Petition Drive On Domestic Partners Goes Over The Top; If Approved By Election Commission Will Set Up August Vote; Group Gets Over 10,000 Signatures

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The petition drive seeking a vote on the domestic partners ordinance went over the top on the final day for turning in the names.

The successful citizen effort apparently sets up a vote on the issue for next August and holds the ordinance in abeyance until then.

The petitions must still be approved by the Election Commission, which would need to set the election.

Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, election administrator, said, "Anywhere from 6,000 to 7,000 people signed these petitions and there were a lot of people that worked really hard and put a lot of time to get these. We stopped counting at 171 names after the cutoff, because that was all that was needed."  

Mark West, petition drive leader, said Monday that over 6,000 names had been submitted to the election office. By Tuesday night, when he asked the City Council to repeal the ordinance, he said the group wound up with over 10,000 signatures.

No one on the council indicated there will be a revote. But several council members said they were dismayed by ill treatment toward those collecting the signatures.

Councilman Larry Grohn said when his wife was standing by Gunbarrel Road getting signatures that someone threw a can of soda at her.

Councilman Jerry Mitchell, who voted for the ordinance, said there was "no excuse" for actions toward the petition group.

Councilwoman Carol Berz, who also was in favor of the ordinance, congratulated Mr. West on the successful drive. She said, "This is truly democracy in action." She added, "I would fight for your right to do what you did. We should totally not tolerate poor treatment of those involved in it."

The total needed to force a vote next August was 4,469, which is 25 percent of the votes cast in the last city mayoral election.

The Election Commission had set a meeting for Wednesday morning, but she said that was called off because Chairman Mike Walden was not able to attend.

The ordinance, which grants health benefits to city employees with "partners", was approved by the City Council in a 5-4 vote.

Collegedale and Knoxville earlier passed similar ordinances.


Users Of New Riverwalk Section Can Use App For Trail Information, History

Users of the new Tennessee Riverwalk section between Ross's Landing Park and St. Elmo can use a mobile device app to get information and history about the trail. Dan Saieed, of the county development department, said a $49,425 grant was secured to cover the cost of the app. It will be developed by the Neo Tech firm and ready when the new section of trail by the Tennessee Riverwalk ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigate 6 Robberies, 20 Burglaries May 19-25

The Chattanooga Police Department investigated six robberies and 20 burglaries in the period of May 19-25. Robberies were at: 5420 BRAINERD RD 5/19/15 0:30 120 120 ROBBERY 4 37411 100 W 20TH ST 5/20/15 1:36 120 120 ROBBERY 1 37408 510 CENTRAL DR 5/21/15 23:00 120 120 ROBBERY 4 37421- 2200 Cleveland Ave 5/25/15 14:58 120 120 ROBBERY attempt 4 37406 1519 ... (click for more)

Erlanger Electronic Medical Records Purchase Doesn't Add Up - And Response

Erlanger has recently announced their decision to purchase a $100,000,000 Electronic Health Information System. Something smells. Erlanger's downtown campus has 760 licensed beds, according to hospital-data. That would equate to $131,578 per bed for this system (now that's a lot of ipads). Please re-read that simple math. I use to manage an Electric Medication Administration ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: General Boykin Helps ‘Warriors’

General W.G. “Jerry” Boykin is one of the most fabled warriors in modern-day warfare. He is also one of the most polarizing men who has ever served his country. General Boykin, retired after 36 years as a soldier, spent 13 years in the secretive Delta Force. At one time he commanded the Green Berets and was in one some pretty impressive engagements. In 1980 he was in on the ... (click for more)

Harris Leaves Tyner For Administrative Job At Dalewood Middle

Long-time Tyner Academy boys basketball coach Gerald Harris has resigned his coaching position to accept a job as assistant principal at Dalewood Middle School. Harris, 49, was offered and accepted the administration job last Friday and met with last year’s team on Tuesday to break the news to those players. “I’ve been coaching a long time and I’ve said goodbye before,” ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Giving With A Cheerful Heart

Recently a program was started called, "Dining Out For Life," benefitting people who are affected by HIV. Tonight  several local restaurants will be partnering with Chattanooga Cares to raise money to support the organization's nutrition assistance program. There is a big need for fresh fruit and vegetables and the funds raised this evening will go to support that need. ... (click for more)