Some City Council Members Have Questions On 911 Employee Relations; Stuermer Says Agency "Doing A Great Job"

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus

The Chattanooga City Council had some serious questions about Hamilton County 911, and  John Stuermer attempted to answer as best he could.

The main questions centered around Human Resources (or lack thereof) within 911, and where 911 stood in the county’s hierarchy, or if it was even part of it at all.

Councilman Russell Gilbert was the most vocal questioner among the council. One of his questions had to do with how much the city of Chattanooga paid in order to fund 911, even though he said the city did not benefit proportionally to how much taxpayers were putting in.

“The city is within Hamilton County, but a lot of times we don’t receive equal opportunities as the same amount of money we put in,” said Councilman Gilbert.

Mr. Stuermer responded by saying that the agency uses population as a leveling factor. That way, if one place has a poor year, the cost stays the same. He also noted 911 is “not part of Hamilton County. We are an independent entity. We get no funding from any agency, so this question is not really relevant to this discussion.”

Councilman Gilbert then shifted his attention to 911’s budget, motioning to a folder lying before him.

“I’m looking at your budget here,” he said, making note of the amount some employees were paying for insurance, “You’ve got some paying $23,000,  and some paying much less.” Councilman Gilbert pointed out that while a gap of a few hundred dollars were normal within workplaces when it comes to insurance, amounts in the thousands of dollars could be considered extreme.

Councilman Gilbert also brought up complaints about the 911 HR department. He started by asking if 911 had an HR person.

“We have a full position under Hamilton County, which is our HR. We are a completely separate entity from them,” said Mr. Stuermer, “We have a person acting as a liaison for the HR department for Hamilton County.” So while 911 does not have an official HR person, Mr. Stuermer assured the council that the person they do have was able to function in the same way an official HR person would.

Councilman Gilbert responded that when a Hamilton County employee spoke with 911, they found that they were not treated in a satisfactory way by the 911 HR staff.

“I have to respectfully disagree that the person was handled inappropriately,” said Mr. Stuermer, “I believe it was handled appropriately. It’s a personal opinion, and I’ll have to disagree with that.”

However, Councilmen Chip Henderson, Jerry Mitchell, and Anthony Byrd still had concerns.

Councilman Byrd said, “I’ll sit at some of the meetings, and I didn’t appreciate how our HR person was treated (during a previous meeting). At this point, we’re paying this money (in taxes) so they can get that service, and those employees are our people, so they can get their treatment fairly. If we’re paying the taxpayers’ money, then we need someone who is going to have their back.”

Councilman Henderson, saying he supported Councilmen Gilbert and Byrd’s plea to implant a real HR person in 911, so that any complaints or issues employees may have would be dealt with in a professional manner.

“To me, that’s not fair to people we still have on payroll, and are being treated the way they’re being treated,” said Councilman Henderson, “We have an obligation to these people. In my opinion, they should have a person who is officially in HR.”

By the end of the meeting, not much had changed, and Mr. Stuermer closed out the meeting with a final remark in support of the current method.

“I think we do a great job, and I think personnel is part of the commitment to that. If this committee or this council desires, we can look at other options, and then we can sit down and look at it. We give this city service that is exceptional, and we have a commitment to that. Our policies are very much in line with any high-quality service.”

 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Raymond J. Rzeplinski, 43, Arrested After SWAT Call Friday Night

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ARROWOOD, MICHAEL RICHARD 907 MASTERSON AVENUE HIXSON, 37343 Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AIDING ... (click for more)

The suspect in Friday’s SWAT call on Crabtree Road was Raymond J. Rzeplinski, 43. He has been charged with p ossession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a prohibited weapon, ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ANDERSON, QUINTESSA SHAVON 4029 GRAND AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37410 Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ARROWOOD, MICHAEL RICHARD 907 MASTERSON AVENUE HIXSON, 37343 Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AIDING & ABETTING (ESCAPE OR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER) ----- BARNES, VICKEAUNIA MONTRICIA 3203 HILLWOOD DR CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Raymond J. Rzeplinski, 43, Arrested After SWAT Call Friday Night

The suspect in Friday’s SWAT call on Crabtree Road was Raymond J. Rzeplinski, 43. He has been charged with p ossession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a prohibited weapon, felony reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office called in SWAT officers after a man threatened to shoot deputies Friday ... (click for more)

Opinion

Good Sports Bar News

Just had dinner Tuesday night at Jonathan's Grille location in Hendersonville, Tn. When in Murfreesboro or Nashville, it's one of my favs. Just a great sports bar concept and menu. So happy to hear the Revelette brothers are bringing their brand (and their pizza night) to the old 212 Market location in downtown Chattanooga. Bring it on! Garry Mac (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

As I stood in the checkout line of the Walmart in Tiftonia this week, my newest friend named Harold asked me, “What’s the difference between an outlaw and an in-law. As I searched my mind, Harold responded, “Outlaws are wanted!” I immediately accepted his joke as a good omen. It helps me to remind readers of The Saturday Funnies, I just collect them during the week and pass them ... (click for more)

Sports

Saturday's Best Of Preps Football Jamboree Scores

SATURDAY'S RESULTS Howard 14, Copper Basin 0 Cleveland 7, Red Bank 7 Howard 8, Signal Mountain 6 East Ridge 14, Copper Basin 6 Red Bank 13, Walker Valley 7 Sale Creek 6, Signal Mountain 0 Walker Valley 14, McMinn Co. 0 Brainerd 0, McMinn Co. 0 Brainerd 13, Sale Creek 7 Ooltewah 13, Notre Dame 7 Baylor 14, Soddy Daisy 0 Notre Dame 20, Soddy Daisy ... (click for more)

Red Wolves Suffer First-Ever Loss At David Stanton Field

For the majority of the match, Ronaldo Dumas floated around the pitch, suffocated by the Red Wolves defense for 86 minutes. Rendered invisible, the high-scoring 19 year-old was a ghost, unable to impose his skills on the match. That all changed in the 87th, when Dumas wrangled a Arturo Rodriguez pass away from Chattanooga’s back line, and slotted in a short-range shot to ice the ... (click for more)