Cleveland City School Board Refutes County Claim On Liquor Tax Revenues

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - by Tony Eubank


The Cleveland City School’ Board on Monday night rejected the claims from the Bradley County Commission and Board of Education that the city of Cleveland owes in the area of $700,000 in liquor by-the-drink tax funds to the Bradley County School system. 

Director of Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff reported to the board that the Bradley County School Board has hired Attorney James Logan to represent it in the procurement of the said funds.

“If they wanted liquor by the drink in the county, they should have voted it in like the Cleveland city residents did. It is very clearly written that the liquor tax collected from within the city stays within that city school system,” Dr. Ringstaff said.

He added, “Only counties with no city schools systems can get that money.”

Dr. Ringstaff said since the two school systems share the same attorney, Chuck Cagle, that if the board deemed legal representation a necessity it would need to hire an additional attorney, like the county already has. Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen said he did not think that the board should get involved since the letter of the law appears to be on its side. Dr. Dirksen added that he is also opposed to hiring an attorney if it is not needed because, “Why spend money that we don’t need to spend.”

The state of Tennessee official website states the following concerning the distribution of the funds collected via the liquor by the drink tax, “State law (Tenn. Code Ann. Section 57-4-306) requires the Department to distribute half of liquor by the drink tax receipts to Tennessee's general fund for education purposes. The law further requires the Department to send the other half of the liquor by the drink money to the localities where the taxes were collected.

"With respect to the liquor by the drink revenues that are distributed to the municipalities where the taxes were collected, state law requires those recipients to make further distributions of those funds in certain circumstances. According to state law, cities that do not operate their own school systems separate from the county are required to pay half of the liquor by the drink funds from the state to the county school fund.

"The Department does not oversee the distribution of liquor by the drink taxes after it disburses the funds to local governments. The Department generally has no oversight responsibility with respect to local government finances. The Department believes it has appropriately distributed the liquor by the drink taxes as required by law.”

The board also heard a proposal from Cleveland High seniors Austin Herink and Jonathan Terraro. The two students presented a plan to build a Raider Walk, a stadium entrance for the schools football team, as part of a project for their Leadership class. 

The plan is to create a walkway on the hill leading into the football field with monuments commemorating each of Cleveland High’s four state championship teams. The board approved the plan, with an estimated completion to be set for the fall of 2014. 

Dr. Ringstaff commended the two students for their vision and the senior leadership class as a whole, stating that many good ideas have sprung from the course, including the Cleveland High Raider statue. 

The Board recognized the employees of the month from Cleveland High School, bookkeeper Pam Geren and assistant principal Cliff Eason.  

The board also approved a resolution on buses, asking the General Assembly to eliminate or increase the caps on school bus mileage and age to enable districts to run them as long as they are safe and passing inspections conducted by the Department of Safety.

 




HCSO Issues Narcan To Personnel To Protect Against Accidental Fentanyl Overdoses

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has launched a program to protect deputies who might come into contact with fentanyl.  The Sheriff’s Office is one of the few law enforcement agencies in this area issuing Narcan to its officers. In powder form, Fentanyl, a drug classified as an opioid, which can be absorbed through the skin and accidentally inhaled, and has become ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Issuing Narcan To Its Officers To Combat Effects Of Fentanyl

With a rise in use of opioids like heroin and fentanyl, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has launched a new program to protect deputies who might come into contact with fentanyl.  The Sheriff’s Office is one of the few law enforcement agencies in the area issuing Narcan to its officers.   Authorities said, "In powder form, Fentanyl, a drug classified as ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Mike Carter’s Genius

Mike Carter, who has just been chosen as the “Best Overall” member of the Tennessee Legislature by a group known as the Tennessee Forum and “Legislator of the Year” by Citizens for Home Rule, is truly both. A lawyer and then a Sessions Court judge for 8 ½ years, he is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term during next Thursday’s election and rightly so. While it is laudable ... (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)