City Council Declines To Repeal Domestic Partners Ordinance; Voters To Have Say In August; Petition Group Hits Decision

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The City Council has declined to repeal the Domestic Partners ordinance, setting up a vote on the issue in August.

City Attorney Wade Hinton on Tuesday night told council members that his office had reviewed the process in which there was a petition drive to overturn the ordinance. He said there were "no material deficiencies found."

He said the council had two choices - either repeal the ordinance or have the August vote.

Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem asked if any council member wanted to make a motion. No one did.

Chairman Hakeem said the finance office would be dealing with costs of the election.

The council earlier voted 5-4 to allow city employees with same-sex partners or live-in boyfriends or girlfriends to extend the benefits to the partner.

Charlotte Mullis-Morgan of the election office said it was too early to say what the city's cost may be. She said that is the only item from the city on the ballot thus far.

Mark West, who led a petition drive that gained enough signatures in a two-week period to get it on the ballot, said, "In failing to do so, the city council missed an opportunity to acknowledge the voices of approximately 8,000 Chattanooga certified voters (nearly half of the total votes that were cast in the previous mayoral election) and reverse their support of this highly unpopular and controversial ordinance. 

"As a result of the council’s inaction though, Chattanooga voters will now have the opportunity to have the final say on whether the city of Chattanooga should extend healthcare benefits to the non-employee girlfriends and boyfriends of city employees.

"During the two-week period in which we interacted with over 11,000 citizens who signed our Petition, we heard and witnessed a consistent strong and impassioned opposition to the city council’s Domestic Partner ordinance.  Citizens were not only eager to sign the Petition, in many instances they sought us out to pen their names.  Nearly every signature reflected a strong disapproval of the ill-advised decision of five Chattanooga city council members.  As a result of the sentiments expressed to us, we anticipate that there will be a continued groundswell of voters who will be eager to reject the ordinance in August 2014.”

He said, "CGAT will continue to lead the effort to educate and inform voters of the impact the unfair and destructive ordinance would have on Chattanooga.  For more information citizens are encouraged to go to www.ItsYourVoteTN.com to receive ongoing updates about the effort to reject the Ordinance at the ballot box.  They may also contact CGAT at 423-499-1284." 

.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, TINA MICHELLE  4900 BASSWOOD DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 44 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE --- ANFIELD, SKYE REDMON  1700 READ AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37408  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Response On U.S. Supreme Court Abortion Decision

In a 5-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court on Monday found women’s health provisions passed in Texas were unconstitutional. The case was Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Two provisions of the Texas law were challenged: admitting privileges for doctors and surgical standards. Reaction included: State Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) said, "Women's health ... (click for more)

General Bell: Chattanooga Needs The Coolidge Medal Of Honor Heritage Center - And Response (3)

I'm pleased and indeed compelled to let you know a bit more about the exciting and most honorable "Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center" planned for Coolidge Park.     Here's what the Heritage Center will be:  It will be a fitting capstone for Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Northshore in downtown Chattanooga.  While this exceptional Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pat Summitt’s Dash

In 1996 a woman named Linda Ellis wrote one of life’s most beautiful poems. Called “The Dash,” its first two verses read like this: “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end. “He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what ... (click for more)

Tim Couch Resigns As Silverdale Softball Coach

Tim Couch, who led the Silverdale Baptist Academy softball team to a runner-up finish in the 2016 TSSAA Class 1A state tournament, has resigned as the Lady Seahawks’ coach. Couch just completed his fifth season as the Silverdale coach – the Lady Seahawks went 42-5 -- and it was by far his most successful campaign. “This wasn’t an easy decision, but I’ve been thinking about ... (click for more)

Seventh Inning Rally Lifts Generals To 3-1 Win Over Lookouts

The Jackson Generals used a three-run seventh inning to defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts, 3-1.   The Lookouts won the first series of the second half, three games to two.. Lookouts starting pitcher Kohl Stewart was the story early for Chattanooga, shutting out Jackson for six innings. The righty got into trouble in the seventh by allowing a walk and a double. After ... (click for more)