We have worked to stop the creation of an unnecessary new school system on Signal Mountain. However, since the "committee for change" has been disbanded, Senator Gardenhire's bill to "Hiest" our school buildings is still on the table. It should be defeated. Further, County Mayor Coppinger should be concerned that school property, paid for by Hamilton County taxpayers, could be confiscated.
It is amazing Gardenhire would introduce such a bill. He doesn't represent Signal Mountain, nor Memphis. He said, "a lawyer from Memphis asked him to do so." What? I live on Signal Mountain and my representatives are Senator Bo Watson and Patsy Hazelwood; not Senator Gardenhire. I don't know why Senator Watson is not up in arms over Gardenhire's power grab. To her credit, Patsy
Hazelwood is. Many on the Mountain think Bo should be replaced.
This idea sounds like it came right out of the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos's, office in Washington. I was in education for 32 years; I believe in public education for all children. I am not an elitist. I don't want money taken from our poorest children's schools. We need no change, especially since our schools compete with private schools successfully. Higher taxes are a given if it ever happens. It was a bad idea from the start.
Wilbourne C. Markham Sr.
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If Signal Mountain insists upon running their own schools, let them. If they wish to divorce themselves from Chattanooga, fine by me. But confiscating Hamilton County property that Chattanooga still owes $17.5 million in bonds without restitution is as bad as annexing without permission or due process. If the schools are in use, it is certainly not “surplus property.”
If Signal Mountain “annexes” Chattanooga property, let Signal Mountain purchase the properties for $17.5 million, or make arrangement to assume responsibility for the bonds held on the properties.
My taxes went to procure and build these properties. I have no wish to just “give it away” without compensation. Signal Mountain seems to have its own identity, police force, government, etc. But let them pay for what is not theirs. Let them form their own school bus system and buses and drivers. Let them install their own DARE and resource officers. Let them pay for their own field trips to the aquarium, et al. If Signal Mountain wishes its own complete autonomy, let it not be on the backs of Chattanooga taxpayers. Pony-up, Signal Mountain and pay you fair share for total independence.