City Council Misses Opportunity To Correct Bad Decision - And Response

Wednesday, January 8, 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


Trump Needs To Come Run Hamilton County Schools

After shoveling through all the hyperbole, rhetoric, blustering, and noisy tantrums in the local news outlets this week, it's clear that no leadership involved with the darling Hamilton County School System knows how to manage things.    Why is building a new Harrison Elementary such a problem for people?  Word is that raw sewage erupts from restroom stalls.  Who ... (click for more)

Killing Public Education

Bill O'Reilly has gone on quite a killing spree. He has written books such as Killing the Rising Sun, Killing Reagan, Killing Patton, Killing Jesus, Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln. I think he should also write one called Killing Public Education.  Here is what is killing public education: A Culture of Disrespect is rampant in our schools. This can be created by a ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Woman, 45, Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   She was identified as  Dana Shunice Palmer, 45, of St. Elmo.   Ms. Palmer was booked into the Hamilton County Jail from the Chattanooga Police Department on Feb. 14 on a public Intoxication charge. She was transferred from the jail to CoreCivic ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Raising Rates At Money-Losing Walker County Landfill; Moratorium Placed On Fracking, Deep Well Drilling, Tiny Homes

New Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is raising rates at the money-losing Walker County Landfill. The higher charges go into effect on March 1. Mr. Whitfield, during his campaign, said the landfill had been losing about $500,000 per year for many years. He said other area landfills were making a profit, but Walker County was having to subsidize its landfill. ... (click for more)

Legendary Howard Coach Henry Bowles Dies At 80

Legendary Howard High Coach Henry Wesley Bowles, Sr., has died at the age of 80 after a lengthy illness. Coach Bowles was born in Chattanooga on Oct. 14, 1936. He graduated from Howard High School, class of 1955, and received his bachelor of arts degree from Lane College, Jackson, Tn. While at Lane College, he was student council president, business manager and Who’s Who among ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)