Cleveland City Council Votes To Hire Defense Attorney For Liquor-By-The-Drink Issue

Monday, March 24, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

The Cleveland City Council passed a motion to hire attorney Doug Johnston to defend against the county's motion for declaratory judgment in the issue of the liquor-by-the-drink tax money. Though the county has not officially sued yet, several city council members stated they believed it was only a matter of time.

Councilman Richard Banks said, "We have to have representation, but it seems to me they should just wait.

I don't know why we have to be the test case here in Cleveland and Bradley County." He said because a similar lawsuit was taking place in Chattanooga, Bradley County could wait and see the result of the lawsuit there. 

During the meeting, Cleveland resident Alfonzo Martin asked the council for support in bringing the program called Reviving Baseball in the Inner-city to Cleveland. He said the program helps at-risk youths who cannot afford to buy equipment to play.

Mr. Martin told the city council he had lots of kids participating already and asked if he could make use of some baseball equipment the city has in storage. City Manager Janice Casteel told him that until his organization is officially a 501(c)3, the city technically cannot donate the equipment. However, she said it could be loaned to the group each season.

Mr. Martin also asked the city to consider building another baseball field for little league players such as the kids in his program. He said currently the only available field is shared with soccer and football teams.

Commissioner Banks suggested the old Whirlpool site as a potential option in the future, saying he did not think the land could be used for building. 

During the work session, the city council honored Lieutenant Craig Foote, who recently became a fire marshal. During the voting meeting, Raul Cruz was sworn in as a Cleveland police officer.

The following items on the consent agenda were also passed:

Ordinance 2014-10 - Amending Title 14, Chapter 2 zoning regulations to provide for the creation of an interstate gateway corridor overlay zoning district which is designed to eventually be adopted for the corridors in and around exits 20, 25, and 27.

Resolution 2014-24 - Authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement relating to an easement for the Bowman Avenue Drainage Project.

Resolution 2014-25 - Authorizing the mayor to sign a grant contract with TDOT for the FY2013 Planning Assistance Grant.

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