Vernon Liston Was A Treasure

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My mind goes back to somewhere in 2006 or 2007 at an East Ridge Council meeting.  I had taken the opportunity during citizens’ comments to speak, I don’t remember what my question or concern was that night, but I am sure it was about city finances, budget or policy.  After the meeting, a very dignified, soft spoken gentleman introduced himself and said “you did well in there, keep it up.”  That gentleman was Vernon Liston. 

Over a period of a few meetings we spoke about city finances and I learned what a treasure this man was.  We exchanged phone numbers and he said anything I can help you with, please call.  Little did he know what he was asking for.   

Vernon Liston was a true “numbers guy,” he knew the ins and outs of finance, he knew the right way to do things and what the numbers tell you.  I would file open records requests for copies of the financial reports, make copies and deliver them to Vernon.  Vernon was so kind and patient to educate me on what I was looking at and how to interpret the numbers as they related to the fiscal stability of the city. While my understanding of the finances of our city was on a very elementary, common sense level.  Vernon’s was a very advanced, educated, professional, high level of understanding.  With the vast difference in our education and experience, Vernon never talked down to me or made me feel that any of my questions were stupid or unimportant. He always explained in common terms how to understand what the numbers were telling us.  I learned so much from him and was always encouraged  to continue the fight to understand and hold government accountable.

I know that I am but one of many East Ridge citizens that was blessed to have the opportunity to get to know Vernon and learn from him.  East Ridge has lost a friend, a concern citizen, a brilliant man and a true gentleman.  May we all strive to carry on his love and commitment to our city.  

Rest in Peace, Vernon Liston. 

Frances Pope
East Ridge

Arnold Palmer Was A Great Role Model

Roy, thanks for an amazing tribute to Arnold Palmer. I grew up in Pennsylvania in the 60's and 70's and Arnie was one of my early heroes. I never had the pleasure to see him in a tournament. My Dad saw him once. Arnold is the epitome of a great role model when it comes to athletes. Tom Watson is another hero of mine as well. Arnie brought class and dignity to the game. He was ... (click for more)

Hillary Or Trump?

I do not accept simply asking myself which candidate would be best for me and my family when deciding which one I will vote for.  That is because I do not believe 100 percent of what either of them says.  Instead, I ask how each will go about setting policies, reaching goals and making decisions.  Hillary has made it clear that only she has the knowledge and experience ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Smart Running: Vradenburgh, Boyd Cross Country Winners Again

There’s a lesson to be learned for those young folks who choose cross country as their sport in the fall:  It’s impossible to win a race in the first mile, but you can surely lose one in that same space. As anyone with much running experience can verify, the fastest person doesn’t always win.  Running smart and using a tactical approach with planned pacing often produces ... (click for more)

Craine, Ribeiro Named SoCon Players Of The Week

Two University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football student-athletes were named Southern Conference Players of the Week, following the Mocs' 41-21 win over Samford on Saturday.  Seniors Derrick Craine and Henrique Ribeiro both earned recognition from the league office announced today. Craine rushed for a career-high 222 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns in the win. ... (click for more)