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


Process

My favorite TreeHugger once commented I'm a process sort of guy. One might suppose that's true, even though there are situations in which we must lower our center of mass to keep a firm base, lean forward, put our head down, grab a cheek in each hand and, like Teddy Roosevelt, scream "Charge! (but not with credit cards)" as we move forward con mucho gusto. However, unless one is ... (click for more)

City Pension Double Standard - And Response

Re: Chattanooga City Council OKs pension plan amendment 8-26-14 The Chattanooga City Council voted Tuesday to keep future retirees who are re-employed by the city from dipping into their current retirement while contributing to a new city pension. But first council members gave an exemption to two of their colleagues and one other city employee. Councilman Moses Freeman ... (click for more)

General Motors To Invest $185 Million In Engine Plant, Build New Cadillac SRX In Spring Hill

  General Motors will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex, officials said Wednesday.  GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-size vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill. “We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee,” Governor ... (click for more)

Reception Honors County's 2nd-Longest Serving Employee

General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, at a County Courthouse reception, asked anyone who was working at the courthouse in 1966 to raise their hand. Only Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson was able to do so. Judge Shattuck said he believes only Edna Camp of the Criminal Court clerk's office, has been at the courthouse longer. Ms. Thompson did not seek re-election, ... (click for more)

After String Of Injuries, Aliments Vols' Maggitt Ready To Play

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Come Sunday ,  it will have been 659 days since Curt Maggitt played a snap in a college football game, but that's not what he's concerned about. "It's four days from now," Maggitt said Wednesday. "That's what's most important. It's going to be emotional for sure. It's been a real long time since I've been out there and ran through the `T' actually suited ... (click for more)

Fulghum, Walker Power Soddy-Daisy Past Cleveland

Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans shook off an up-and-down performance in last weekend’s Early Bird tournament at Oak Ridge and throttled Cleveland, 3-0, in a District 5-AAA volleyball match Tuesday at Soddy-Daisy High School. The Lady Trojans (8-4, 2-1) swept the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15. Abby Walker and Karigan Fulghum combined for 30 digs and 18 kills to ... (click for more)