Upcoming Cleveland City School Budget Includes 2% Raises

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - by Tony Eubank

The Cleveland City School Board on Wednesday was advised that the upcoming budget will include a two percent pay increase for teachers and staff.

During a special called meeting, the board approved an amendment to the 2013-2014 general fund budget and the general fund budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

Director of Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff said he was very pleased to be able to announce the raise for the entirety of the school district’s staff, as he feels it is good for morale and that it sends the message that “every one of our employees is important to the daily operation of our schools.”

Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen commended Dr. Ringstaff on his hard work and said, ”Brenda (Carson) does a wonderful job of keeping track of exactly where the money is coming from and where the money is going. We never run in the red, we’re always in the black. She keeps a very tight reign on things. We never end up at the end of the year crunching numbers. Every month we get a budget report and, even though we might not look at it, I know that she does, and we know exactly what the expenditures are and what the revenue stream is. I can’t sing her praises enough.”

The amount budgeted for the 2014-2015 school year is $41,186,413.

Ms. Carson, the Cleveland City Schools finance director, explained in brief the 2013-104 budget amendment. The amendment was drawn up to include grant monies from various sources that include the SAFE schools and Pathways to Prosperity grants. The amendment also reflects some changes to expenditures and revenue.  The proposal has the budget increase to $40,585,217, a nearly $75,000 increase from the previously projected budget of $40,509,445. The Board moved to approve the budget amendment, along with a $37,250 decrease in the 2013-2014 School Nutrition Department’s budget.

Ms. Carson followed the current year’s budget amendments with a presentation of the 2014-2015 spending plan. The finance director outlined some of the key revenue sources and expenditures.  Among those key points are the sales and property tax revenues from both Bradley County and the city of Cleveland, and the two percent salary increase for all of Cleveland City School‘s employees.

The board’s final bit of business was to approve the city’s proposed dog park at the Teen Learning Center’s back lot, along with fencing the entire Spring Street side of the property.  Vice-Chairman Steve Morgan voiced some liability concerns over the idea of a dog park being so close to an elementary school. He and Dr. Dirksen cast the only dissenting votes, as the measure passed 4-2. Board member Peggy Pesterfield was absent


Woman's Body Found Floating In Hiwassee River

A woman's body was spotted floating in the Hiwassee River in Polk County on Saturday afternoon. Crews said it appeared the woman had been dead for some time. The 911 call came in shortly before 4:30 p.m.. The TBI was called in to help in the investigation. The body has not yet been identified.. (click for more)

Woman Whose Car Landed On Tracks Below Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct Sues City

A woman whose car went off the Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct and landed on railroad tracks below has sued the city of Chattanooga. Rebecca Thomas-Winkler said the bridge is in poor and substandard condition and the guard rail was inadequate.  The suit says on Aug. 24, 2013, Ms. Winkler was traveling east on Wilcox Boulevard at about 12:30 p.m. She was crossing the bridge that ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Ex-Ooltewah All-American Jacques Smith released By Falcons

Former Ooltewah Owls All-American and Tennessee Vols defensive standout Jacques Smith has been released by the Atlanta Falcons, who are 10 cuts from reaching their 53-man roster for the 2014 season. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and tight end Mickey Shuler were also released. Smith, an undrafted free agent, is said to be a "viable candidate" for the Falcons' practice squad ... (click for more)

Baylor Comeback Swamps Webb, 34-7

Baylor lost a fumble on the third play of the game and the visiting Webb Spartans scored five plays later, but the Red Raiders came storming back to win their second-straight game, 34-7, over the D-II, Class A two-time defending state champions. Quarterback Nick Tiano, who has already committed to Mississippi State, hurled two touchdown passes and scored a third on a sneak from ... (click for more)