Littlefield And Benson Can Ride Out Together

Friday, February 22, 2013

District 4 voters have new choices for City Council next term. Councilman Jack Benson, aka “Back Jack,” has ruled District 4 for 16 years.

During the early years, many thought that Benson was fair-minded and an independent thinker. During his last two terms, however, he has detached himself from the interests of “residents” and has developed tunnel vision concentrated on the best interests of his campaign donors and Mayor Littlefield.

Unfortunately, Littlefield was not a good role model and his campaign donors have selfish agendas that have nothing to do with the best interests of the residents of District 4.

Benson led the fight to keep the dreaded IHOP Pancake House off Gunbarrel Road. The proposed site was directly across the street from a shopping center housing Benson’s own business and Panera Bread. One would have expected the City Council person to be pro-economic growth, but Benson fought the growth “tooth and nail.” According to the newspaper article he wrote slamming the rezone, Benson said having an IHOP there would violate residential protections afforded by the city’s “land use plan.” In reality, residential property owners (including a friend of mine), who directly adjoined the site, supported the IHOP rezoning. Coincidentally, CBL (owners of Hamilton Place and the special interest group who significantly contributes to Benson’s campaigns) ended up being the winners, effectively blocking another competing business from coming to the area.

Why Benson felt compelled to orchestrate such a nasty war against the property owner of the IHOP is hard to fathom. According to documents filed with the court, Benson employed various tactics and violated the state’s Sunshine Law to stop the rezoning. The owner of the property who sought to rezone felt so abused by the process that he filed suit against the city, City Council and Benson personally. The taxpayer consequences have been costly. We who pay taxes are now paying attorneys to defend what was done by Benson and the City Council who followed his lead. Benson has been on City Council too long.

Any elected official that becomes convinced they can do no wrong needs to go. Littlefield and Benson can ride out together.

John Pierce


Thankful For The Relationship Between McCallie And Ridgedale Community

I would like to thank all the leadership at McCallie for allowing us to use the ROC for holding the Ridgedale annual Christmas party. It is very ironic that the initial meeting Patricia Rogers held to see about forming a community association in Ridgedale was held 23 years ago in December.  Miss Rogers' vision to end the decay and blight surrounding her and her mother was ... (click for more)

Never Has So Many Owed So Much To So Few

In the last two weeks our area has faced unprecedented tragedy, from the school bus accident to our local fires to the tornadoes and fires to our northeast. To our magnificent police, fire, first responders, state officials and FEMA employees, I can only repeat the eloquent words of Sir Winston Churchill in his response to the bombing of England by the Nazis to the RAF: "Never ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Red Cross Continues Tornado Relief In Southeast Tennessee

After tornadoes and strong straight-line winds moved through Southeast Tennessee on Tuesday evening, Red Cross mobilized more than 70 volunteers, provided shelter for displaced residents, and is working to ensure that emergency needs are being met for everyone who was affected.   “We are working very closely with our local Emergency Management Agencies and community partners ... (click for more)

Both CCS Teams Win By 24 Points Over Boyd-Buchanan

Chattanooga Christian basketball coach Eddie Salter holds some really tough practices with his Chargers and he expects them to transfer that high-energy to game day. It seemed to work on Thursday night as Salter’s Chargers raced to a 21-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as they improved to 6-1 with the impressive 64-40 non-district win over visiting Boyd-Buchanan. ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights Shines In Win Vs. Memphis East On ESPN2

Cousins Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sparked Hamilton Heights’ strong second half Thursday night as the Hawks pulled away to beat Memphis East 72-64 in a prep basketball game televised by ESPN2. Walker, a Virginia Tech signee, led the Hawks with a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half when he made four 3-pointers. Alexander, a Kentucky ... (click for more)