Bradley County Commission To Form Ad Hoc Committee For School Funding Options

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - by Tonya Brantley

A motion to ask the chairman of the Bradley County Commission to form an ad hoc committee to come up with concrete options for possible funding of school requests and bring them back to the finance committee no later than the second meeting in August was passed during a voting session Monday evening.

Commissioner Mel Griffith pulled the original motion from the consent agenda which stated a date of the first meeting in May. However, he felt this was a possible ploy to raise taxes and that more time was needed to look at the budget. He said, “If this is serious attempt to do this, this is naïve. I don’t have a problem with taking another look if someone wants to, but let’s take a serious look. This is at the height of budget preparation. It is the very worst time of year to deal with anything like this. I think this needs to be done when this year’s budget has been adopted.”

Commissioner Adam Lowe responded saying, “I am one of the co-sponsors of this and I’m up for discussing it. I think we can all agree that Lake Forest Middle School needs to get done. I’ve advocated looking at budget in detail. I think this is an honest opportunity to look at items in the budget and determine if certain ones are more important. I feel with some hard decisions, we can do this without a tax increase. Could I be wrong? Absolutely I could be wrong, because I am one of 14 and I can’t make hard decisions on my own.”

He went on to say, “I’ve tried to be as diplomatic as I can possibly be with the school board, this commission and my fellow finance committee members with saying let’s all develop a plan which we can agree on that is passable by this commission in order to address our needs. Mr. Griffith said that he feels down the road that this could be addressed. I feel that is a valid point worthy of discussion. However, the school board and director of schools disagree with that, and I think that is also a valid point. I think that you got to have a forum that can come together and look at the hard facts. All I know to do is to put a panel of folks together who are willing to get elbow deep in this and figure out if there are ways to fund it. I do not necessarily object to the timing issue. But I do not think this is a ploy or to find an excuse to raise taxes.”

In other business, a resolution to support HB 230/SB 731 to limit annexation within the amended growth plan by referendum only and not by ordinance passed unanimously. The proposed legislation would give landowners in Bradley County input and vote on any proposed annexations within the growth plan of any city located in the county and would prevent annexations without the majority approval of the affected landowners. As of now, Tennessee is one of three states that do not do this.

A resolution to request that Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly support the passage of legislation to amend TN Code Annotated 33-7-301 relative to costs of mental health evaluations and treatment for individuals charged with misdemeanors by supporting HB 174/SB 180 limiting charges to counties for mental treatment to eleven months and twenty nine days also passed 12 to 1. Commissioner Ed Elkins voted against the resolution saying, “Not only does this not do what we ask for, it doesn’t give any relief at all.”

A resolution to be sent to the city of Cleveland requesting to honor all final and preliminary plats as approved by the county building inspector in annexed areas also passed unanimously.

The Bradley County Commission will hold its next work session meeting on Monday at noon.


Work Set To Start On Miracle League Field At Warner Park In April

A Miracle League field for Chattanooga is finally set to get underway in April. Greta Hayes, who oversees city recreation, said the field should be completed in about three months. It will be at Warner Park where there is now an open area near other ball fields. Ms. Hayes said scheduling of the games will be run through the city. She said the field will be available to ... (click for more)

City To Carry Out Green Infrastructure Demonstration Project In Highland Park

The city is planning a green infrastructure demonstration project in Highland Park, including a make-over of Anderson Avenue. Thomas Brothers Construction Company has the contract for the $1.9 million project. Chris Palmer of Jacobs Engineering said it is a required project under the city's Consent Decree ordered by the EPA related to sewage overflows. He said it will include ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)

Red Bank Stays Unbeaten With Romp Over Hixson

Mandi Munn has been around a lot of Red Bank softball in her life, both as a player and now as the head coach for the Lionettes, but she probably hasn’t been involved with many games like the one her team played at home Tuesday afternoon. Facing the Hixson Lady Wildcats in a District 6-AA contest, the Lionettes more than batted around in three of their four at-bats and they took ... (click for more)

Bradley Holds Off Ooltewah 3-2 In District 5-3A Play

(Story will be updated) Bradley Central’s Logan Newberry shut down Ooltewah for five innings on Tuesday, and was working with a 3-0 lead going into the sixth inning. The Owls rallied for two sixth-inning runs to make things interesting. Then Newberry turned the game over to the Bears’ right-handed reliever Colton Cross. Ooltewah put the tying run at third base ... (click for more)