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


Domestic Violence And Lost Focus

As a past victim of domestic violence, I am acutely aware of how serious this problem is. I am sorry that the Stone family has to have their personal drama played out to the world at 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00 every evening.   While the public is being entertained by the drama of all this, the real problems in this city are not getting the attention they deserve.  The shootings ... (click for more)

Memorial Day

I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Memorial Day has always been a special holiday to me since I was born on Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day (May 30) before we started celebrating on the last Monday of May; prior to 1971 it was always celebrated on May 30.   My grandfather, who was a WWII veteran shot while on Iowa Jima, always ... (click for more)

Carmody Found Guilty Of First-Degree Felony Murder; Sentenced To Life In Prison

Patrick Carmody was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom on Friday. He was charged with the slaying of 21-year-old Chance LeCroy on Sept. 9, 2010. The state’s account of the incident claimed that Carmody, Ronald Pittman, and Billy Bob Partin traveled ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Holding Girl In Chattanooga For Several Months As Sex Slave

Two Chattanooga men have been charged by federal authorities with kidnapping a young girl in Atlanta and holding her for several months in Chattanooga, where they hired her out for sex for money. Corrie Gillispie and Willie Watkins are charged with conspiracy, kidnapping and sex trafficking. Gillispie, 40, is also known as Big Tyme, Chattanooga Tyme and Profit Tyme.. ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats GPS Again For Second Straight D-II Title

MURFREESBORO – Baylor coach Kelli Smith was feeling no pain here at the Starplex Field No. 3 Friday afternoon after her team had beaten GPS for its second-straight D-II state softball crown, but that wasn’t the case late Thursday night. Smith, who now has two state titles as a Baylor player and eight as their coach, spent more than three hours in the local emergency room, only ... (click for more)

Silverdale Topples Meigs, 6-0, To Force Second Game For Class A Softball Title

(Story will be updated) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Silverdale wanted a rematch with Meigs County. They got it Friday afternoon. The Lady Seahawks, who lost 3-1 to the Lady Tigers to open the Class A state softball tournament, fought back through the loser’s bracket and made the most of their second chance. Silverdale (42-4) scored six unearned runs – the outburst ... (click for more)