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 booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, RYAN BISHOP  121 ALBANY STEET CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN WALKER CO, GA) --- BAKER, DONALD SCOTT  2012 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)

Mocs Close Out Regular Season At Citadel

The Chattanooga Mocs head to Charleston, S.C., for the regular season finale at The Citadel. They do so with a great deal of certainty for the upcoming Southern Conference Championships in Asheville, N.C.   The Mocs are the fourth seed and face No. 5 Wofford on Saturday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m. The rest of their half of the bracket is determined Monday night. The winner of ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Softball Falls To Saint Louis 5-2 In Frost Classic

 The Chattanooga Mocs softball team fell to Saint Louis, 5-2, on the final day of the annual Frost Classic hosted by UTC at Frost Stadium. The loss drops the Mocs to 5-9 on the season. Chattanooga will head south for the next three weekends as they round out the non-conference tournament slate. The first runs of the game came in the top of the second when SLU scored ... (click for more)