Municipal Court Solution - And Response

Friday, January 26, 2018

According to a  recent Chattanoogan.com article, it would appear that there is  a difference of opinion between city police chiefs and judges. I have a suggestion. 

Since there is a real safety concern when small city police departments must transport prisoners to and from the jail to court in said towns, strength is always in numbers and quite frankly, the numbers just aren’t there. 

While I like the idea of city court, I think a metropolitan government is a terrible idea and I always have. Small towns like Soddy Daisy lose their identity. It really wouldn’t matter where Daisy stopped and Soddy started, although there’s much debate even about that. 

This is why I feel there should be two court dockets. Being that most city courts are held in the evenings, the jail docket could be held a few hours earlier at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Why not? The city of Chattanooga has their court inside the Hamilton County Courts Building. Why couldn’t any city that wanted to hold court down there, with county permission, do the same?  Sure they’d have to figure out the timing and other details, but it would be so much safer for officers. 

This way, the city doesn’t lose “$250,000 in income” as stated by Judge Helton of East Ridge. That is troubling on so many levels to read it out that way. 

James Berry
District 1 Resident 

* * * 

Mr. Berry, please do your homework on why the city of Chattanooga has court space in the Justice Building, and the small cities do not.  Without history, you cannot understand the current problems. 

For those that remember the history,  It is more about long range planning, or lack thereof in the case of the small cities.   You just are not aware of planning that went into the Justice Building, and the fact that the small cities declined participation. 

The Justice Building was developed with a host of partners under leadership of then County Mayor Claude Ramsey. All municipalities were afforded the opportunity for space in the building, and of course the small cities being the short term visionary people they are just saw increased costs. 

So now, you suggest,  that the city of Chattanooga should share their long term vested interest in the Justice building space with the people that failed to plan. 

Hum, so the small cities failure to plan should be Chattanooga’s emergency to share their space.  

It is matter of a larger municipality having long term vision over short term vision of the smaller municipalities who are just now realizing there is cost transporting the incarcerated.  Wait a minute, the city of Chattanooga figured that one out decades ago. 

Who should pay that piper, the city courts by sharing their vested space, I think not?    

I favor metro government, because the replication of failures is mind boggling. 

April Eidson


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