Bradley County Commission Votes 8-6 To Move Up Lake Forest Middle School Replacement By 1 Year Despite Warning From County Mayor

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Bradley County Commission, despite a warning from County Mayor Gary Davis, on Tuesday night voted 8-6 to move up by one year the work on a replacement school for Lake Forest Middle School.

The vote was to start paying off bonds on the school in fiscal year 2016-17 instead of what had previously been approved - fiscal year 2017-18.

County Mayor Davis said it was the first time in Bradley County history that a commission had committed bonds down the road before knowing the money was in hand. 

He said, "You are setting yourself up for a tax increase, and I won't be part of it."

Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones agreed, saying that due to commitments to such projects as Wacker, a veterans home and the LIC north and south projects that the first time bond funds come available for other projects is July 2017.

Joining her in voting no were Chairman Louie Alford, Ed Elkins, Mark Hall, Bll Ledford and Mel Griffith.

In support were newly elected Vice Chairman Adam Lowe, Jeff Yarber, Connie Wilson, Terry Caywood, Bill Winters, Brian Smith, Robert Rominger and Jeff Morelock.

Vice Chairman Lowe said the way Lake Forest was built was a mistake and its maintenance was costing millions of dollars a year. He said steps need to be taken as soon as possible to replace "an absolutely horrible school."

The resolution said proceeding with the bonds depended on first conferring with the county mayor and county finance director. But County Mayor Davis said the commission already had an answer from the two county officials - to hold up until July 2017.

He said for the first time in 15 years that some additional discretionary money may come available in upcoming budgets, but he said 40 county departments who have had their budgets frozen for years would be scrambling for it.

County Mayor Davis said there is a dire need to increase the county's rainy day fund from 12 percent of total funds to at least 15 percent. He said many other local governments are at a much higher ratio.

The vote was unanimous to return Mr. Alford for another year as chairman. Former Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber made the motion to name Mr. Lowe as the new vice chairman. He said he had been vice chairman for eight of his 12 years on the panel.

Commissioner Yarber said he objected to the way that Chairman Alford had appointed two commission members to an animal care ad hoc committee without conferring with other commission members or giving them a vote. He said one of the members should have been one of the three who was on the opposing side of the animal care vote (himself, Jeff Morelock and Brian Smith).

He also said he was upset that Chairman Alford set the group's first meeting for earlier in the day - before there could be a vote on whether the membership should change.

He said it all put him "at odds" with the chairman, who sits beside him on the dais.

Commissioner Yarber made a motion to put Commissioner Morelock in place of one of the Alford appointees - Commissioner Winters. The other appointee is Commissioner Peak-Jones.

However, most of the commissioners voted to keep the membership as is.

It was noted that there was no animal care committee meeting today after all due to a death in the family of Commissioner Winters. The first session will be Thursday.    


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, BLAKE AARON  206 TUNNELL BLVD CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VEHICULAR ASSAULT --- BARROW, JALAYCIAN  2709 CITICO AVENUE APT W1 CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: McCallie Takes 2-0 Soccer Victory Over Baylor

McCallie soccer gained a 2-0 victory over Baylor. (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: FBI To Study ‘Lickers’

About 25 years ago there was a terrifying movie called “The Silence of the Lambs.” It was so good it won the Academy Awards in all five categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. Further, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were brilliant, but do you remember the third “star?” Scott Glenn played a character named “Jack Crawford,” the ... (click for more)

Orange (Defense) Rallies To Beat White (Offense), 54-44

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  –  The White-clad offense put on a show in Tennessee’s spring football game on Saturday afternoon, but it was the Orange-shirted defense that took home the victory, 54-44, in front of an announced crowd of 63,016 at Neyland Stadium. Coach Butch Jones was impressed with the Vols' collective performance on Saturday compared to two years ago. ... (click for more)

Siblings Shine For East Hamilton Tennis

For East Hamilton tennis, it’s the new millennium’s version of the late 1970s TV sitcom “Eight is Enough” or the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours”. Three sets of siblings are represented on coach Michael Jackson’s teams from 1-7 in singles and all played and won  Friday  in district matches with Bradley Central. With no seniors on either team and both squads looking ... (click for more)