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

Tuesday, January 07, 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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLGOOD, KEVIN DEWAYNE     2001 E 12TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton County          FAILURE TO APPEAR BELL, MARCUS LAJUAN     2418 KIRBY AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton ... (click for more)

Knoxville Couple Injured In Motorcycle Accident In Cleveland Early Saturday Morning

Two people were injured early Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Cleveland. At 5:58 a.m a motorcycle operated by an individual identified as Dale Dockery, 48, of Knoxville, struck the concrete barrier on I-75 at the exit 20 off ramp. Mr. Dockery was headed southbound toward Chattanooga. He and his wife Karen, 48, were transported by Bradley County EMS to Erlanger. ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: O’Reilly’s Rant On Race

I don’t really care whether you like Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly but I strongly believe I must share an urgent transcript with you of what he said earlier this week. It’s been talked about on every network and it speaks boldly to the very heart of an American epidemic. Last weekend in Chicago 47 people were shot and five of them died. Black-on-black shootings have gotten ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Crushes Sacramento Gold 4-1; Advances To National Championship Game

Not only did they win, they won big.  The Chattanooga Football Club becomes the first team in NPSL history to play in three national championships.  CFC scored four unanswered goals Saturday to beat visiting Sacramento Gold 4-1.   Sacramento scored on a long shot by Jason Jones in the 13th minute to take a 1-0 lead.   Chattanooga would answer with two goals ... (click for more)

Stars Sink Lookouts Sunday, 8-4

Huntsville, AL --- The Huntsville Stars erased a 4-1 deficit late in the game Sunday and scored a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to comeback and defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts 8-4 at Joe Davis Stadium.  With the win, the Stars ended their season long five game losing streak. Recap Chattanooga starter Nick Struck who dominated the Stars over ... (click for more)