Mr. Smartt Is Late To The Dance - And Response (3)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I keep reading articles, every couple of days, by followers of Mr.  Phil Smartt that parrot what seems to be “facts” as he has relayed them.  Poking your finger in Sabrena’s face at a debate and declaring “you lost,  I won” is not only beneath the dignity of a debate between candidates, but reflects desperation by a man that keeps saying “annexation is a dead issue.”   

Boy, you sure spend a lot of time talking about an issue that is “dead," Mr. Smartt.  Sabrena Turner has carried herself quite well in each debate on issues of better and more schools, to a focus on roads, police protection, concerns for our seniors, and a closer and more frequent involvement between the school board and the county commission.  Annexation?  Seems Mr. Smartt is more focused on “tooting” his own horn than anyone else.  

Now let's see, Mr. Smartt claims to have “stopped annexation in its tracks” with his letter to Mayor Littlefield.  Actually Mayor Littlefield declared in August 2009, and again on Dec. 14, 2009 that “ceding the sewers would not in any way bear on his decision to annex areas of the county within the Urban Growth Plan.” The WWTA Boards decision (not just Mr. Smartt) to cede the county areas effected by annexation threats took place on Dec. 16, 2009, and Mr. Smartt's “poison pill” declaration letter to the mayor is dated Dec. 17, 2009. Two days “after the mayor’s letter refuting claims of how the sewers would “stop the annexations,” and almost four months after the 12 HCRAA lawsuits in August did in fact stop the annexation effort.  Mr. Smartt has discovered his timeline mistake, and just this week writes that he stopped the annexations in August, not December, as he has always claimed,  (How convenient, since the HCRAA actions occurred that month for sure.  

Mr Perkins is hiding in the weeds with scarcely a “peep” about annexation, except to have called it a “silly issue” at the first debate. No wonder, Mr. Perkins told Councilman McGary at the City Council meeting on May 10, 2011 that he would support the City Council when they came to annex Apison.  Chattanooga’s newspaper has time and time again recorded statements by city officials that the “annexations were stopped by the lawsuits," not the so called “threat of ceding sewers.”  

Thanks to everyone who got involved in stopping the tyranny of forced annexation, especially Mike Carter and Bo Watson for their bills in Nashville that will have ended this threat forever, as soon as the governor signs the bill.  Enough of the attacks on Sabrena. Each debate has shown her to be an informed, mature, and passionate advocate of everyone in District 7. 

Trust, check these true timelines and discover for yourself that Sabrena is worthy of your trust and support on May 6.

Bill Reesor

District 7 Resident

* * *

This latest article by Mr. Reesor is too much.  The individual who was shouting “liar” at the East Hamilton debate is now lecturing us on “dignity” and civility.  The only thing factual in his piece is the statement that annexation is a “dead issue.”  Again, thanks to Mike Carter (who worked extensively with Phil Smartt as the WWTA attorney).  

Which begs the question why hasn’t Ms. Turner removed the “ONLY candidate that fought annexation” signs around the district?  She’s wrong on that claim, but more importantly wrong on other pressing issues.

 So let’s do as Mr. Reesor suggests and look at one of the key issues in District 7 - education.  So which candidate is more qualified to address educational concerns of the district?  Phil Smartt or Ms. Turner?  Mr. Smartt served six years on the Board of Education and worked hand in hand with administrators, principals, teachers and parents.  He and his wife Gloria sent all six of their children to public schools and currently have grandchildren attending East Hamilton High School and Westview Elementary.  In addition to time spent on the School Board, he and his wife spent countless hours volunteering, mentoring, and supporting teachers.

 In contrast, Sabrena Turner has no experience working with the Board of Education, other commissioners, principals, teachers, etc.  I don’t doubt her passion and enthusiasm for education in the District.  However, when a political candidate touting public education sends their children to private school, that should raise some eyebrows of voters.  As Mr. Perkins recently pointed out, if your going to “talk the talk” on public school education, you should certainly “walk the walk.”
With 60 percent of the county budget going towards education, we need someone with knowledge and experience.  The choice is easy on education.

Jim Ward
Resident - District 7 

* * *

Perry Perkins published his position against forced annexation on February 6, 2014 here:
http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/2/6/269077/District-7-County-Commission-Candidate.aspx 

Here are the official minutes of the May 10, 2011 Chattanooga City Council Meeting in which Perry joked about Apison being annexed after a tornado hit his home (with my emphasis): 

"Perry Perkins of 11816 Country Estates Drive, Apison, Tennessee came forward to thank everyone for all the city of Chattanooga has done for them in Apison.  He stated they got hit by the tornado that came through their street and he has neighbors who have lost their homes.  He stated when he looked up and saw Chattanooga police officers driving down their street he thought the mayor had annexed them while the power was out.  He stated luckily that did not happen.  He stated the sheriff has done an outstanding job and will address the County Commission about this on Thursday." 

The full document is found here: http://www.chattanooga.gov/city-council/agendasminutes-by-date/9-city-council/829-minutes-2011

We admire the energy Mr. Reesor has for this primary race and are assured that these oversights were unintentional.  

Dr. Thaddeus Oliver
Manager, Perry Perkins Campaign 

* * * 

Thank you, Dr. Oliver, for verifying Perkins flip flop on the issue of property rights.  Were you counting on people not reading the entire section at this council meeting? 

I think his final statement shows his indifference to the issue. http://www.chattanooga.gov/city-council/agendasminutes-by-date/9-city-council/829-minutes-2011 

"Councilman McGary stated hopefully when we get ready to annex Apison Mr. Perkins will be ready to take us in and will sing our praises. Mr. Perkins responded 'I will.'" 

That doesn't sound like a lot of opposition to me. 

Annexation by ordinance might be a dead issue now but it shows the distrust that people have for overstepping government.  We need candidates whose values do not change when its convenient for their personal gain. 

Thomas Sohgud


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