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.

Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In The Face Near O'Rear Street Identified As Entwadina Phillips, 20

A woman who is in critical condition after she was shot while driving in Chattanooga on Saturday night has been identified as 20-year-old Entwadina Phillips . Just after  9 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on the scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening ... (click for more)

Minor Flooding Expected On South Chickamauga Creek

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for South Chickamauga Creek from late Wednesday until Thursday afternoon. At 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, the state was 12.2 feet and rising. Flood stage is 18 feet. It is expected to rise above flood stage by early Thursday morning and fall below shortly aftern. At 18 feet, water begins to cross Mack Smith Road. Flooding begins ... (click for more)

City Council, Please Reconsider On The 7-Story Apartment Variance

I would like to thank the Regional Planning Commission and the Regional Planning Agency   for denying the recent application for a variance from the current zoning requirements in place for the 1200 block of Cowart Street. The developers want to build a 7-story parking deck with 141 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments wrapped around three sides in an area with a 48' height ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In December

As the fallen leaves confirm today is the first of December, my monthly walk in life’s garden is more foggy than fun. In much-older times, good children would get a piece of candy on Christmas Day while bad ones would receive a lump of coal. So here are some things that deserve a helping of both: A PIECE OF CANDY to the amazingly few who can spy a nest of mistletoe high in area ... (click for more)

No 1 Connecticut Overwhelms Lady Mocs, 79-31

At least 6,104 basketball enthusiasts got to see what the best women’s college basketball team in the country looks like Monday night at McKenzie Arena. The three-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies won for the fourth time this season and 41 st game in a row with an impressive 79-31 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs before the seventh-largest crowd in ... (click for more)

Mocs Fall 64-54 At ULM

The Chattanooga Mocs (5-2) five-game-in-10-day road show ended Monday night with a 64-54 loss at ULM (3-2). The squad shot a season-low 35.3 percent (18-51) in the loss. "I felt like we had good shots, especially in the first half,” coach Matt McCall said. “We were getting down the lane and guys were just flat out missing layups. Everyone for the most part was getting in the ... (click for more)