Gobble Says "Recklessly Accused Of Wrong-Doing" By Newspaper Editorial Writer; Defends Administration

Saturday, February 2, 2013

East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble claimed Saturday he was maligned in an opinion column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The column recommended that Mr. Gobble be fired. The issue of the Gobble contract is due to come before the East Ridge City Council on Thursday night.

Mr. Gobble said, "Today, top-level city staff in East Ridge were recklessly accused of wrong-doing in a Times Free Press editorial opinion piece by Drew Johnson without the true facts.

"The complete records, audits, back-up documentation and budget prove we operated within policy guidelines and the law.

For instance, purchases such as a coke and candy bar were made while on legitimate city business and were in place of full meals or more per diem to which the employee would have otherwise been entitled, saving the city money. This is all documented and proven.

"All hiring practices are within guidelines and no personnel policy or procedures were violated. This can be proven.

"Community Center and McBrien Elementary expenditures are appropriate and for official city purposes. This can be proven.

"Occasional directors, chiefs working lunch meetings with legal counsel and others are clearly justifiable and for official purposes and within credit card use policy guidelines.

"The city manager is a legal resident of the city of ER pursuant to the terms of his contract. He pays rent in ER for an apartment just like 47% of other residents, votes in ER and has a drivers license with his residence listed by the state as East Ridge. His family resides in Cleveland pending the sale of his residence and his daughter finishing high school. He regularly attends church in Cleveland. By contract, he may drive his city provided vehicle for limited personal use. The council is fully informed and aware of the city managers family residence and church situation. There is no contractual requirement for his family to live in East Ridge. The city manager does reside in ER and has been for nearly two years with the council's support.

"As far as the city code being on the MTAS website, the Administration and Finance Department made the decision not to pay MTAS $200 to put a code up that was outdated with wrong information by over a decade. The new codification process was underway and it saved the city money by not paying the $200 until the updated version was ready in a few months. There was no conspiracy by staff to keep anyone in the dark about any code. All codes have been followed to every reasonable possibility by every city employee to our knowledge.

"Bottom line: city staff is doing the job appropriately and within policy, procedure and the law. Since Tim Gobble became city manager, the city has gone from a $600,000 General Fund deficit to a $917,000 General Fund surplus and spent 15% less than budgeted to spend last year, a testament to good management. The city is in the best overall financial condition it has been in for the last 20 years.

"City staff looks forward to addressing each false reckless allegation made by Drew Johnson, line by line and has documentation, receipts, audits, budgets, policy guidelines and other documentation to prove we do things right."


Garage Destroyed By Fire In Harrison Area Monday Morning

Fire destroyed a garage in the Harrison area Monday morning. An off-duty Hamilton County Sheriff’s officer called dispatch a t  8:45 a.m. ,  reporting a garage fire at 6435 Hunter Road.  The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and reported heavy fire pouring out from the back of the extended garage and through the roof. Firefighters worked ... (click for more)

Jered Shoemate, 33, Arrested During Superbowl Weekend RIID Saturation

While working the Superbowl Weekend RIID Saturation on Sunday night, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies observed a Nissan Maxima driving near the 2800 block of McCallie Avenue after which it proceeded to enter the Brainerd Tunnel the wrong way. Deputies immediately tried to stop the vehicle. The driver did not comply and a pursuit ensued, which continued down Brainerd Road ... (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars - And Response (2)

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Greenholtz: A No-Brainer

I am going to make this as simple as I possibly can. There are three fine lawyers now running for Criminal Court Judge and anywhere you go there will be people who like and admire Tom Greenholtz, Boyd Patterson and Mike Little. But when we select a judge, it should never be based on popularity. That’s why Gov. Haslam picked Greenholtz over both Little and Patterson this summer to ... (click for more)

Red Bank Beats Pigeon Forge For A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions finally reached the mountain top as far as high school wrestling is concerned. The Lions had finished second to Bradley in the State Duals back in 1995 and it had been 16 years since the Lions had been involved, but they put an exclamation point on a strong dual-meet season by winning the Class A-AA title here at Williamson County Agricultural ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)