County Commission Does Not Go Along With Large Increase In Travel Item

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Randy Fairbanks
Randy Fairbanks

The County Commission on Wednesday did not go along with an increase in the travel item of the commission budget from $73,000 to $185,000.

Commissioner Greg Martin made a motion to keep the same $73,000 amount, saying, "We talk about efficiency in government and transparency all the time. This sends the wrong message."

Commissioner Chester Bankston voted against the motion, but other commissioners did after Greg Beck, who was considered a swing vote, was in support. Commissioner Warren Mackey was absent.

Commissioner Martin said even the current amount is far above what the commissioners actually spend on travel.

Chairman Randy Fairbanks, who submitted the budget request, earlier said he did so after a request from two other commissioners. He did not say which commissioners.

He said he also did so after County Mayor Jim Coppinger indicated there was sufficient funding available for the increase.

With that increase, the budget for the County Commission had been proposed to rise by $111,317 - going from $788,939 to $900,256. The jump is more than 14 percent.

Chairman Fairbanks said the new funds would be for more than travel and could be for special appropriations as deemed appropriate by the various commissioners.

He said an example would be the $1,000 he recently had donated from county funds to the Soddy Daisy Food Bank.

Chairman Fairbanks, commenting on charges that other commissioners were "blindsided" by the budget request, said he would have been violating the Sunshine Law by going to each commissioner and discussing the item.

He said other commission chairmen had not passed around commission budget requests to the other commissioners. He said that was the case when he said Chairman Jim Fields in 2016 put in $898,409 in discretionary money. He said that was a commission budget increase of 121.2 percent.  

Chairman Fairbanks said County Mayor Coppinger had vetoed a county budget with $900,000 in commission discretionary funds at a time when there was not sufficient funds to cover that cost.

He said the county mayor advised there is sufficient money to cover the new lower amount of discretionary funds.

Chairman Fairbanks said Commissioner Graham, who seconded the Martin motion, spent the most last year on special district appropriations - giving $30,000 to Normal Park School. 


Collegedale Moves To Regulate Short Term Rentals

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Soddy Daisy Moving Toward Beer Sales 7 Days A Week, 24 Hours A Day


The city of Collegedale has adopted an ordinance establishing registration and permitting requirements for all short term rentals, an industry that officials said "has a growing presence in the ... (click for more)

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AARON, DONAVAN RAY 935 GREENHILL DR ROSSVILLE, 30741 Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy POSSESSION ... (click for more)

Beer sales will be allowed 24 hours and day, seven days a week, in Soddy Daisy if an amendment to the city’s ordinance regulating hours passes on a second vote at the next commission meeting. ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Collegedale Moves To Regulate Short Term Rentals

The city of Collegedale has adopted an ordinance establishing registration and permitting requirements for all short term rentals, an industry that officials said "has a growing presence in the city." Collegedale officials said, "A short term rental is describe as a dwelling that is rented wholly or partially for a fee for a period of less than thirty (30) continuous days. Short ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AARON, DONAVAN RAY 935 GREENHILL DR ROSSVILLE, 30741 Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA --- BRADLEY, COURTLAND MARCELL 901 CURLYCUE DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Opinion

Save The Wildlife, Mr. Berke

Why in the world would there be any question regarding the wildlife at East Lake park, and the humane relocation of same? Why would anyone need to beg for the right thing to be done? Maybe if the ducks could ride scooters, there would be money for this. Or maybe if they had means to pay for one of the so-called affordable apartments we have in Chattanooga, they would rate the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What's 'Good' About It?

For the biggest part of my life (a real long time) I refused to acknowledge what is “good” about Good Friday. Today, in literally every country on earth, it is ‘Good Friday’ and, nope, nothing is “good” about killing my Jesus. Forget that it is the most singular display of His love for me, and I push all of the human race aside, to stand completely alone, and feel Jesus’ eyes on ... (click for more)

Sports

Softball: Lady Trojans Edge Lady Raiders, 4-3, In Big 5-3A Victory

Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans will go into Friday’s Lady Trojan Invitational at Warner Park riding high after a come-from-behind 4-3 victory Thursday against Cleveland. Soddy-Daisy’s win coupled with McMinn County’s stunning 4-1 victory over Walker Valley moved the Lady Trojans into first place by 20 percentage points over the Lady Mustangs. In the other district game, East Hamilton ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club And Nightfall Join Forces For 2019 Jersey Reveal

Chattanooga Football Club announced on Thursday its annual Jersey Reveal that will take place Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Miller Plaza to help kick off the opening night of Chattanooga’s long-standing concert series, Nightfall. The event is free and all are encouraged to attend. Entering its 32nd year, Nightfall is consistently voted one of Chattanooga’s favorite events. ... (click for more)