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

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)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (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)