Bankston Getting Flood Of Complaints Over New Speeding Ticket Camera; Will Bring Issue Back Up And Vote No; Henry Also Switching

Thursday, February 20, 2014

County Commissioner Chester Bankston said Thursday he is getting a flood of complaints about a 5-4 vote to allow the sheriff's office to use laser video cameras to catch speeders and send them $50 tickets by mail.

He said he has decided to bring the issue back up next Wednesday.

"My butt's chewed up. This time I will be voting no," the District 9 commissioner said.

Commissioner Larry Henry had the same reaction, saying he is switching his vote.

He said, "We had a combined meeting with both the agenda session and regular meeting, and there was really not enough time to study this. With the agenda session, we have a week to get feedback from the community."

Commissioner Henry said he was attracted to the program because some of the funds were to be used for driver education for young people. But he said, "There's not enough revenue involved to have any kind of effective program."

He also said, "I have always been opposed to government surveillance, eavesdropping and any kind of invasion of privacy."

Commissioner Henry said, "We will probably take this out next week."

He said he tried to table the issue on Wednesday morning, "but they wanted to go ahead and vote on it." 

Commissioner Bankston said, "I have been hearing from too many constituents. I listen to my constituents."

He said residents feel the program is "fee grabbing" and that those who get tickets should have contact with someone charging them rather than just getting a ticket in the mail.

Commissioner Bankston said it was not too late to reverse the program. "No contracts have been signed."

Voting in favor on Wednesday were Commissioners Henry, Bankston, Greg Beck, Marty Haynes and Jim Fields.

Voting against were Tim Boyd, Warren Mackey, Joe Graham and Fred Skillern.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said the initial two cameras would be used mainly on dangerous narrow roads where it is unsafe to pull speeders over.

He said half of the revenue would go to the firm supplying the cameras, Applied Technology Partners. Of the $25 going to the county, half of that would be used to pay for young people who live in the unincorporated county to get driver's training.

 


Terry Marshell Smith, Jr. Arrested In Shooting Of 15-Year-Old On Taylor Street

Investigators have made an arrest in the shooting of a 15-year-old teen on Tuesday evening. Investigators arrested Terry Marshell Smith, Jr. 19. Smith was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possessing a firearm during a dangerous felony. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available. (click for more)

Drunk Man Drove Off In Crippled Vehicle After Crashing Into Parked Vehicles Downtown

Police said a drunk man continued to drive his crippled car after crashing into several parked cars downtown. In the incident at 3 a.m. Sunday, a deputy said he was at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Chestnut Street when he heard the accident. He then saw a gray Infiniti with heavy front-end damage driving at a high rate of speed through the intersection. He said the ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame In 7-AA Volleyball

 It didn't matter that the Chattanooga Christian volleyball team was on the road Tuesday night.  Who cared that they were playing one of their biggest rivals in District 7-AA in a loud and spirited Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium at Notre Dame High School. None of those factors came into play as the Lady Chargers were ready to play and the Lady Irish were not. The results ... (click for more)

Fulghum, Walker Power Soddy-Daisy Past Cleveland

Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans shook off an up-and-down performance in last weekend’s Early Bird tournament at Oak Ridge and throttled Cleveland, 3-0, in a District 5-AAA volleyball match Tuesday at Soddy-Daisy High School. The Lady Trojans (8-4, 2-1) swept the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15. Abby Walker and Karigan Fulghum combined for 30 digs and 18 kills to ... (click for more)