Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks."

Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week.

Commissioner Graham said he and other commissioners were told in a closed session that the city actually owed the county schools some $15 million in unpaid liquor taxes. The settlement was for $11.7 million.

The county schools also get the former Poss Homes property by Howard School and property at the North River YMCA.

The county schools agreed to pay the city $1,565,425 for past due stormwater fees. In the past, both the county and the county schools took the position that the governments should not have to pay the stormwater fee.

Commissioner Graham said the additional money owed for the liquor tax could have been used to build school additions and other education needs. He said the deal cheated school children.

He said a prior city administration had agreed to pay the full amount, then "Mayor Berke turned out to be a better lawyer than the school board lawyer."

Several commissioners said one reason to approve the settlement was to avoid high legal fees. 

The School Board and the City Council both approved the settlement unanimously.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, BARRY MALONE  2060 JACKSON STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ANDERS, LAWRENCE DUPREE  3204 RIVERSIDE DR. CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Anderson). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading: ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT a. An ordinance amending Chattanooga City Code, Part II, ... (click for more)

The City I Used To Know

“They Dead”, the innocent young voice said as tears began streaming from my eyes.  Foolishness that didn’t involve him snatched away his childhood in the blink of an eye.  Why?  Why has my city become known more for gangs and violence than the River Front, Lookout Mountain, and a fun little theme park?  What happened to hot summers at Lake Winnie, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Stick Of Dynamite

You may have seen the Tennessee Legislature jumped on the bandwagon to send “an atomic bomb” to Washington this week. The “bomb” makes Tennessee the fifth state to adopt a Convention of the States Project that will hopefully limit the power and the jurisdiction of federal government. The official wording is “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power ... (click for more)

Red Bank Beats Pigeon Forge For A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions finally reached the mountain top as far as high school wrestling is concerned. The Lions had finished second to Bradley in the State Duals back in 1995 and it had been 16 years since the Lions had been involved, but they put an exclamation point on a strong dual-meet season by winning the Class A-AA title here at Williamson County Agricultural ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)