I follow politics fairly close and try to keep up with what is going on. There’s really not many surprises in politics when you stop to think about it. One person is suddenly more Republican (or Democratic depending on where you are) than the other person and claiming the other person really is not a Republican (or Democrat). What is surprising this time is that Vince Dean is running against Gwen Tidwell.
She’s done a good job keeping the office out of trouble and staying up to date with technology and not spending a lot of our tax money. He retired from being a state representative for East Ridge, an East Ridge city councilman, and a Chattanooga city policeman.
Okay, I understand now. He must be looking for a higher salary and a fourth government pension. Like I said, no real surprises anymore.
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Let's set the record straight. First, I want a Criminal Court clerk to collect unpaid fines from day one. Waiting 20 years and $92 million in the hole to hire an outside firm to collect fines is unacceptable and far from what I would call running the office efficiently. She only hired the
firm after Mr. Dean announced his candidacy.
The surprising fact that Mr. Dean is running is a blessing. I am not sure we could afford to neglect collections for another 20 years. No one has ever run against her and that is why she has never gone after the unpaid fines.
As far as keeping the office out of trouble, what about the scandal with the bonding company a couple of years ago?
As far as Mr. Dean and his retirement. First, if I'm not mistaken, he gets no retirement from the city of East Ridge. Secondly, he paid into the city of Chattanooga retirement plan, so he's basically getting back what he paid in during the years he was risking his life for all of us. Would you not hire a veteran because they were already getting a retirement? And lastly, what he will get from the state of Tennessee barely qualifies as a retirement, another of which he had to pay into.
There is no argument about who is more Republican or Democrat. She is a Democrat and he is a Republican. The real surprise here is why a lawyer would want to be a clerk.
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A lot has been said about whether or not you need to be a lawyer to be the Criminal Court clerk. It’s not required, but it must be extremely helpful and maybe it should be required.
The Chancery Court clerk, or clerk and master, here is required to be a lawyer but is not in some other counties. In Tennessee a Sessions Court judge did not have to be a lawyer until the early 1990's, but Hamilton County required them to be lawyers in the 1980's.
Maybe Hamilton County can be at the front of the pack again and require all our court clerks to be lawyers and change them to non-partisan, too. Courts are not a place for partisan politics.
I am voting for Gwen Tidwell for Criminal Court clerk, a true leader and innovator.