Chancellor Advises He Plans To Rule $9 Million TIF For Aetna Mountain Road Is Void

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chancellor Frank Brown has advised attorneys that he plans to put down an order on Monday ruling that a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bond issue is invalid.

The judge said the City Industrial Development Board (IDB) violated the Open Meetings Act in the way the matter was approved.

He also cited the fact that approval of the bonds to build a road and sewer line to the top of Aetna Mountain in Lookout Valley was based on an opinion from an attorney who was paid $50,000 by the developers, who include Gary Chazen and Doug Stein.

Chancellor Brown also said there was sufficient evidence that the planned development did not meet the definition of an eligible project under state law authorizing TIFs.

Chancellor Brown said with the TIF void that, if a new one is sought, there would have to be a new application filed and notices sent out, then a reconvening and vote of the IDB.

The bonds have been issued and were bought, according to the attorney for plaintiff Helen Burns Sharp, by the developers themselves. He said they stood to make money on the interest involved.

Chancellor Brown said there will not be a trial. It had been set to begin on Tuesday and last several days.

He said his will be a final order on all the issues in the case and can be appealed.

Ms. Burns, a retired planner, had taken on the city, county, IDB and developers in her lawsuit.

She is represented by attorney John Konvalinka.


House Speaker Beth Harwell Calls On Judge With Federal Charges To Resign

House Speaker Beth Harwell said a Nashville judge who was arrested on federal charges should resign. She said, “Tennesseans expect and deserve their judiciary to act in a fair and impartial manner, to follow the constitutions and laws of the state of Tennessee and the United States, and to maintain the highest ethical standards. "The troubling accusations surrounding ... (click for more)

Legislation Stiffens Penalties Against Felons With Firearms

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) to enact tougher sentences for violent felons in possession of firearms.  The legislation continues Norris’ series of anti-crime laws dubbed “Crooks with Guns” passed over the last decade to curb gun-related violence and focus resources on keeping violent criminals ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: OK, Sis, Off You Go

I’ve got to do something to adjust my sense of humor but fear there is not a big enough wrench. Rasmea Yousef Odeh, who is a naturalized American citizen from Jordan, was one of the principal figures in January’s Women’s March on Washington and had an equal starring role in the most recent “Day Without Women” protests in America. I’m all for equal rights for women yet I was appalled ... (click for more)

It's Official: UTC's Matt McCall Hired by UMass

. "Matt McCall is a rising star in college basketball coaching who has been a key piece of three successful programs in his career." UMass Athleitcs Director Ryan Bamford     Matt McCall, the UTC men's basketball coach the past two years, has been hired today as the new UMass head men's basketballl coach.   University of Massachusetts Director ... (click for more)

Bradley Holds Off Ooltewah 3-2 In District 5-3A Play

Before this season Bradley Central’s Colton Cross had not pitched since the eighth grade. Now, the senior right-hander has found his niche as a reliever with the Bears’ baseball team. That's in addition to being the Bears' starting second baseman. Cross entered Tuesday’s District 5-3A game against Ooltewah in the seventh with Bradley nursing a shaky one-run lead. ... (click for more)