Chairman Hakeem Wants Funding Removed For Transportation Director Bailey; Administration Stands Behind Berke Appointee

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

City Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem said he wants funding taken away that pays the salary for current city Transportation Director Blythe Bailey, but the Berke administration said it is standing behind the appointee to the new department.

Travis McDonough, chief of staff, said in a letter to Chairman Hakeem sent Tuesday, “Over the past 11 months, the Transportation Department has been connecting neighborhoods to each other, people to opportunity, and businesses to markets. We are confident we have the best people in place to implement sound policy to benefit the entire city and not let personal agendas drive decisions.”

The chairman said he was talking about defunding the transportation director post as now filled by Mr. Bailey, not eliminating the department that was carved from public works. 

Chairman Hakeem said there has been a pattern of Mr. Bailey not providing him with requested information, and he said he has had meetings with Mayor Berke to discuss his concerns.

He said the issue came to a head recently when Mr. Bailey sent him an email saying he would not attend a meeting he was trying to set up regarding a working relationship between CARTA and the taxi industry.

Chairman Hakeem said Mr. Bailey in the email said what was being considered would violate city policy and he was not going to be a part of it.

The chairman said, "How hard would it have been for him to have picked up the phone and said something to me?"

He said, "If I as the chairman am not going to be able to get information from the transportation director, then what about my colleagues and department heads?"

Chairman Hakeem said the planned meeting involved Tim Duckett of Millennium Taxi because he said he had come up with research and ideas about expanding taxi opportunities. But he said any contract would have been bid and would not necessarily have gone to the Duckett firm.

Here is correspondence between the two last week:

On Mar 14, 2014, at 5:04 PM, "Bailey Blythe" <bailey_b@chattanooga.gov> wrote:

Councilman Hakeem –

Thank you for providing these discussion points.  

 

After careful review, I have reservations about moving forward in this direction. In the past I have indicated my support for conducting a thorough review of all transit options including vehicles for hire, shuttle, bus, etc, and will continue to support such a review.

I believe that naming a specific vendor on the front end of a policy discussion involving a significant financial expenditure may be a violation of purchasing policies and therefore I respectfully decline this meeting.

 

I will continue to be available to discuss this or any other policy decision without the expectation that it would benefit a specific company or vendor, however I will not be attending Monday’s meeting.

 

Blythe Bailey

Administrator - Chattanooga Transportation Department

(423)643-5950

 

 

From: Gwyn Nicole
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:22 AM
To: maragnano_lisa@gocarta.org; tduckett5@bellsouth.net
Cc: Hakeem Yusuf; SJett@chamblisslaw.com; Freeman Sandra; Smith Ken; Hinton Wade; LeVally Rebecca; Bailey Blythe; autumnjewell@gocarta.org; Allen McCallie; Cannon Jeffrey
Subject: CARTA Meeting

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF CHAIRMAN YUSUF HAKEEM:

 

I had an opportunity to share with Mr. Duckett about my desire for all parties in this matter to come together and start the process that would be a win-win for all involved.  As a result of my discussion with Mr. Duckett, please see below for the list of potential discussion points at our meeting.  If this list is too broad for one session, let us narrow it down to targeted items that we will agree upon during the meeting.  I have concluded, after discussions with most of the parties, that the meeting should take place on Monday, March 17, at 1:00 p.m. at CARTA. I look forward to our discussion then.

Chairman Yusuf Hakeem

Chattanooga City Council

 

 

Transportation Discussion Points between CARTA and Millennium

 

Mission:  The public and private sector seeks to establish a partnership that will better serve Chattanooga and surrounding areas.  The partnership is set to establish a cost effective transportation system that moves as many Chattanoogans at the lowest possible cost to have a long-term positive impact on reducing Chattanooga's transportation costs.

 

Problem:  Vehicle for hire industry in decline and taxicab utilization problematic

 

Free Rides:  Downtown free shuttle adversely affects vehicle for hire demand day and night

 

Big Buses:  Running all day and part of night nearly empty or with very few passengers - Not cost efficient

 

Demand Requirement:  Require RPA to prepare overall ridership and demand study because its long-term transportation plan excludes taxicabs in its planning.

 

Solution: Cooperative agreement between the public and private sector involving principle stakeholders City of Chattanooga, Millennium Taxi and CARTA 

 

Goals:

 

1.       Lowering long-term transportation costs through a more efficient public and private operational partnership with Millennium Taxi that seeks to improve services and Chattanooga's overall transportation system.

 

2.       Reducing Big Bus operational costs through a public voucher partnership system with Millennium Taxi.

 

3.       CARTA and the City agreeing to establish an electric taxicab pilot program through the initial use of providing funding for 40 Nissan e-NV200 taxicabs to Millennium Taxi to compliment CARTA's operational fleet which is authorized through TCA 7-56-107.

 

4.       CARTA reducing its downtown free shuttle operational hours to expand its partnership with Millennium through a green initiative to use all electric taxicabs of Millennium to increase demand in the for hire transportation sector through its partnership with Millennium. The combination of the electric shuttles and the Nissan e-NV200 electric taxicabs is expected to further reduce CO2 emissions and serve the downtown and community markets.

 

5.       CARTA and the City providing support services including insurance and maintenance to Millennium's Nissan e-NV200 taxicabs fleet.



 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGLE, NIKIA MARIE 3125 BENNETT RD EAST RIDGE, 37421 23 Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY ASHLEY, LAURA ANN 480 CEDAR STREET APT 11 DUNLAP, 37327 36 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BROGDON, KEVIN LEON 1504 JOHN ROSS ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 24 East Ridge FILING FALSE ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Oct. 17-23

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Oct. 17-23: Jorge Zambrano Gonzalez, 37, of 1216 Helena Drive #8, Hixson was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while unlicensed and crossing median. Pedro Sepulveda, 42, of 854 Davis Street, Apt. E3, Gainsville, GA was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while license suspended and crossing median. Jonathan ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)

Freeman-Led Owls Whip Cleveland, 30-14, To Win 5-AAA Title

Rashun Freeman was on a mission Friday night. Freeman, a junior brimming with versatility, caught a touchdown pass, returned a punt for a second score and had one of three Ooltewah interceptions as the fourth-ranked Owls whipped Cleveland, 30-14, to win the District 5-AAA championship in front of a near-capacity crowd at James N. Monroe Stadium. “I practice hard and that ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Father Ryan For D-II State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Friday was a magical day for the Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team. Facing arch-rival Father Ryan for the fourth time this season, Baylor evened the score at 2-2, but the last time at Siegel High School was the sweetest as it came in the championship match of the D-II Class AA state tournament. Father Ryan had a huge group of students in its ... (click for more)