.

Mayor Littlefield said Jacqueline Strong Moss, who heads the city's Multicultural Affairs office and who requested the study, is not related to consultant Rodney Strong of Memphis.

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