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.


Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III Joins Group Of Attorneys General Urging Congress To Protect Religious Freedoms

Attorney General Slatery and 14 other state attorneys general have sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to take action to protect the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations following the decision of the United States Supreme Court in  Obergefell v. Hodges. The letter was prompted by comments U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made ... (click for more)

Witherow Charged In W. MLK Boulevard Rape

A Chattanooga man is being held on a $1-million bond after a woman told police he repeatedly beat her while raping her in public.  Richard Witherow, 46, of Chattanooga has been charged with one count of aggravated rape.  Police have charged Richard James Witherow with aggravated rape after a woman said she was raped along W. MLK Boulevard after meeting him at ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Gun Control? Accuracy!

When President Barack Obama responded to the tragic killing of nine people who were worshiping at their beloved Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he immediately blamed the gun, saying, “We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)