Attorney Jerry Summers To Fill In As Soddy Daisy Judge; City Faces Another Animal Issue

Friday, April 20, 2012 - by Sarah Ruf

Attorney and former judge Jerry Summers will return to the bench in the same city where he presided as its first judge ever. Soddy Daisy commissioners appointed attorney Summers acting judge for the city Thursday night during the regular commission meeting.

He fills a vacancy left by Judge David Norton, who is acting in an interim position as General Sessions Court judge. He took over for the late Judge Bob Moon. 

Voters will choose replacements for the remaining two years in a special election Aug.


Attorney Summers became judge at Soddy Daisy in 1971 and in 1985 was dismissed by the commission. He filed suit saying he had refused demands of commissioners to operate as "a cash register court." He argued for the independence of the judiciary. Chancellor Vann Owens ruled in his favor, but the Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying the matter had been litigated on an incorrect reading of the statutes involved. However, the high court said the case "amply demonstrates the need to secure a definite term of office for" judges.  

More animal trouble cropped up during the citizens participation portion of the meeting. Resident Carlene Gooden-Quarles told the commissioners about animal problems with her neighbors.
She claimed her neighbors are operating a for-profit training facility and a kennel for more than 18 dogs, including German Shepherds and at least one pitbull. The area is zoned for agriculture.

“The stench is unbearable at this point,” Ms. Gooden-Quarles said. “It looks like a business.”

City Manager Hardie Stulce said the family had purchased a building permit earlier in the day for a detached garage. There were questions among the commissioners about the purpose of the garage and whether it would be used to hold dogs.

“We’ve received complaints before, the smell and that sort of thing in an agricultural area,” Mr. Stulce said.

“A kennel is a business,” said Sam Elliott, city attorney.

Commissioner Shane Harmon asked Ms. Gooden-Quarles if she would be afraid of the dogs if they were to escape into her yard.  “I’m definitely afraid,” she replied.

“We’ll have to research the zoning, it would be a zoning issue,” attorney Elliott said. “If the smell and the noise is horrible, you may have a nuisance issue.”

Taking legal action for animal issues may be difficult in an agricultural zone, commissioners noted.

Carl Gooden lives next to his daughter in the neighborhood and spoke as well. “[The neighbor’s] dogs bark,” he pounded his hand on the lectern, “twenty-four hours a day.”

“We got your message,” Mayor Jim Adams said.

The commissioners recently had to sort out an issue involving goats.

Commissioners approved on first reading the rezoning of property at 9177 Daisy Dallas Road from its current manufacturing and agricultural status to a single agricultural status.

Another unanimous approval came for an option for planning commission members to waive annual training requirements. Four training hours per year are currently required for sitting planning commission members.

In his report, City Manager Stulce told the commission the city had been denied a federal grant after applying for one that would fund new firefighter equipment. He lamented how grant rejection happened too often for the town. “It’s frustrating,” he said.

The city is no longer offering brush pickup to residents. Officials are searching for a new place to dispose of picked-up brush.  The current location is filled to capacity. Residents will be notified once brush pickup is once again available, Mr. Stulce said.

A ceremony honoring veterans will be held May 5 in the Veteran’s Park at 10 a.m. Names of honored servicemen and women will be read at the ceremony.

Sarah Ruf

2 Arrested In Bradley County On Burglary Charges

Bradley County property crimes detectives filed new charges for Scotty Lee Goodner, who was jailed on charges brought by patrol deputies related to the burglary of two structures on Ridgeview Drive. An alert citizen spotted suspicious activity on Sunday around the location and contacted the 911 dispatch center. Patrol deputies responded to the burglary-in-progress and upon arrival ... (click for more)

Alexander Urges Action On Bill That Includes Funds To Restart Work On Chickamauga Lock

The U.S. Senate will take a first step this week toward considering a bipartisan energy and water appropriations bill, and Senator Lamar Alexander is urging Senate Democrats to allow the bill to be considered by the full Senate. “This legislation appropriates record-level funding for basic research, and increases funding for deepening our ports and improving our inland waterways. ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Readers Are Right

Jeffrey Cross is a community activist in the very finest way. He has no idea that I and many others have followed what he has done, and tirelessly I might add, to enhance the St. Elmo neighborhood at the foot of Lookout Mountain. I wish this world had a million Jeffrey Crosses. So when he wrote in protest of my Monday story, “We Want Our City Back,” I was more than eager to read ... (click for more)

Baylor Boys Win 17th D-II AA Golf Title; Baylor Girls Take Second

  MANCHESTER – On a sun-drenched afternoon, it was a special day for Baylor golf and for the King Oehmig family. Highlighted by a 5-under, 31 on the final nine holes, Baylor senior Oliver Simonsen shot a two-day, 3-under 141 to lead Baylor to the 2015 TSSAA D-II AA boys state championship at WillowBrook Golf Course here Tuesday. Carrying one-of-a-kind black golf ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Whips Lady 'Canes For Shot At District 5-3A Volleyball Title

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Old rivals will play for the District 5-3A volleyball tournament championship on Wednesday. Ooltewah (41-11) and Walker Valley (28-11), the tourney’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, posted semifinal wins Tuesday night at Cleveland Middle School and earned their shots at the title, along with berths in the Region 3-3A tournament ... (click for more)