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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BATES, AMY LYNN 5924 PORTER DR HARRISON, 37341 29 Chattanooga DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA THEFT OF PROPERTY BOWLING, JERMICHAEL DEJUAN 5400 CENTRAL AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 34 Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) BRYSON, ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Halloween On Raccoon Trail

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)

GPS Advances To Division IIAA Soccer Championship

MURFREESBORO - GPS defeated Brentwood Academy 3-0 to advance to the finals of the TSSAA Division II-AA soccer tournament.   The Bruisers scored one first half goal in the 38th minute off the foot of senior Lindsay Rufolo.   Fourteen minutes into the second half Emily Large added the first of two insurance goals. Six minutes later at the 60-minute mark Catherine ... (click for more)

Hixson Clinches 6-AA Title With Shutout Over Brainerd

Just about any coach will tell you that winning ugly is always better than winning pretty. Such was the case at Hixson Community Stadium on a frigid Halloween night as the host Wildcats finished off their regular season with a 19-0 win over the Brainerd Panthers. Hixson improves to 8-2 overall and 6-0 in District 6-AA while Brainerd is now 3-7 overall and 3-3 in 6-AA. It ... (click for more)