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

Why The Big Money In District 1 School Board Race? - And Response (2)

With the influx of money from Lookout and Signal Mountains as well as the teacher’s union, one of my opponents has already been able to send out 3-4 mailers, two letters and a postcard. One should ask why would the “big money” people on Lookout and Signal Mountains care about a school board race in District 1? The only answer is control and they know they cannot control me. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)

County Schools Receive Community Gift For Almost $1 Million To Fund Public School Bible History Program

Bible in the Schools presented a community gift for nearly $1 million to the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to reimburse 100 percent of the costs of funding a Bible history program in 18 public schools for the 2015–2016 academic year. Enrollment data for 2015–2016 reported 3,582 students in grades 6–12 elected to take a Bible history classes. “This gift from the ... (click for more)

DA's Office Defends Suspended Sentence In School Bus Driver Rape Case

The District Attorney's Office defended a controversial suspended sentence in a rape case involving a substitute county school bus driver. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said the victim, who was 15 years old at the time of the March 2015 incident, was in agreement on the plea and refused to testify against Alexander Rodriquez. Rodriguez, 34, last Thursday pleaded guilty to ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)