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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, BRANDON ALEXANDER  7600 MEADOW STREAM LOOP CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (2ND) FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE DRIVERS TO EXERCISE DUE CARE --- BASILIS, JOB EMMANUEL  10445 SCENIC VIEW DRIVE OOLTEWAH, 37363  ... (click for more)

20,676 Cast Ballots In First 4 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first four days of early voting in Hamilton County, 20,676 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,900 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011, and it was 3,818 on Saturday. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030, 816 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, ... (click for more)

Where Is The Highway Patrol? - And Response

I am teaching my 15-year-old to drive in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. I have warned her of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit both as a hazard to herself and in terms of receiving a ticket. What a liar I am.  Have you driven on the local freeways and highways recently? I never see any highway patrolmen helping to reduce speeding or pulling over those who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Vol Is Worth $521,854

The definition for the term “fair market value,” this from the IRS tax code, “is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” So a recent article in Business Insider has just revealed a University of Tennessee scholarship ... (click for more)

UTC Defeats VMI, 30-13; Mocs Seniors Gain 34th Career Win

UTC junior running back Richardre Bagley rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns to lead the host Mocs to a 30-13 Southern Conference win against VMI at Finley Stadium before 10, 505 fans. "It's a huge confidence booster," Bagley said. "All credit goes to our great offensive line and receivers blocking down field. The coaches did a great job preparing us. Everyone ... (click for more)

Goetz Outlasts Huwe To Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner. It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes. Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly ... (click for more)