Councilwoman Robinson Chides Grohn Over Benson/Defoor Comments

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

City Councilwoman Sally Robinson on Tuesday night chided District 4 City Council candidate Larry Grohn for his comments during a zoning case about incumbent Jack Benson and developer Ken Defoor.

Ms. Robinson said, "I find your statement inappropriate in this forum - the way you are calling into question one of East Brainerd's most respected developers and a councilman who has served that district for 12 years." . 

Mr. Grohn did not mention during his comments that he was running for the post.

Ms. Robinson asked him if he was.

Mr. Grohn told the council that Mr. Defoor has been the main contributor to Councilman Benson's campaigns. He asked that Mr. Benson not vote on the zoning issue and that he disclose all contributions "from the Defoor brothers and their family members."

Councilman Benson said, "A lot of good people have contributed to my campaigns, and I'm grateful for it."

Mr. Defoor said, "Under the Constitution, I have the right to support anyone I deem is qualified."

The council voted unanimously to support a zoning change to the Waterside development that is along I-75, Shallowford Road and Gunbarrel Road.

Mr. Defoor said the change adds more commercial zoning along the interstate.

He said there is still a plan to put residential along Gunbarrel Road, though exact plans are not worked out.

The developer said, "This project was supposed to take 7-8 years. It looks like it will be 5-8 years more. I will be 75 years old when it is finished, but I intend to finish it."

Tom Lawson raised the issue of flooding along Preston Circle, saying it has worsened since Waterside was started. He said his home has been flooded twice and he recently had water up to the patio.

Mr. Defoor said he was "very sorry" about the flooding, but he said, "My development has not contributed to the flooding, and I can prove that."

He said the new commercial zoning will drain toward the freeway.


Representative Tom Graves: We Must Do Everything Possible To End Human Trafficking

Representative Tom Graves issued the following statement after the House of Representatives agreed this week to 12 bills that combat human trafficking nationally and internationally:  “America should be a place of freedom and opportunity for all. Tragically, for human trafficking victims, it’s a place of oppression and despair. This horrific industry traps young people ... (click for more)

Agenda For Upcoming Red Bank Board Of Commissioners Meeting

Here is the agenda for the upcoming Red Bank Board of Commissioners meeting: I. Call to Order – Mayor John Roberts II. Roll Call – City Manager ___ Mayor Roberts, ___ Vice-Mayor Pierce, ___ Commissioner Causer, ___ Commissioner LeCompte, ___ Commissioner Pope III. Invocation – IV. Pledge of Allegiance – V. Consideration of the Minutes for approval or correction: ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)

Mocs Announce Changes To Men’s Track And Field And Cross Country Programs

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics David Blackburn announced the Mocs will no longer participate in men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and are limiting participation in men’s cross country after the end of the 2014-15 season.   “This was a very difficult decision,” said Mr. Blackburn.  “You never want to cut a program, ... (click for more)

Libby Peigen Named Soddy-Daisy Volleyball Coach

(Story will be updaed) Libby Peigen, daughter of Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen, has been named head volleyball coach at Soddy-Daisy, replacing Lorri Johnson. Peigen had been head junior varsity and assistant varsity coach at East Hamilton before taking over the Lady Trojans' program. She attended Lee University and played volleyball for the Lady Flames. The announcement ... (click for more)