Do Firefighters Have To Choose? - And Response

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I just read the article on your website regarding “Winners and Losers with New City Budget.”  Upon reaching the end of the article I was forced to take a second look. The statement from the mayor’s chief of staff was that firefighters opted to use the 1.5 percent, the amount needed to repair a broken pay plan, for department use.  

I also read in Sundays Times Free Press about the Chattanooga Fire Department using money to replace old worn out SCBA’s (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) that the chief stated had been needed and requested three years ago.  

As I began to put the two together I can’t help but be blown away thinking that fire administrators were somehow forced to choose between fixing a broken pay structure (one the city has spend hundreds of thousands of dollars studying over previous years and it still isn’t fixed) and raises for its men and women or purchasing new equipment required to keep them safe in the immediately dangerous to life and health environments that they are faced with on a daily basis. Isn’t this like telling the men and women in blue that you can either have a pay raise or bullets for your gun?

I am really glad to see that the city is stepping up to fix the pay plan for the police officers. It is long overdue and much needed and deserved. If I remember correctly just last July all non sworn city employees received a 1.5 percent raise and firefighters and police officers were left out. Again this year all non sworn city employees are receiving 1.5 percent raises and the firefighters again are left out.  

I would love to see the council members speak out about the firefighters being left out two years in a row in regards to pay raises and not for replacement equipment needed for everyday use. If you can clear up anything I stated or have more information to provide please feel free to reply and discuss.

Mr. Grohn, I am excited to hear your response and greatly appreciate all of your hard work.

Jarred Montieth

Chattanooga Fire Department 

* * *

Once again our mayors have proven of their infinite wisdom. Relax, first responders, I'm sure you all will get one of the now useless expensive "Green Street Lights" that lay in a recently shutdown business for your personal use.  Enjoy. 

The tax money that Chattanooga dishes out for studies in regards to good ole horse sense issues is mind boggling.  

I believe the urgency of ridding the river of that dilapidated barge is largely to the fact, Chattanooga citizens were thinking of making it the new City Hall building.  

Michael Burns


Not Thrilled With The Parking Rate Increase

Mark your calendars for?? Sept. 1—the day the Chattanooga Parking Authority has?? announced it will raise parking rates around the city. In addition to the rate hikes, the Parking Authority will extend enforceable hours from 4:30-6 p.m.  and will include Saturdays as well.?? The Parking Authority has allowed for a learning curve, however, saying that during the month of ... (click for more)

Tell Congress To Protect AmeriCorps

In June, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved separate spending bills that would reduce opportunities for young people to serve their county, by cutting the AmeriCorps program, by as much as 34%.  These cuts mean half as many AmeriCorps members serving with local programs like Southeast Conservation Corps. These members build local trails, remove invasive ... (click for more)

City, County To Spend Up To $300,000 To Improve Moccasin Bend Police Firing Range

The city and county will spend up to $300,000 to upgrade the police firing range at Moccasin Bend. The city and county earlier had made plans for an indoor firing range on E. 11th Street that would have cost over $3 million, but the plug was later pulled on that idea. Officials said a new portable building will be transported to the Moccasin Bend site. The project also ... (click for more)

Assessor Bennett, Former Assessor Ramsey In Jetton Camp For Assessor Of Property

Assessor of Property Bill Bennett and former Assessor Claude Ramsey recommended Sterling Jetton as the next assessor at a breakfast fundraiser at Wally's Restaurant in East Ridge on Saturday morning. Mr. Jetton, who spent 27 years in the assessor's office, is running against County Commissioner Marty Haynes in the March 1 Republican primary. Noting the political heavyweights ... (click for more)

Cleveland Hangs On To Beat East Hamilton, 18-15

Cleveland built an 18-0 lead – the third score came on Skyler Davis’ 91-yard interception return in the third quarter – and then had to hold on as East Hamilton mounted a comeback that fell just short in the Blue Raiders’ 18-15 victory Friday night at East Hamilton. Davis’ big defensive play gave the Blue Raiders the needed points to pull out the victory. “That was great,” ... (click for more)

Tyner Shocks Notre Dame In Overtime Thriller

Oh, what a difference a year makes. The Tyner Rams only won two football games a year ago and didn't make the playoffs for the first time in coach Wayne Turner's 24 years as their head coach. Now a season later, the Rams have equaled last year's win total, the latest being a 27-21 overtime victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a game where there were more momentum ... (click for more)