Red Bank Commissioners Approve Pay Increase For Part-Time Firefighters; Discuss Future Raises For Other Employees

andy Smith

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - by Gail Perry

There was a consensus among the Red Bank commissioners at the Tuesday night meeting that salaries of city employees need to be reviewed. It was noted that the city of Chattanooga and most of the surrounding small municipalities are increasing pay to city workers. Chattanooga, East Ridge, Collegedale and Soddy Daisy have all increased salaries and Signal Mountain is working on a plan now, said Interim City Manager John Alexander.

 

An amendment to the 2021-2022 budget to increase compensation for the city’s 19 part-time firefighters started the discussion about including other departments and jobs.

Commissioner Ruth Jeno suggested doing a pay scale study to include the public works and police departments. “I want to be fair to all our employees and want them to stay,” she said.

 

“That’s a valid point," said Commissioner Pete Phillips, "but I’m not ready to spend $150,000 this year.” He said that the commissioners need to look at all of the departments and do due diligence in preparation for next year. That way increases can be included in the budget. "I do not have trouble spending the money if we have it," he said.

 

The city has 45 firefighters, which includes 14 full-time, 19 part-time and 12 volunteers. The commissioners voted unanimously to increase the part-time employees from $11.59 per hour to $13.70 to match the pay for full-time firefighters. It will be retroactive to July 1. Mr. Alexander noted that they do the same jobs. This is a stop-gap measure for the city, said Commissioner Phillips, until a city-wide pay rate study is conducted. This increase for the 19 part-time firefighters will require the amendment of an additional $15,430 to the current fiscal year 2022 operating budget.

 

At the meeting, a discussion took place regarding the use of public spaces in the city. City Attorney Arnold Stulce said currently there is a verbal policy, but his recommendation is to establish a written policy. He advised that for organized events with a yet to be determined number of people attending, there should be a special use permit required. This would also include a requirement for the host of the event to provide insurance. And part of the permitting process would also be to provide security if the city manager and police chief recommend it.

 

The discussion by the commissioners centered around what would be fair for Red Bank citizens and what would protect the liability of the city. Some conditions would trigger the need for a special permit. In  addition to the number of participants, a permit would be needed if there would be a charge for admission or if it is a money-making event. And events that serve alcohol may need to obtain a special event alcohol permit. Certain activities at the city parks trigger the city’s insurer to require that the event organizer provides their own insurance, said Mayor Hollie Berry.

 

A citizen who was concerned with a permitting policy said that his interest is in encouraging the public’s use of parks and he worried that some permitting and requiring insurance would restrict get-togethers by neighbors or friends, depending on the definition of “organized event .” There are occasions when a certain number of people are expected and more show up, he said. And the use of parks for birthday parties might exceed the number of people allowed and would initiate the need for insurance. 

 

On the second and final reading, the solid waste operating budget was amended to purchase a new brush truck for the public works department in the amount of $173,004. At a previous meeting, Commissioner Jeno noted that former city manager Tim Thornbury had put money aside for this vehicle, but earlier this year the money had been diverted to buy a truck for curbside recycling. That program was not approved so the money became available again to use for the brush truck.

 

The time and place of the commission meetings was formally amended to change the name of the building where the meetings will be held, to the new name now known as the police services station. The time of meetings was changed to 6 p.m. and conditions were added that allow for a change to the time and place of commission meetings, if needed.  

 

A vacancy on the Red Bank Board of Zoning Appeals was filled with the appointment of Jared Heuter. His term as one of the directors of the Chattanooga chapter of the American Institute of Architects has recently ended, said Mayor Berry, which makes him a qualified applicant.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

James Satterwhite Of Soddy Daisy Was Person Killed In Hixson Pike Wreck On Monday Morning

Grand Jury True Bills


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BARNES, VICKEAUNIA MONTRICIA 3203 HILLWOOD DR CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge Booked for ... (click for more)

One person was killed in a crash between two vehicles on Monday morning. He was identified as James E. Satterwhite of Soddy Daisy. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office traffic investigators ... (click for more)

Here are the True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: True Bills: 312289 1 BALLOU, DA'SHAUN MARQUAILL AGGRAVATED ROBBERY 10/27/2021 312290 1 BIEGERS, RUSSELL ALLEN THEFT OF ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BARNES, VICKEAUNIA MONTRICIA 3203 HILLWOOD DR CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BLAYLOCK, BRYAN RAY DOES NOT KNOW IT SODDY DAISY, 37379 Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

James Satterwhite Of Soddy Daisy Was Person Killed In Hixson Pike Wreck On Monday Morning

One person was killed in a crash between two vehicles on Monday morning. He was identified as James E. Satterwhite of Soddy Daisy. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office traffic investigators responded to the 9600 block of Hixson Pike for the report of a multi-vehicle accident. Upon arrival, deputies and emergency services personnel located a crash involving two vehicles. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Pretending Is Dangerous - And Response

I’ve ‘seen some stuff’ in my time. I have followed politics for many years. I’m retired, I’m a realist and a Vietnam veteran, pretty much in that order. I’m not an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist. That said, I have never in my life been so concerned about the future of this Republic. Politics was once a legitimate contest of ideas, put forth by political figures who were sincere, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Mandates Argument

I have taken the position that mandates of any kind that limit personal freedoms are awful. And I have watched with sorrow what has happened at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and is now happening at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga. Good people are losing jobs all across America rather than surrender their personal beliefs. I also mourn the COVID vaccine has been divided ... (click for more)

Sports

UTC Hoops Voted Preseason Favorite

The Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball team has been selected as the 2021-22 Southern Conference preseason favorite in both the coaches and media poll while graduate guard David Jean-Baptiste and sophomore guard Malachi Smith were selected to the all-conference preseason team, the league office announced at its media day gathering Tuesday afternoon. Chattanooga (77) picked up ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Braves' Magic Continues

Joc Pederson is wearing my grandmother's pearl necklace. For whatever reason. it worked as the Atlanta Braves took the opening game of the 2021 World Series Tuesday night in Houston against the Astros. Pederson wears the pearl necklace while others wear the big gaudy gold chains. He's just part of this blue collar group that has won the hearts of Braves' fans around the country ... (click for more)