Epperson In Line Of Fire Between Council Foes Rico, Anderson

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Chris Anderson, Karl Epperson and Manny Rico
Chris Anderson, Karl Epperson and Manny Rico

Exchanges between District 7 City Council candidates Manny Rico and Chris Anderson got testy at a forum on Thursday morning, and fellow candidate Karl Epperson said he won't sit in the middle when they meet again.

"I tell you one thing - I'm going to sit at one end or the other next time," he said at a campaign event sponsored by the Downtown Chamber of Commerce at the Doubletree Hotel.

Incumbent Rico told Mr. Anderson, "It's easy to critique when you don't have a clue what's going on.

" He said he had only seen Mr. Anderson at two City Council meetings since he said he announced he was running a year ago. He said those were regular 6 p.m. meetings "and not the committee meetings where most of the business gets done."

Mr. Anderson said he has been to several council meetings, been busy with other civic duties, and supervising 150 employees at the Bluff View Art District for the past eight years.

He charged that Councilman Rico has four times voted against pay raises for fire and police, and he said he was among those voting this past budget for raises for all other employees, including $5,000 for some administrators, while fire and police got none.

Councilman Rico said the city put $1.6 million in the fire and police pension fund.

He said he answers more to taxpayers than to city employees.  

Mr. Epperson, who lives on the Westside, focused on achieving affordable housing downtown. He said developers ought to be required to include some affordable units in each project. He said developers claim that they won't get their money back if they include affordable units. He said, "If you believe that, I've got some oceanfront property to sell you."

He also cited a need for more city sidewalks, saying a lack of a sidewalk is one reason he is no longer able to eat at IHOP. Mr. Epperson is confined to a wheelchair.

Mr. Anderson said he has read the entire city gang report and keeps it with him in his car. He said one finding in the report is that young people often get into trouble between 4-7 p.m. He said the city could keep its rec centers open longer to help give alternative activities during that time slot, and he said community mentors could volunteer to help.

He said he is interested in cutting out duplicative services, and he said he expects that the education, arts and culture department will be merged into neighborhood services and parks and recreation.

Councilman Rico said he has not always gone along with Mayor Ron Littlefield. He said he does not believe in "airing dirty laundry" and often goes to confer with the mayor when he disagrees with a policy.

Mr. Anderson said he wants a return to the "business approach" mayoral focus under the eight years of Bob Corker and Jon Kinsey.

A fourth candidate, Tramble Stephens, did not take part.

Mr. Epperson said he almost did not run due to health conditions. He said he ran earlier for mayor  "as a joke." He said he got so many votes "that it scared me and it scared the political machine."

He also said other candidates don't know poverty like he does, noting he sometimes has to choose "between food for me and food for my dog."

Mr. Epperson got off another zinger as he hurried off to attend a beer board meeting. His constant Collie companion barked at a Chamber member and Mr. Epperson told the dog, "Nobody asked your opinion."  


Grand Jury True Bills

Here are the true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: True Bills:  ADAMS, HUEY W 38 M 299516 1 1 GS 1631566 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ADAMS, HUEY W 38 M 299516 2 1 GS 1631567 RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT ADAMS, HUEY W 38 M 299516 3 1 GS 1631565 DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE BEAVER, JOSEPH BERNARD W 39 M 299517 1 1 GS 1621557 VANDALISM BEAVER, JOSEPH BERNARD ... (click for more)

Fredrick Phinizey, 23, Struck In Face With Pellets Fired From Shotgun During Bonny Oaks Carjacking Late Tuesday Night; Vehicle Is Recovered

Fredrick Phinizey, 23, was struck in the face by pellets fired from a shotgun during a carjacking in the Bonny Oaks area late Tuesday night.  Khalilyah Smith, 21, was the driver of the car. At approximately 11:36 p.m. , officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a shots fired call in the 7700 block of Holiday Hills Circle. Police said o ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Baylor Volleyballers Roll Past Soddy Daisy

The 2016 high school volleyball season is only 10 days old, but the Baylor Lady Red Raiders are already playing in mid-season form. Fresh off a strong weekend where they beat perennial state power Brentwood twice en route to winning the prestigious Early Bird Tournament in Knoxville, the Lady Raiders continued that consistent strong play on Wednesday evening as they made short ... (click for more)

Nine Headed To East Ridge Hall Of Fame On Sept. 9

East Ridge will induct nine people into its Hall of Fame at halftime of the Central-East Ridge football game on Sept. 9. The 2016 inductees: 1.  DAVID COPELAND - 1964-1967. Played football and track for three years. Captain of both sports. Earned a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee. 2.  CARLENE ELLIOTT RYON - 1964-1967. Played basketball ... (click for more)