Fort Oglethorpe Residents Demand Answers, Recall Election

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - by Mike O'Neal

The overflow crowd attending the regularly scheduled Fort Oglethorpe City Council meeting Monday night expressed an alphabet soup of emotions.

Demanding. Embarrassed. Fed up.

Unlike recent council meetings which from opening to closing gavel have lasted less than 30 minutes, last night’s meeting lasted nearly four times as long. 

That was because one-by-one, a steady stream of residents and business owners stepped forward to address their elected officials during what the meeting agenda refers to as “citizens’ petitions and request.

Appeals and accusations, questions and comments all centered on the council’s decision Friday, March 22, to fire City Manager Ron Goulart, Chief of Police David Eubanks and Director of Public Works and Recreation Jeff Long.

Quoting her father, the late City Councilman Eddie Stinnet, Paula Stinnet  said, “If it ain’t right, don’t do it,” in admonishing the mayor and council for what she considered “a sad day” that was the result of “good ole boy” politics.

“Men such as these should not be allowed to continue their reign of ethical injustice in the guise of authority,” Ms. Stinnett said. “Within the first hour of an interim city manager being appointed he dismissed long-term employees — how, without coaching?” 

Where Ms. Stinnett called for the immediate re-instatement of those terminated by interim manager Harold Silcox at the behest of the mayor and a majority of the council members, others, including her mother, called for more: the resignation of three councilmen and the mayor.

Louise Stinnett, wife of the deceased councilman, was among those calling for the resignation of every elected official who supported Friday’s firings and like them, wore a badge emblazoned with the single word: recall.

To the council, Mrs. Stinnett said, “The public is ashamed of the fashion in which you represent us — you need to review your motives.”

To those in the audience, Mrs. Stinnett said, “Do not let these men run this city without your input.”

When the council recessed, and went into executive (closed door) session, Mrs. Stinnett said, “We’re going to keep working (for a recall election).”

The “we” referred to is a ad hoc group group that has a website, www.restoreforto.com. “managed by a group of concerned citizens ... committed to action by holding elected officials accountable and communicating regularly with concerned citizens” that intends to shepherd the public’s recall efforts.

After the meeting adjourned, Mayor Lynn Long was overheard to answer reporter’s questions by saying, “I will not resign.”

moneal2480@comcast.net


Man Shot In Knee On W. 38th Street; Won't Cooperate With Police

A man was shot in the knee on West 38th Street on Monday afternoon. Police said he would not cooperate with the investigation. At approximately 4:59 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 262 West 38 th for a person shot.  Officers located a 22-year-old black male suffering from a single gunshot wound to his knee.  The victim was transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

2 Brothers Arrested For Armed Robbery At Dollar Store

Two brothers have been arrested for the armed robbery of the Dollar Store on 23rd Street that took place on July 3.  According to police, Dominique and Trevor Casteel came into the store with pistols, demanding money. The two cashiers working handed them the tills from the cash register, and then they said the men put the money in a drawstring bag and fled.  Bandanas ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)

Prep Football Practice Starts Today

Coaches barking instructions, players blocking and tackling, quarterbacks and receivers working on timing routes and error-free handoffs to fleet-footed running backs.   In the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the state it can mean just one thing. It’s time for Prep Football 2014.   Today is the first official day ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)