Andy Berke's mayoral campaign to ruin the city of Chattanooga is a Hobson’s choice that should leave any citizen with a sober mind sick at the thought of him becoming mayor. In other words, this election is rigged to put it mildly, and bought and paid for to put it frankly.
When I say Berke’s election is a Hobson's choice, I mean it’s a free choice in that only one option is really offered. I know very little about Guy Satterfield as a choice for mayor, but I do know his raising only $1,800 of his own money to run for mayor is no match to Berke’s $665,000.
On the other hand, I do know Chester Heathington who has run for every office on the books just to get his name out there, and he doesn’t even have $18 for his campaign.
As a citizen of Chattanooga you may refuse to take none of the three options, and I encourage you to do so. However, now the choice is between taking Berke as an option or not; it’s like "take it or leave it."
The phrase Hobson’s choice originated with Thomas Hobson who was a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England during the 16th century. He would rotate the use of his horses, and he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all.
This mayoral election in Chattanooga in 2013 is one of the biggest tricks I have seen in my life played on the citizens of Chattanooga, and I put myself at peril to write these words, knowing how vengeful politicians can be if you crossed them. Moreover, I must come forth even at my peril to call this what it is — a shame of a sham.
What’s the solution? We must boycott the March 5 elections. That way we will be able to recall Berke if he turns out to be jerk.
* * *
Please vote. If I recall correctly, we have more than 100,000 registered voters in this city. Only 15,000 to 17,000 have voted in recent elections.
We need to boycott not only the mayor but also the dictatorial government we have been subjected to for the past eight years. Too many citizens who are lucky enough to have a job do not have the time or opportunity to follow this public opinion news source or the newspaper during all hours of the day and learn how precarious the financial position is that we taxpayers are in, and shall continue to be in, for years to come just to pay off the debts this mayor and council have heaped upon us. We are learning daily about many of those debts which have been swept under the rug either on purpose or through carelessness or ignorance, as well as all of those new ones the mayor and council incurred despite the will of the people. Evidence is in the news every day. There is another word for cronyism. It is "favoritism." That word has legal implications in appointments and hiring. Favoritism is prohibited in government or in any other entity receiving taxpayer funds.
Guy Satterfield knows from experience where the dirt is in this city, how long it has been there, who is responsible for depositing it, and what it will take to legally and officially clean house. All he needs is for us to give him the job, the tools, and the authority on election day. He doesn't require a suit and tie, a podium, or a press conference to do this kind of work.
Have you done your research to find out about those two revisions to our city charter on the ballot in the upcoming election? If not, please do so. You will find some interesting nuggets there. Ask yourself why so many amendments to our charter have suddenly become necessary the past several months. If you still have questions after factoring in trust and confidence, vote no on both. No one is going to jail if nothing happens....but we all will be the wiser.
Leave the Tivoli and Memorial Auditorium alone. They belong to the people. Either or both of them could possibly be listed on the National Register of Historic Places if they have not been neglected and trashed to such extent that their structural integrity and interior modifications would prohibit it. Any name change may prohibit it.
As I recall, a significant expenditure was required to restore the pipe organ at the Auditorium some years ago. As I further recall, Missy Crutchfield requested and received a significant sum in the past budget to replace seats and perform other renovations to make it something we could be proud of. She planned to sell the old seats. If that happened, how much did she receive for them and where did the money go? I now am wondering whether her current solicitation of bids for renaming both venues is to recoup the receipts heist she knew about by her employees at the Tivoli, and an attempt to make points with the taxpayers for allowing an employee to pay his relatives with taxpayers' money for "contract" work at the Auditorium.
These two treasures must be in the hands of responsible, knowledgeable, dedicated overseers, preferably government, but private if our government will not provide better than we have now. The public should demand it. I hope Vance Fry will take the initiative in causing this to happen as he so ably represents the soldiers and sailors for whom the Auditorium is named.
Remember to go to the polls on March 5 and cast your valuable vote after researching every source possible to get the best value for your investment. Not one of us is as dumb, incompetent, or irresponsible as too many politicians like to surmise.
* * *
I am not from Chattanooga and I will not retire here, but from what I have gleaned during my stay Guy Satterfield is your best choice for Mayor; that is if you want real change and real services from your next leader and not more political spin, doublespeak, and cronyism.
Of course, I fully expect the locals to vote for the politician Berke just because the powers that be told them to do so. Stupid is as stupid does.