City Has Concerns About Wording Of Domestic Partners Benefits Referendum, But Election Panel Approves It

Friday, June 27, 2014
Election panel deals with wording on domestic partners ordinance
Election panel deals with wording on domestic partners ordinance

The Election Commission, at an emergency meeting on Friday morning, once again approved the wording on the city's Domestic Partners Benefits ordinance, though Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett said he has concerns that it is "vague and overbroad."

It was noted that the group that led a two-week petition drive to get the vote to try to overturn the ordinance got to draft it. However, Commissioner Chris Clem, former election office attorney, said that is the way it works under state law.

Mark West, Chattanooga Tea Party leader who led the effort that came up with 7,755 valid signatures, said, "At the front end we tried to make sure that it was precise and acceptable."

Kerry Steelman, election office administrator, said the version submitted by the petition group has been approved by state election officials.

Attorney Noblett said the city has concerns that voters would be getting "a slanted version" of the ordinance. He said the full ordinance is 5-6 pages long.

Mike Walden, commission chairman, said the city has often given short versions for election ballots of long ordinances.

The meeting was called as quickly as possible because the issue arose just as it is time to print the ballots, officials said.

Commissioner Jerry Summers, another former election office lawyer, also said he had concerns on whether voters were familiar with the ordinance. Ruth Braly, another commissioner, said, "They would have to be living under a rock if they do not know about it."

Mr. Summers asked that the news media print the entire ordinance and also that the full ordinance be placed on the Election Commission website.

The wording on the ballot says:

Shall the City of Chattanooga's

"domestic partnership' ordinance

(Ordinance No. 12781) be adopted?

--- For the Ordinance providing for the extension of benefits in domestic partnerships and adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city's nondiscrimination policy

--- Against the Ordinance providing for the extension of benefits in domestic partnerships and adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city's nondiscrimination policy 

Click here for the ordinance.




Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANICACIO-SALAZAR, JAVIER  Age at Arrest: 46 years old Arresting Agency: Chatt. Housing Authority PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- BARRETT, MISTY L  240 EDDY DOSS LANE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- BEAVERS, RICHARD DOUGLAS  ... (click for more)

Grill Fire Causes Damage To Signal Mountain Home

A grill fire caused damage to a Signal Mountain home on Friday evening. At  7:23 pm , a 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 306 Dawn Street on Signal Mountain. The Signal Mountain Fire Department responded reported heavy fire coming from the back porch and eaves of the home. Signal Mountain FD requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower. The ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Dominates Brainerd 36-14

Despite the fact that Brainerd and Boyd-Buchanan are less than a mile apart on North Moore Road, the two schools have never met in football, until Friday night. For the first time ever, the two schools are now in the same region; which made the first ever meeting very important. The first half was all Bucs as they generated enough offense to keep the Panthers pinned up deep in their ... (click for more)

Unbeaten East Ridge Stops Signal Mountain, 35-10

At least for one Friday night, it was shades of great East Ridge runners Charles White and Rodney Ballard. Current East Ridge junior Traneil Moore rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns to help the Pioneers rally for a 35-10 win against Signal Mountain in a high school football game Friday night at Baylor. Playing this home game off campus due to the home ... (click for more)