Collegedale Awards Civilian Medal Of Appreciation To 17-Year-Old Yameli Gomez

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - by Gail Perry

The Civilian Medal of Appreciation from the American police academy was awarded to Yameli Gomez on Monday night at the Collegedale Commission meeting. Assistant Police Chief James Hardeman and Detective Jamie Heath presented the tribute to the 18-year-old Collegedale Academy student for her “invaluable service in assisting the police department” in locating her aunt who had been violently kidnapped from the parking lot of Angelica Textile Services where she worked.

The event occurred in 2010 when Ms. Gomez was 15. For days following the event, she became the translator and spokesperson for the family. During the investigation she answered phone calls and kept the lines open long enough for the FBI and police in Hattiesburg, Miss., to track the GPS of the cell phone being used, which led them to her aunt and the kidnapper. Nine days later the captor, who was the estranged husband, was arrested. This is only the second time that award has been given by Collegedale.

In regular business, the commissioners approved, on second and final reading, an ordinance to amend commercial and multi-family residential standards for the city. Also, a rezoning request for 1.5 acres on Apison Pike from Agricultural to C-2 commercial zoning was passed on first reading.

City Manager Ted Rogers gave the financial report, saying that 29 percent of the expected revenue has been received to date which is on average for other years. Several expenditures that are customarily done toward the end of a year were instead performed at the beginning of this fiscal year which make expenses seem a bit high. Paving work done by the Public Works Department, and $160,000 used to purchase a new garbage truck show up on the report. Also, said Mr. Rogers, some reserve police officers have made up for a shortage of officers in the department and the costs of doing so will need to be shifted in the budget.

The city manager reported that Collegedale has $2.4 million in cash accounts and $1.7 million in the contingency account which provides for unexpected expenditures, and around $150,000 in the capital outlay account.

He also told the commissioners that since interest rates are at record lows, the city has refinanced the capital outlay fund as well as a $2 million bond. Now all the city’s debt is invested in fixed rate accounts at or below three percent, which is locked in for a 12-year term he said.

Commissioner Larry Hanson addressed issues raised at a recent meeting he attended in Cleveland. The first was to encourage commissioners to let state legislators know the importance of the Hall Income Tax to the city. The current thinking, he said, is that the Hall tax would be going away. Mr. Rogers agreed with that sentiment saying it is his understanding that is a goal of Governor Bill Haslam. He explained it is difficult to predict the amount of income to expect from that tax since it is based on interest on dividends from investments. In the past, the city has received anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000.

Concerning grants that are available to cities, Mr. Rogers told Commissioner Hanson that currently, Collegedale has no participation in Community Development Block Grants, but is planning to apply for a new Parks and Recreation Grant to begin a new project.

Commissioner Hanson also questioned what the city’s policy is regarding the determination of legal residency during a traffic stop. Police Chief Brian Hickman answered that officers make no stops to ascertain legal status, but, if an arrest is made during a stop, the person is taken to the Hamilton County and at that time a check is done.

In the segment of the commission meeting devoted to citizen comments, one resident asked if there would be an extension of the greenway in the city. He asked the commissioners to consider expanding it to join three additional neighborhoods, Wellesley, Downing Green and Chestnut Cove, encompassing 245 families. This would require extension of the sidewalk of only seven eights of a mile, and could use existing sidewalks from each development to join to the new one.

Mayor John Turner answered that there are no firm plans to expand the greenway, but he said there is a commission retreat in January and that topic will be discussed. He further explained that Collegedale’s greenway system was built using grant money from TDOT’s alternative transportation program.

gailaperry@comcast.net

 





Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, NATASHA A     4238 CRESTVIEW APT B RED BANK, 37415     32     East Ridge          DOMESTIC ASSAULT BAGGETT, ROBERT NATHANIEL     9136 OLD HIXSON PIKE SODDY DAISY, 37379     34     Hamilton ... (click for more)

Christopher Harp Arrested For Stealing Fuel From Hamilton County Gas Pumps

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, with the cooperation of the leadership of the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department/Marine Rescue has been investigating fuel expense overages related to fuel obtained from the Hamilton County Government gas pumps.  The investigation determined on Aug. 2, Christopher M. Harp, who is a former member of the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department/Marine ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)

Notre Dame's Kareem Orr Looking For Big Results

(This is the 16th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area) Notre Dame’s football team has won 18 games in the first two years of Charles Fant’s time as the Fighting Irish head coach. The Signal Mountain Eagles have beaten Notre Dame in both of ... (click for more)

McCallie's 97-Yard Drive Proof Of Dominant 44-0 Win In Opener

With the game in hand, McCallie’s offense unleashed an impressive third-quarter drive that exemplified Cleveland’s inability to handle the Blue Tornado offense Thursday night at Finley Stadium. The Blue Raiders’ only real scoring threat ended at McCallie’s 3 on successive incomplete passes by quarterback Austin Massey to intended receivers Eric Goodwin and Rod Dennard. McCallie ... (click for more)