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..

 


Kodi Delon Johnson, 22, 1 Of Hamilton County’s Top 12 Most Wanted, Is Arrested

One of Hamilton County’s Top 12 Most Wanted, Kodi Delon Johnson, 22 has been arrested.  Johnson was arrested Friday afternoon by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and is incarcerated the County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment, and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. Our Internet newspaper allows us to post stories very quickly – there is no need to wait for a press run or for ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hay Fields Of July

Oh my goodness, July has just arrived and during my formative years, it was the most hated month of the year. When I was 12 years old, my wonderful grandfather decreed the days of begging for money to go to the picture show and burgers at the Krystal were over, that I was on the payroll for a dollar an hour and, in our family, folks worked for what they spent. Now my grandfather, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Clinches Southeast Division Title

The Chattanooga Football Club clinched the Southeast Division title Saturday night before a crowd of 4,000 plus fans and celebrated with fireworks after the game.  Chattanooga beat visiting Nashville FC 2-0.   Matt Aldred scored the first goal in the 27th minute and Jack Hopkins scored the second goal in the 85th minute.  Chattanooga will host the conference ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Soccer Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association recently announced its all-state high school soccer teams. THE TEAMS        TSWA All State Boys’ Soccer teams Class AAA Nathan Djona, Antioch junior forward Avery Cowan, Brentwood senior midfielder Johnny Heckman, Centennial senior midfielder Nick Zalewski, Sr., Cookeville ... (click for more)