City Council Misses Opportunity To Correct Bad Decision - And Response

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The City Council has rejected the results of a successful petition to overturn benefits for homosexuals and unmarried heterosexuals. It missed an opportunity to correct a bad decision. Instead, its obstinate behavior will result in unnecessary costs related to putting the matter on a ballot when the issue could have been settled last night. Clearly, members of the City Council feel they are unaccountable to the voters who elected them. They seem irritated to be questioned about their decisions. This is a fight between elected officials and their constituents that did not need to happen. 

Perhaps it is time to look at recalling members of the City Council who support spending money on things the taxpayers do not want. The decision to provide benefits for unmarried city workers who shack up is both immoral and expensive. The timing of it is suspect, given the election of Chattanooga's first openly gay official. What's next in Chattanooga? Will the Council support gay marriage? Will they legalize marijuana?

Having thwarted the will of the people in a manner similar to the (thankfully) departed Littlefield, the City Council requires fundamental change. It is time for Chattanoogans to get more interested in electing officials who support our values. Let's keep the Council's feet to the fire and make sure this issue is not forgotten when the next election rolls around.  

I will not forget. 

Jim Nichols 

* * * 

I don't understand why the city is insisting on going forward with this. They spent a lot of time developing an ordinance that is so all inclusive, it includes an Achilles heel. The goal: provide benefits to same sex partners. The result: provide benefits to everyone. This is the old adage of, "if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."  

Marriage is currently defined on a state level. Why is the council trying to circumnavigate that? I think Councilman Anderson did a horrible bait and switch with the voters. If changing the definition of marriage was his main mission for running, he should have run for a state level representative and fought it on the appropriate level. Or he could have used his new position and media coverage to address the state legislature and get the definition changed. Maybe easier said than done, but his election to the council proves that these times are a'changin' 

Imagine the headline: Tennessee Acknowledges Same-sex Marriages from Out of State.  Then Mr. Anderson would have been triumphant in accomplishing the goal of providing benefits to same sex partners, not only in the city, but state wide. In all of the little cities and businesses! Instead, he and the council aimed small and missed big.  

The opposition now includes the religious right, who will opposed homosexuals anyways, and those who are concerned about expanding the city's financial liabilities. In a time when the city's pension plans are under great scrutiny, and the former employee's benefits having been recently cut, the second group is way too big to draw a line in the sand and then call them bigots. 

I suggest repeal the ordinance and head to Nashville. Go big or go home. 

Tim Giordano


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Enthusiastically For Patsy

I am enthusiastically supporting Patsy Hazlewood for the state representative seat for District 27. We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Patsy’s qualifications who is willing to serve us and the state in this position. Patsy is smart, competent, conservative and is a proven leader. Patsy’s experience includes working for and heading up the region for a large company. She ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $7 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Prep Football Practice Starts Today

Coaches barking instructions, players blocking and tackling, quarterbacks and receivers working on timing routes and error-free handoffs to fleet-footed running backs.   In the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the state it can mean just one thing. It’s time for Prep Football 2014.   Today is the first official day ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)