Cleveland Mayor's Salary Raised, But Not As High As Projected; Council Critical Of Handling Of Lt. Tyson Case

Friday, August 29, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

The future salary of the Cleveland Mayor's Office was changed from a projected $40,000 annually to $24,000 during a special Friday afternoon city council meeting.

Councilman Richard Banks made a motion to raise the salary to $30,000, but the motion failed. 

The $24,000 salary will double the current $12,000 per year.

Councilman Banks said Mayor Tom Rowland, the second longest serving mayor in the state of Tennessee, goes "goes way beyond the call of duty." 

He said, "He has not been compensated for what he has done."

Councilman Banks stated that after Mayor Rowland eventually retires, "We have to have someone who will step in his shoes and look at what he's done and be somewhat encouraged to follow in his footsteps. Unless we set a compensation rate like other cities...then Cleveland will suffer." 

Councilman Dale Hughes also spoke during the meeting about the recent termination of Lt. Steve Tyson, who has been reinstated. Lt. Tyson was terminated after taking a pain pill for his kidney stones one night after work. Failing a random drug test, he was terminated without question. Community and family members took great issue with this, as well as its portrayal by the media.

Councilman Hughes asked the police chief, "You've known this guy for 27 years and you didn't show him the courtesy to call him in and eyeball him to see if he was impaired?" 

He said, "I'm disappointed...If it wasn't stopped at your level, it should've been stopped at the manager's level. He just deserved better treatment than that. I think somebody fumbled the ball on that."

The police chief and city manager Janice Casteel said they were only following procedure. During the previous city council meeting, the council voted to make changes to those procedures. 

Ms. Casteel said, "They don't have the discretion to pick this one or pick that one."

Councilman Banks said, "Every small offense does not warrant what Steve Tyson was subjected to." 

Councilman George Poe Jr. said the incident tarnished the image of the police department.

Councilman Banks made a motion asking the city manager and police chief to give the council all information relating to the incident including emails, phone calls and text messages. 

He said in order to prevent the situation from happening again, the council needs to fully understand what went wrong before the council revises the policy.

The motion passed.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARNETTE, VERANDA MESHELL  3856 CONAHANEY TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 50 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF --- BEAMON, JOHN EARNEST  298 W 37TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge DISORDERLY ... (click for more)

Brandon Robinson Captured A Day After Fleeing From Moccasin Bend

A man who fled from police custody while at Moccasin Bend Mental Hospital has been caught by the Grundy County Sheriff's Office. Brandon Robinson, 33, who fled the premises of Moccasin Bend on Saturday.  He was on a law enforcement hold out of Bedford County with the Shelbyville Police Department.  (click for more)

Make America Good Again

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)