West Says Petition Drive For A Vote On Domestic Partners Ordinance Has Yielded Over 6,000 Signatures; Deadline Is Tuesday Afternoon

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mark West told the Pachyderm Club on Monday that a petition drive to seek a vote on the city's domestic partners ordinance has yielded over 6,000 signatures.

He said earlier that some 4,500 were needed to force a vote next August.

The deadline to turn in the petitions is Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The Election Commission had set a meeting for Wednesday morning, but that has been cancelled. It is expected to take some time to verify which of the signatures are of valid city residents.

Mr. West said he got involved in leading the petition drive based on "moral, fiscal and fairness" issues.

He said the effort "has brought together a unique coalition of groups around the community."

Mr. West said some $9,000 is being spent on the effort, including $4,500 for seven electronic billboards.

He also said, "Social media was used in a big way." He said a prominent citizen volunteered to set up a Facebook page for the effort. A headquarters was donated on Brainerd Road.

Mr. West said 30-50 volunteers worked to bring in 1,614 names last Monday, another 777 on Tuesday, 1,163 on Friday, 753 on Saturday and 1,329 on Sunday.

He stated, "Last night, we had 5,656. They are still coming in and we are over 6,000. But we still need more."

Mr. West said his wife, Lori, was suppose to attend the luncheon, "but the phone has been ringing off the hook - 30 in an hour."

He said the group that is leading the campaign, Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency, was formed earlier this year. He said it provided some $11,000 to City Council candidates Ken Smith, Larry Grohn and Chip Henderson - all of whom voted against the ordinance. 

He said, "If Roger Tuder had prevailed in the election (against Jerry Mitchell), we wouldn't be dealing with this."

The speaker also said that the Collegedale detective who was the first person in the state to get same-sex benefits had said on Facebook, "I'm going to stomp the crap out of Mark West in an anti-hate campaign." He said he would have been in big trouble had he made the alleged statement.

 


Woman Charged With Cutting Father Of Her Children With Box Cutter

A woman has been charged with cutting the father of her three children in the back with a box cutter. Ladeirdre Austin, 25, was charged with aggravated domestic assault in the incident on Monday. Bobby Edwards said two of their children had stayed the night with him, and Ms. Austin was coming to pick them up on Peggy Street. He said he was running behind, and Ms. Austin ... (click for more)

Hartley Facing Charges After Ex-Girlfriend Says He Fired At Her With Pellet Gun At Hixson Pike Arby's

A female employee of Arby's on Hixson Pike said her former boyfriend came to the restaurant and fired five shots at her with a pellet gun. Tommy Lee Hartley, 49, is charged with aggravated domestic assault. Ellen Sharp said Hartley had been harassing her for over a week. On Saturday, she said she was in the Arby's parking lot when Hartley drove up in his green older-model ... (click for more)

Say No To Armed Police Volunteers - And Response (5)

The last thing the Chattanooga Police Department needs is a cadre of “armed” volunteers placed in the community as reserve officers. How will this plan address the problem between the department and the communities in which there is lack of trust? If these volunteers are strategically added to strengthen the “police state” in certain neighborhoods, that plan will widen the gap between ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Already, 248 Mass Shootings

There is not a word – not one – that I can use to respond to Dr. Loretta P. Prater, whose letter in Chattanoogan.com just condemned the idea that proposed volunteers in the Chattanooga Police Department be armed. Dr. Pater signed her letter, “Mother of Homicide Victim Leslie Vaughn Prater” and I’ve no doubt there is nothing in this world that will assuage the lifelong horror she ... (click for more)

Gray Ange New Silverdale Baptist Baseball Coach

Gray Ange, who has been at Silverdale Baptist Academy since for one year, is branching out. Tim Couch, Silverdale’s athletic director, announced Monday that Ange has been selected as the Seahawks’ new baseball coach. Ange succeeds Jonathan Adcock as the Seahawks baseball coach. Adcock, who resigned in July, remains at the school and teaches math. Ange has served ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Gets First Volleyball Win For Brian Wood

The East Hamilton Lady Hurricanes had lost two tough district volleyball matches to start the season, but new coach Brian Wood had complete confidence in his team prior to Monday’s non-district match at Silverdale. Turns out the veteran coach knew what he was talking about as the Lady Canes beat the Lady Seahawks in three straight, winning by scores of 25-22, 25-17 and 25-20. ... (click for more)