County Commissioners Value Our Wallets, Not Our Input

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Eight county commissioners should be ashamed of themselves today. Not one supported Commissioner Boyd's proposal to require two votes to raise taxes. Supposedly the budget process is public enough already- never mind that our recent tax hike was passed after the regular budget process, with only one public hearing, and that during a work day. Apparently, going to work to pay Mayor Coppinger's taxes means we shouldn't have any say in whether they are raised. Meanwhile, the public hearing was a stacked deck, packed with zealots who think the phrase "for the children" should grant an unlimited budget at our expense. This is the County Commission's idea of "public
enough" for a 10 percent tax hike. 

Meanwhile, Commissioner Graham is adamant there was no tax hike at all, saying "If your appraisal stayed the same, your taxes will too." What's not mentioned is how many of our appraisals stayed the same. When almost all the taxpayers' bills go up, that's a tax increase, semantics notwithstanding. 

Notice there was also no transparency in how the money was spent. HCDE misled us on everything from whether a plan existed to who had read it, finally putting it to a vote with zero advance notice. Parents whose children are affected read about it after the fact in the newspaper.

The pattern is clear - Hamilton County government as a whole does not value our input, just our wallets. Unfortunately, all we can do now is remember who said what during the primaries next year - maybe then we'll avoid a repeat performance. 

Charles McCullough 
East Ridge

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

You would think that after 40 years of publishing an annual list of things for which I am thankful, I’d be getting to the bottom of it, but it seems the older I get I have found I appreciate so much more around me. I take absolute delight in planting a flower, feeding the birds and throwing a ball for my dog. I find that the more people who I come to know the more who I come to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)

Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

5 Disinherited Adopted Children Of Dr. J. Don Brock May Share In Rich Estate After All

Five disinherited adopted children of the late Chattanooga businessman J. Don Brock may share in his large estate after all. After losing at the trial court and appeals court level, the plaintiffs won a victory at the Tennessee Supreme Court. Justice Cornelia Clark ruled in favor of the adopted children and remanded the case to the trial court for settlement of the estate. ... (click for more)

Rodney Stoker Wins Turkey Trot 8K Again

It has been about 15 years since Rodney Stoker captured first place overall in the annual Sports Barn Turkey Trot, but he’s been doing some serious training in recent weeks and it paid off Thursday morning as the 41-year-old former UTC standout was victorious with a time of 27 minutes, 18 seconds. Dylan Hassett, a promising 24-year-old from Atlanta who is making her way as a ... (click for more)

JOHN HUNT: Thanksgiving 2017 Special As Always

I can’t believe it’s that time again.  Another year has come and gone and where did it all go? My father once told me that time really flies as you get older and I’m starting to believe him. But we’re back to one of my favorite holidays of the year – Thanksgiving – and I’m looking forward to spending quality time with family and friends.  I’m sure that I’ll eat too ... (click for more)