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: ADAMS, ALEXIS 7751 NAUTICAL WAY CHATTANOOGA, 37416 28 Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE BAILEY NELSON, NAKOMA JOY 6393 TELETHA LN RED BANK, 37415 18 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BROWN, ATTILAH DENISE 2402 LEANN CIRCLE CHATTANOOGA, 37406 ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, JEROME DEAN 859 GLADES ROAD EATONTON, 31024 48 Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE DRIVERS TO EXERCISE DUE CARE OPEN CONTAINER LAW ALEXANDER, JOHNNY L 817 EAST 49TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37410 46 Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE REGISTRATION, EXPIRED ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)

Vol Seniors Have Final Practice At Neyland Stadium

KNOXVILLE, Tenn .  – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones had a holiday version of "Sudden Change" for the bowl-bound Vols on Sunday afternoon. The Vols practiced in Neyland Stadium, providing a big-time atmosphere for the final full day of on-campus preparation for the TaxSlayer Bowl before breaking for Christmas. "Obviously it's very special any time you can come ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)