Pam Ladd Offers To Referee Latest Dispute Between Littlefield, City Judges

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

City Council Chair Pam Ladd said Tuesday night she is willing to step in and referee the latest dispute between Mayor Ron Littlefield and City Judges Sherry Paty and Russell Bean.

Judge Paty sent an email to the council members, saying the administration was moving ahead with a plan to convert the City Court Clerk's office to a paperless system, though the judges asked that the process not start until a new mayor can appoint a new City Court clerk.

Council members took up the controversy at the close of the City Council meeting, and Councilwoman Deborah Scott asked Finance Director Daisy Madison if the process could not start with another department.

Ms. Madison said it was, "but it's not my call. The administration sets the priorities."

Councilman Jack Benson said when a motion was made to approve a firm to move a number of city departments to a paperless system that council members recommended that the administration not start with City Court since the judges wanted to hold up. But he said the motion was advisory and "the mayor has the right to do as he pleases."

Councilman Andrae McGary asked Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett if the council could withhold funding for the project if it chooses, and he said the council could.

Councilman Peter Murphy said it made sense to start with City Court since he said paperwork from a number of offices - including the police and Neighborhood Services - wind up there.  

Ms. Ladd said she would like to see the administration and the judges sit down and try to work out a solution, and she said she would be glad to sit in on the meeting if necessary.

She said, "Let's see if they can resolve whatever concerns there are and get this moving."

Judge Paty said in her email to the council:

Dear Council Members,

I am forwarding an email and attachment regarding meetings that are being set up between Armedia and the City Court Clerk’s office. As you will recall, you approved this contract with Armedia with the understanding that City Court and the Clerk’s office would not be the first department to implement this initiative. It appears to be moving forward without our approval nor the approval of the Council. Judge Bean and I made it clear that we do not want to implement any paperless initiative until we have a new administration in place. We also stated that Armedia should begin with another department other than City Court since this company has never implemented a paperless initiative in a Court system. I wanted to make you aware of these meetings, since this is in complete disregard of the conditions upon which you approved this contract.

Sherry Paty

City Court Judge

She was responding to an email from Ken Hymes of the Armedia firm chosen to implement the process.

It said:

All, attached is the proposed interview schedule for the week of Feb. 25. We are planning to conclude interviews in an hour (or less). I’ve tried to arrange the schedule to fall within your standard working hours but with time set aside in the morning to “settle in” before we start! As was discussed earlier today, this schedule is flexible and can be modified to accommodate work schedules, prior commitments, etc. Please feel free to suggest appropriate changes that will allow us to canvas all the identified persons between Monday and Thursday. Once we get this finalized, I hope you can put these interviews on the calendars of each individual so the time is booked.

 

We understand we will have a room to interview in/work in that is inside the Court Clerks area, and we will bring our projector and hotspot to use that week.

 

Thanks in advance for your help with planning and scheduling the interviews and logistics! Looking forward to seeing you on Feb. 25. Regards,

Judge Paty said she and Judge Bean will be at Judicial Conference at the time their educational session was planned.

She said, "I am not opposed to the clerk's office going paperless, but it should not be started during this administration without a permanent City Court clerk in place."

Mayor Littlefield and the judges have clashed over a number of issues since Judge Paty accused the mayor of trying to interfere in her handling of a case involving a Hamilton Place Mall pet store.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERNATHY, GAVIN TREMYNE  613 CLARK STREET ATHENS, 37303  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County CONTEMPT OF COURT --- ATKINSON, JANISHA SHOLONTA  3210 BROAD STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Senate-Passed Bill Will Help Fight Zika, Keep Government, National Parks Open

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday voted for legislation that will provide $1.1 billion to combat the spread of the Zika virus, keep government and national parks open and fund Pell grants for college students. The bill will keep the government open through  Dec. 9 . Senator Alexander said, “Senate Democrats deserve no praise today for finally relenting and allowing ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Beats Red Bank On Senior Night

It was Senior Night at Signal Mountain on Wednesday as the Lady Eagles played their last regular-season volleyball match at home before they host next week’s District 7-AA tournament and all went pretty much as planned. It was a battle of regular-season district champions as the 6-AA queen Red Bank Lionettes provided the opposition for the 7-AA winning Lady Eagles. Signal ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA After Beating Notre Dame

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles took care of business at home Tuesday night as they swept visiting Notre Dame by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-19 to claim first place in District 7-AA with a 10-0 district mark and 30-8 overall. Audrie Johnson had 11 kills while Kate Barry added 17 digs and 11 assists.  Nicole Terfloth finished with 18 digs and three aces for the winners ... (click for more)