Vote No To City Charter Recall Amendment On Ballot

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Our government watch group simply marvels at the nonsense set forth by our City Council to amend the recall provisions of the city charter. Why? The recall provision is currently in the city charter because an appointed committee from the Mayor’s office drafted the current recall provision. Then, the city council approved the recall provision, and voter’s approved the recall provision by referendum on a ballot. The current recall provision exists due to direct action of City Council.

The last recall against the mayor was not the first, there was another effort, and never a day, did the City Council question the recall provisions of the charter. Why? They knew the early recall organization was not large enough to get the signatures, so they just ignored and left the recall law in place, with no action. If it was bad or flawed law then, why didn’t the City Council act to repair years ago?

By formal vote of the City Council, the current recall provision was placed in the charter. Yet now, the same elected body deems the recall ‘flawed.” Understand, the current recall provision is only being declared flawed, bad law, because citizens exercised their rights to use the recall provision. Their mindset seems to convey that it is perfectly acceptable to have accountability measures, as long as no one uses the measure. The City Council actions speak volumes to this fact.

The city charter recall provisions are less stringent than the state recall provisions, because that is what the city council and voters wanted, a strong measure of accountability for elected officials.

Interestingly enough, the City’s recall provisions were not deemed “flawed” until citizens were successful in acquiring an adequate number of signatures. At the end of the court battle, the Appeals Court correctly ruled that the city charter was the governing recall documents. The lower courts were wrong, the state law was not applicable, the city charter was. The recall failed on technicality on dating each signature, rather than the entire page.

In any petition measure, without a doubt, 20 to 40 percent of signatures collected are lost to voters address from moving, district issues. The pages were dated, but not each line. I have worked other petitions for a ballot, and these problem are common. However, anyway you dice it, 10,8000 voters wanted a recall election and the Election Commission confirmed the signatures. The people spoke.

It is also an undisputable fact that more registered voters, signed the recall petition, than votes to reelect Mayor Littlefield in 2009.

In the 2009 mayoral election, the Hamilton County Election Commission archives report that 17,913 Chattanooga citizens voted in the 2009 reelection of Mayor Littlefield. Of the total 17,913 votes in 2009, 57 percent or 10,234 voted in favor of the reelection of Mayor Littlefield. Again, it is undisputed that over 10,800 registered voters signed the recall petition. The number of recall signatures represents 106 percent of the total number of votes for Mayor Ron Littlefield to be re-elected in March 2009, and 60 percent of the total voter cards cast.

In the 2005 runoff election, the Hamilton County Election Commission achieves report that 28,140 Chattanooga citizens voted in the 2005 runoff election of Mayor Littlefield. Of the total 28,140 votes in 2005, 54.11 percent or 15,224 voted in favor of Mayor Littlefield. Again it is undisputed that over 10,800 registered voters signed the recall petition. The number of recall signatures represents 71 percent of the total number of votes for Mayor Littlefield to be elected in 2005, and almost 40 percent of the total voter cards cast.

The City Council now wishes to remove the recall provisions that citizens voted by referendum and approved to be in the city charter.

The charter provision for recall is only flawed law if citizens use it, right?

Vote No to the charter amendment for recall that appears on the current ballot.

April Eidson, Spokesperson

Little Chicago Watch


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Oversight Needed In CVB And Chamber Of Commerce Spending

The Hamilton County Commission adopted a resolution that requires that all taxpayer-supported agencies receiving 25 percent or more of their annual operating income to adhere to Hamilton County purchasing policies.  For the commissioners that voted to protect the public tax dollars, you get an A plus in elected representation.  It is about time that the CVB and Chamber ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Under Tornado Watch Until 9 PM

A Tornado Watch is in effect for counties in the Chattanooga area until 9 p.m. The sun broke out early Friday afternoon after drenching rains that started Wednesday night. However, a line of storms was en route from the west and southwest. Here is the notice from the National Weather Service: TORNADO WATCH FROM  1:15PM EDT  FRI UNTIL  9PM ... (click for more)

12 "Johns" Arrested In Multi-Agency Prostitution Sting Operation In East Ridge, Including Doctor, Teacher

A joint operation was conducted on Wednesday by the East Ridge Police Department in cooperation with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Chattanooga Police Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to combat human trafficking and prostitution complaints within the city of East Ridge. The operation was conducted over a two-day period when online advertisements ... (click for more)

Inclement Weather Forces Cancellation Of Thursday Night's Lookouts Game

Not only was Tropical Storm Cindy responsible for the cancellation of Tuesday's Southern League All-Star Game, but now the storm has also resulted in the cancellation of Thursday night's game at AT&T Field with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The First Half North Division Champion Lookouts announced that Thursday's (6/22) game has been postponed due ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)