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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ATKINSON, LANDON JERMAINE  4300 EVERGREEN DR CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BONNER, DAVID MONTREL  1519 RYAN ST CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Corker Condemns Turkish Offensive In Syria

Senator Bob Corker, chairman  of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Monday released the following statement about the Turkish offensive in Afrin, Syria.   “Turkey’s capture of Afrin puts our hard-fought gains against ISIS at risk by drawing our local partners away from that fight.   “The administration should compel Turkey to stop its ... (click for more)

Remember The Full Story Of Toys-R-Us - And Response

It is always disappointing when any business is forced to close because of competition. Big box stores do this to smaller retailers every day. And while Toys-R-Us seemed to be an unstoppable force, they have finally succumbed to online ordering and simplicity.  But if you think about it, when Toys-R-Us came into existence, imagine the number of “mom ‘n pop” toy stores that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Wins Wildcat Classic Again

Early season prep baseball tournaments are meant for a few things; primarily competition, repetition, and learning a few things about your team over the course of a few games.   The Ooltewah Owl baseball nine apparently has learned it likes collecting championship trophies in them as well.   For the second year in a row, the Owls won the longstanding ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Fall To Oregon State, 66-59, In 2nd Round Of NCAA's

KNOXVILLE-- Senior center Mercedes Russell logged her 46th career double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Tennessee, but it wasn't enough as the No. 12/13 Lady Vols (25-8) fell to No. 13/12 Oregon State (25-7) in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Freshman Anastasia Hayes also had a double-digit outing for the No. 3 seed Lady Vols, posting ... (click for more)