Catoosa Voters Extend SPLOST, Elect Kissner

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - by Mike O'Neal

Numbers were small but margins of victory were wide when Catoosa County voters went to the polls on Tuesday.

Of the county’s 41,790 registered voters, a total of 1635 — 3.91 percent — cast ballots in a countywide referendum regarding an optional sales tax.

 

SPLOST, special purpose local option sales tax, is a penny-per-dollar tax that funds capital projects and is either renewed or expires every five years.

Catoosans adopted SPLOST in 2004 and in 2009 and again this week extended this self-imposed tax by a greater than 7-3 margin with 1,193 supporting the referendum and 442 opposed.

Fort Oglethorpe residents had the opportunity to vote in two elections: the SPLOST referendum and a special election to fill the city council seat vacated by Councilman Eddie Stinnett’s death last November.

In his first race for public office Clay Kissner defeated veteran politician Judd Burkhart by nearly the same 7-3 margin of victory as in the SPLOST vote.

Mr. Kissner received 403 votes, 72.6 percent of ballots cast either in advance voting or on election day. 

Mr. Burkhart, who previously served on the council and as mayor, was the preferred choice of 152 voters.

Mr. Kissner said he wants to represent everyone living in the city and intends to run as an incumbent in the upcoming November election.

Mr. Kissner will be administered his oath of office at 2 p.m. this Friday and will attend his first council meeting the following Monday, March 25.

The newly elected councilman, a lifelong resident of Fort Oglethorpe, said revitalization of the downtown/LaFayette Road district is a critical need, as is supporting new and existing businesses.

Already scheduled for his first council meeting is a presentation of REFRESH Fort Oglethorpe’s masterplan for downtown (re)development.

The council is also expected to reconsider placing a referendum regarding Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages on the ballot this fall.

Last November, voters in Ringgold and the unincorporated areas of the county approved a referendum that allows such sales which left Fort Oglethorpe as the only part of the county that is “dry” on Sundays.

The decision by Fort Oglethorpe’s city council to not include a Sunday sales referendum on that November 2012 ballot has resulted in one de-annexation request for 42 acres of foreclosed property near the intersection of Dietz Road at Battlefield Parkway.

Officials with Northwest Georgia Bank asked that the property be removed from the city tax rolls because its sale is contingent on the possibility of seven-day-a-week sale of alcoholic beverages, either for onsite consumption or package sales.

County officials approved the de-annexation request, the city refused to discuss the issue, and the matter is being decided today by a vote in the state legislature. 

State Senator Jeff Mullis and Rep.Tom Weldon, in a jointly signed letter, stated, “We are duty bound to promote the best interests of the citizens of Catoosa County, which includes the local economy. 

“....Through the de-annexation of the 42 acres from the City of Fort Oglethorpe, opportunities are created and the clear directives of the citizens of Catoosa County are fulfilled as expressed in the November 2012 referendum.”

----

moneal2480@comcast.net


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALE, IAN TAYLOR 8452 EAST BRAINERD ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37421 27 Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE ALLEN, ANDRE ANTHONY 3407 GAIL DRIVE EAST RIDGE, 37412 27 Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE APOLINAR, KEVIN JOSE 1313 HIXSON PIKE APT3 CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Woman, 80, Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The victim was 80-year-old Joyce Burnett, who apparently died of smoke inhalation. She lived alone at the brick residence on Fisher Road. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. S tate arson investigators went to the scene. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)

Hall, Tull, Helton are Athletes of the Year

 A trio of outstanding athletes – a pair of UTC alums and a current Duke football star – will be recognized as “Athletes of the Year” at the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame dinner to be held March 2 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Former Southern Conference Female Basketball Player of the Year Taylor Hall is the female honoree, while UTC football All-American ... (click for more)

McCallie Wrestlers Take Third in State Duals

In a battle for third place in the TSSAA S-II State Wrestling Duals, it came down to the last match as McCallie’s Ryan Ward secured a 4-2 win as the Blue Tornado defeated MBA, 36-33 Saturday afternoon at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin. McCallie used three pins in the first five matches to lead 24-0, but MBA won six of the next seven matches to even the score ... (click for more)