East Ridge Vs. State Law

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Vote to violate state law or vote to not violate state law?  That is the question.
That is the decision that East Ridge City Council was faced with on July 25th.
Staff presented an ordinance to amend certain expenditures in the East Ridge budget of July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
 Councilman Gravitt had asked the city attorney to check with the Office of the State Comptroller for state requirements on the matter.

Mr. North had spoken to Mr. Queen in the Comptroller’s Office in preparation for the Thursday Council meeting. At the meeting Councilman Gravitt asked Attorney North to share what he had learned.  As Attorney North read the information that Queen sent him, he also passed copies to the council members.  To put it simply, if they approved the ordinance to amend the budget after the money is spent, our city is in violation of state law.  

The decision before East Ridge elected officials was very simple.  Not approving the ordinance would show a variance from the budget in our upcoming audit. Approving the ordinance would violate state law. The decision was entirely up to Council, since that is part of their responsibility.  

The city attorney, the auditor, and, most important, the state of Tennessee Office of the Comptroller advised our elected officials:   if this ordinance is approved it is a violation of state law.  Seems like a simple decision, doesn’t it?  Well, evidently not for Mayor Lambert and Council member Sewell.   Vice Mayor Bethune, Councilman Manning and Councilman Gravitt had no problem deciding to follow state law and voted to reject the ordinance.  Mayor Lambert and Council member Sewell could only manage to abstain from the vote. 

Really?  How hard is it to decide what is the right vote for the city of EastRidge? Do I vote to adhere to state law or do I vote to violate state law?  Mayor Lambert and Councilman Sewell need to reevaluate why they ran for office.   If their priorities have changed and they cannot put the city and citizens first, maybe they need to consider whether or not they want to remain elected officials.

Frances Pope


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Why To Vote Yes On Amendment One

I am still troubled about an editorial of several weeks ago on how women should not have to have government tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.  Today I saw the advertisement being shown in Chattanooga.  There are so many untruths in it that I can’t just sit by and do nothing.   The editor was misinformed about what the Amendment One actually ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)