Bradley County Commission Approves School Board Action On Liquor Tax Dispute

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - by Tony Eubank
Attorney James F. Logan addresses the Bradley County Commission
Attorney James F. Logan addresses the Bradley County Commission
- photo by Tony Eubank

The Bradley County commission on Monday night passed a measure to support the actions of the Bradley County Board of Education concerning the liquor by the drink tax debate. The county and the Bradley County school board both agree that the school system is owed half of the monies collected via the liquor by the drink tax.

Since the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland city school system dispute this claim, the commission has been cooperating with the Bradley School Board members in their plan to resolve the issue. The commissioners, having waived any conflict of interest with the Bradley school system, made it possible for Bradley schools to hire law firm of Logan-Thompson, P.C to represent them in negotiations with the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland City School Board over the estimated $700,000 that is possibly owed to them. Should negotiations fail; the Bradley County School Board will pursue further legal action.

Attorney Jim Logan updated the commissioners on the Bradley Schools system’s latest discussions on a county vote to approve liquor by the drink in the county at large, but that he didn’t believe that this would be effectual. Attorney Logan told the board that he felt that the school board resolution, which is up for a vote on Thursday, is the best course of action.  Attorney Logan said that even though the law does not set out in explicit terms how the tax funds should be distributed, that about 67% to 69% of children in Bradley County attend Bradley County schools. This includes a large number of students living within the Cleveland city limits. 

Commissioner Jeff Morelock questioned whether or not the commission needed to vote on this at all and expressed concerns that a possible lawsuit would be unpopular with the community at large.  Attorney Logan said the commission has a stake in the results, as it will influence future budgeting for the county. Attorney Logan also said that the legal action that would be taken is not intended to find wrong doing on the part of the city of Cleveland and to seek damages, but that they would in fact be seeking a ruling that would clarify what the best course of action would be. “We’re not asking the judge to say they’re wrong, we’re asking them to tell us how to do this,” said attorney Logan.

The commission voted unanimously to support the school board future actions and to give it the authority to act as the main agency, by a vote of 11-0, with commissioners Bill Ledford, Connie Wilson, and Adam Lowe being absent.

The Board also approved a resolution to support an amendment to state law allowing counties having a population between 98,900 to 99,000 to use monies collected in excess of one million dollars for purposes other than waste management.

The board also approved a motion to give retired k-9 handler, Deputy Johnny Stokes the dog that he handled, as it is time for the k-9 to be retired as well.

It was also announced that Bradley County Trustee Mike Smith has released a schedule for satellite property tax collection locations. The locations include Waterville, Oak Grove, and Hopewell elementary schools and the Bradley Square Mall. All of the locations will be open from 9 am until noon.



Chattanooga Radio Icon Earl Freudenberg Gives His Last On Air Words

Chattanooga radio icon Earl Freudenberg has retired after nearly 55 years.    Friday was the last day for the longtime radio host known to many fans as "Hey Earl." (click for more)

Retired Police Chief Freeman Cooper Awarded Top Law Enforcement Honor

The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police held its 2016 Annual Conference in Chattanooga.  This year’s Joe Casey Award went to Retired Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper. The award was presented by TACP Past President and Retired Metro Nashville Police Chief Joe Casey to Chief Cooper in the company of police chiefs and dignitaries from across the ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)

McColley Scores 4 TDs As McCallie Crushes Blackman, 49-10

Senior running back Shawn McColley struck early and often Friday night, scoring McCallie’s first four touchdowns and propelling the Blue Tornado to a 49-10 rout of Blackman at Spears Stadium. Once the game started at 8 p.m. – there was a 30-minute lightning delay – the Blue Tornado needed just 60 seconds to get on the scoreboard. McColley did the honors from 10 yards out. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Beats Tyner In Weather-Delayed Game, 25-7

The Tyner-Notre Dame football game finally ended early Saturday morning. After enduring a so-called weather delay that sent the two teams to their dressing rooms for almost two and a half hours, the home-standing Irish improved to 2-0 with the 25-7 non-district win at Notre Dame. Sophomore kicker Andy McMeen squibbed a line-drive kick 35 yards for a field goal with 2:10 ... (click for more)