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


Not Thrilled With The Parking Rate Increase

Mark your calendars for Sept. 1—the day the Chattanooga Parking Authority has announced it will raise parking rates around the city. In addition to the rate hikes, the Parking Authority will extend enforceable hours from 4:30-6 p.m.  and will include Saturdays as well. The Parking Authority has allowed for a learning curve, however, saying that during the month of September, ... (click for more)

Tell Congress To Protect AmeriCorps

In June, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved separate spending bills that would reduce opportunities for young people to serve their county, by cutting the AmeriCorps program, by as much as 34%.  These cuts mean half as many AmeriCorps members serving with local programs like Southeast Conservation Corps. These members build local trails, remove invasive ... (click for more)

Woman Seriously Injured After Plowing Into Rossville Boulevard Car Dealership Saturday Evening

A woman was seriously injured after plowing her vehicle into a car dealership on Rossville Boulevard on Saturday evening.   At approximately  6:49 p.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2818 Rossville Blvd. on an accident with injuries.   A blue vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed lost control.  The vehicle crashed ... (click for more)

Boy, 4, Struck By Vehicle Near Tunnel Boulevard

A four-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle near Tunnel Boulevard on Saturday afternoon. A t approximately 4:20 p.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 3400 Through St. on a c hild struck by a vehicle.  T he victim was conscious when officers arrived. He was transported to a local hospital. I nvestigators are continuing to compile ... (click for more)

Ellington, Bell Win First Running Of Jasper Highlands 5K

  JASPER, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Track Club introduced its newest race on Saturday as the inaugural running of the Jasper Highlands 5K was held high atop the Cumberland Plateau.   Advertised as “the most scenic community in Marion County,” Knoxville’s Stewart Ellington put his name on the list as the first winner by covering the rolling 3.1-mile distance in 16 ... (click for more)

Baylor Sweeps Two Nashville Teams In Volleyball Saturday

Volleyball teams from Brentwood Academy and Pope John Paul II have at least one thing in common on Saturday following matches with Baylor and GPS.  They both headed back to Nashville with a win and a loss as both beat GPS and both lost to Baylor. Baylor improved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in region play with Saturday's two wins, including a 3-1 verdict over Brentwood ... (click for more)