Appeals Court Upholds Chancellor Brown In Elder Mountain Deannexation Case

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld a decision of Chancellor Frank Brown in the Elder Mountain deannexation case.

Three Elder Mountain residents who opposed being deannexed by the city earlier filed suit. Susan Rich, Janis Burger and Carole Klimesch sued the city, the Election Commission and individual members of the election panel. 

The appeals court said, "This case presents the issue of whether citizens who reside on real property that is proposed for deannexation by a municipal ordinance may, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 6-51-201 (2011), properly bring a quo warrant or declaratory judgment action against the municipality to challenge adoption of the deannexation ordinance. The trial court dismissed these claims against the municipality, and the plaintiffs have appealed. The plaintiffs have also taken issue with the propriety of the trial court’s determination regarding who would be qualified to vote in the referendum election, as well as other procedural and evidentiary issues. Discerning no error, we affirm the decision of the trial court."

The Election Commission in March of 2013 certified a revote on the Elder Mountain deannexation issue. It was another tight vote by residents of the small upscale community - 25 to stay in the city of Chattanooga and 24 to be deannexed.

Chancellor Brown, in a 31-page memorandum opinion, earlier voided the Aug. 2, 2012, election in which 21 Elder Mountain residents voted for being deannexed from the city of Chattanooga and 20 were against the city pulling out.

Saying there were a number of election irregularities, he set the new vote.

Chancellor Brown said election officials needed to be sure there was proper notice of the election, and he said Marion County and Hamilton County election officials needed to work together to draft a list of eligible voters. The line between the two counties splits the neighborhood - and some houses.

Two weeks after that election, the lawsuit was filed.

In 2004, former Chattanooga Times publisher Ruth Holmberg had petitioned to be annexed into the city because she wanted to participate in city elections. That was granted. However, the current owner of her home did not want to be in the city and have to pay city taxes, saying he was not receiving full city services..

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BRAMLETT, VERNETTA LAURETT  804 LANE ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA LIGHT LAW VIOLATION --- BUTLER, TABITHA KAREN  165 VERO BEACH AVE ROSSVILLE, 30741  ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Warn Residents To Secure Vehicles After Rash Of Burglaries

There has been an increase in the number of entering auto cases in Dalton in the past few weeks, and in each case, it appears that the vehicles were left unlocked. Officials with the Dalton Police Department are reminding residents to keep their cars locked even if they’re only making a quick stop. Also, people are advised to never leave valuables in plain view in cars. Between ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Whip McMinn County, 9-1, In 5-3A Baseball

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Three times Jordan Gorman set the table. Nick Woods punched three hits to the outfield and drove Gorman home in the third, fifth and sixth innings, powering East Hamilton to a 9-1 victory over McMinn County in the opening game of the District 5-3A baseball tournament at Cleveland High School on Wednesday. “Our mission was to win this game,” Gorman said, ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Softball Tournament Plans Finalized By Coaches

District 5-3A softball coaches are now ready for the second season. They hope their teams are, too. At a luncheon to finalize plans for the district tournament on Wednesday, the opening pairings were set in stone and play will begin Friday with three games, each starting at 5 p.m. at the highest seeded team. Second-seeded Soddy-Daisy (24-7) will host No. 7 Bradley ... (click for more)