More Money Expected To Be Added To City Paving At Request Of Several Council Members

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
City Council members Carol Berz and Russell Gilbert with Mayor's Chief of Staff  Travis McDonough
City Council members Carol Berz and Russell Gilbert with Mayor's Chief of Staff Travis McDonough

More money is expected to be added to the city paving budget after several City Council members said $1.7 million is not enough.

Travis McDonough, the mayor's chief of staff, said the administration will take another look at the paving item and indicated the amount will be upped.

Vice Chairman Chip Henderson said he would like to see $3.5 million. 

Councilman Ken Smith said he wants $5 million.

Chairman Yusuf Hakeem cautioned, "I'm asking myself are we taking it away from the needs and concerns of the people?"

Councilman Smith said, "There is not a day goes by that I don't get half a dozen requests about paving. If I'm out in the public, it's a whole lot more."

He said that "going eight years with less than $2 million a year for paving" has left the city streets in bad shape.

Vice Chairman Henderson said, "I'm getting killed on the paving issue. I can't go to church without being asked about roads."

Chairman Hakeem responded, "If it is going to be between roads and the people, I'm going with the people."

Councilman Jerry Mitchell also urged more money for roads if at all possible. He said, "I would like Mr. (Andrew) Kean to try to find some money for roads."

The council also focused on a request from Independent Auditor Stan Sewell for a 16.5 percent budget increase.

He said the rest of his budget is flat except for adding to the line item for consultants and adding a new auditor who will focus entirely on sewage treatment and stormwater items. He noted the city is under a $250 million consent decree on cleaning up local streams, and he said the Moccasin Bend Treatment Plant has a $70 million annual budget of its own.

Chairman Hakeem wanted to know, "who is going to monitor the monitor?" Mr. Sewell said he is confident that the new auditor would not be bought off by a contractor.

The administration is asking for a vote on the budget next Tuesday and then a second-reading vote the following Tuesday. 

  


Hatch, Alexander Announce Legislation To Repeal Employer Mandate

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander introduced the  American Job Protection Act , a bill to repeal Obamacare’s "job-killing" employer mandate. Under the President’s health law, businesses with 50 or more equivalent employees are required to offer health insurance of minimum ... (click for more)

Bradley, Monroe County Men Charged With TennCare Fraud

Two people are charged with TennCare fraud in separate indictments in Bradley and Monroe counties.   The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the following arrests:   Richard L. Brockman , 48, of Cleveland, charged with seven counts of doctor shopping for prescription drugs using TennCare benefits.  He is also charged with seven counts ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Magic Bank Account

As the month of January is almost out the door, I am opening my email today to share a marvelous story that legend has it was printed on piece of paper found in Bear Bryant’s wallet when he died in 1983. While I don’t know that the famed Alabama football coach had this lesson in his wallet, chances are he might have if he’d read it. * * * THE BANK ACCOUNT & RULES Imagine ... (click for more)

Mercer Edges UTC Men in OT 75-72

A free throw. A turnover. The simple bounce of a ball one way or the other. The Chattanooga Mocs just ended up on the losing end of a 75-72 overtime decision at Mercer. The Mocs fall to 14-8, 7- 2 in the Southern Conference, while the Bears improve to 12-10, also 7-2 tied for second a game behind Wofford. Casey Jones had career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Greg ... (click for more)

Abbott Fuels Late Rally, Sale Creek Trips Whitwell, 68-57

Hayden Abbott, one of several Sale Creek basketball seniors honored between games Thursday night, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to key a fourth-quarter comeback and lead the District 6-A regular season champion Panthers to a stirring 68-57 victory over the gutty Whitwell Tigers. “Hayden hit some big shots that got some momentum going for us, got the crowd back into the game and ... (click for more)