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


Arnold Palmer Was A Great Role Model

Roy, thanks for an amazing tribute to Arnold Palmer. I grew up in Pennsylvania in the 60's and 70's and Arnie was one of my early heroes. I never had the pleasure to see him in a tournament. My Dad saw him once. Arnold is the epitome of a great role model when it comes to athletes. Tom Watson is another hero of mine as well. Arnie brought class and dignity to the game. He was ... (click for more)

Hillary Or Trump?

I do not accept simply asking myself which candidate would be best for me and my family when deciding which one I will vote for.  That is because I do not believe 100 percent of what either of them says.  Instead, I ask how each will go about setting policies, reaching goals and making decisions.  Hillary has made it clear that only she has the knowledge and experience ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Smart Running: Vradenburgh, Boyd Win Again

There’s a lesson to be learned for those young folks who choose cross country as their sport in the fall:  It’s impossible to win a race in the first mile, but you can surely lose one in that same space. As anyone with much running experience can verify, the fastest person doesn’t always win.  Running smart and using a tactical approach with planned pacing often produces ... (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)