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

Saturday, February 02, 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website, the Administration and Finance Department made the decision not to pay MTAS $200 to put a code up that was outdated with wrong information by over a decade.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."


Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

First Protected Bicycle Lanes In Chattanooga To Be On Broad Street

Construction of the first protected bicycles lanes in Chattanooga will begin in Spring 2015 according to the Chattanooga Department of Transportation. The lanes will be downtown, going from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Aquarium Way on approximately .6 miles of Broad Street.   The street's current six through lanes will be reduced to four to make room for the bike ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)