City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed.

Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were.

Citizen Helen Burns Sharp, who has been fighting the TIF, said, "The City/IDB Attorney has confirmed that Chris Ramsey, who has served on the Industrial Development Board since 2002, does not live in the city and therefore cannot under state law serve on the IDB. TCA 7-53-202 and 301 state that members must be electors and taxpayers in the municipality. 


"This requirement makes sense. This board approves the 'forgiveness' of millions of dollars in city tax breaks (TIF, PILOTS) to private corporations. The property taxes paid by homeowners and small businesses pick up the tab to provide city services to these companies. These tax breaks contribute to the stagnation of city property tax revenues for other priority projects. This loss of revenue doesn't directly affect someone who doesn't live in the city.

"Mr. Ramsey, the illegal member, played a prominent role in the recent "re-approval" of the Black Creek TIF. He made the motion that the Board ratify their previous approval of Black Creek. He seconded the motion that the Board accept Black Creek as an 'eligible' project under state law. Had Mr. Ramsey not been on the dais, how do we know that another member would have made the motion to ratify and would have seconded the motion on project eligibility? The answer is we do not know.

"Who should be held accountable? What will the City/IDB do protect the interest of thousands of city taxpayers who have a right to expect that the city follow state law? Will they allow Mr. Ramsey on the dais today? Will the City/IDB attorney recommend retroactive action on the Black Creek votes?"

City Attorney Hinton said his office is looking into the situation involving Mr. Ramsey.

Asked if the issue would affect prior board action, he said, "Probably not. Most of the votes have been unanimous. But that is something we are looking into."

 


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 Sought After Fleeing From Moccasin Bend

The Chattanooga Police Department is assisting Moccasin Bend Mental Hospital is searching for Brandon Robinson, 33, who fled the premises.  Mr. Robinson was on a law enforcement hold out of Bedford County with Shelbyville Police Department.  Mr. Robinson  is a white male who is five foot nine and about 158 pounds. He is wearing a navy Spider Man T-shirt ... (click for more)

Lock Her Up? - And Response

It's concerning that the Republican Party elite attending the recent convention would indict, convict and jail a political opponent, when the FBI found no criminal intent to compromise national security and no other law violations were found. This "lock her up" mob mentality is third world, over-the-edge behavior that has no place in a country based on the rule-of-law, where ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Double Travesties

Back when we were kids the old guys taught us how to throw a one-two punch. It’s pretty impressive if you do it right, which is to jab your left fist into the thug’s face and then, as though it was a symphony, complete the combination as you deliver a powerful right cross to the same nose. If the thug has a gun, it doesn’t work as well. But, boy, did our community ever get clobbered ... (click for more)

Thompson, Mason Win Scenic City Scorcher With Record Times

Saturday was another record-setting day for runners in Chattanooga. The occasion was the second running of the Scenic City Scorcher, a flat and fast two-mile race in Heritage Landing. Last year was the first running of this event and 43 individual state records were broken that day.  There were 55 new marks set on the second time around, including 33 among the males ... (click for more)

CCS Names Eddie Salter, Ben Wharton As New Basketball, Baseball Coaches

Chattanooga Christian School announced that Coach Eddie Salter is returning to the men’s basketball program as the Varsity Head Coach for 2016-2017. He will be joined by Chattanooga Christian alumnus, Ben Wharton, who has been named the Varsity Head Coach of the men’s baseball program and the Junior Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach.  Former Varsity Head Basketball Coach ... (click for more)