When Will Budgetel Reopen? - And Response

  • Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Concerning the closing of the Budgetel in East Ridge a week ago, my first observation was that nothing much has changed. Rules are rules, and laws are laws, and there are always those whose explicit job it is to enforce rules and laws. But I learned as a little boy in grade school, and it was still true when I taught at Tennessee Temple College from 1967 to 1979, that those whose explicit job it is to enforce rules and laws seldom do their job the way it should be done.

Every teacher knows who the troublemakers are before the first week of class ends. Every law officer knows who the criminals on his turf are. Take away that small percentage of students or criminals and things would go more smoothly for everyone else. But it’s always easier, somehow, to give the guilty a pass and thereby punish everyone else.

Is it foolish to suppose that local law enforcers at every level knew exactly who the bad guys were at the Budgetel in East Ridge? The excuse of sex offenders living there indicates those names and criminal records were known to officials. But rather than simply remove those and other felons from the building(s), everyone was routed out and rendered effectively homeless.

But that was last week; that was last week’s news. So has the Budgetel now been scoured and purged and exterminated to the government’s content? Is it physically and up-to-code fit to live in again? And don’t a lot of the honest and innocent folks who were evicted last week have a legitimate claim to live there - having already paid rent? So what are officials waiting for?

When are the innocent folks going to be allowed to move back in?

Those are fair questions, but I’m not holding my breath, waiting for honest and reasonable answers.

Larry Cloud
Lookout Valley


* * * 

Crime, criminals, even sex offenders living at the East Ridge hotel isn't the reason for shutting it down. After all, unless they're locked up for life with no chance at parole or society creates a sex offender colony where only sex offenders can live, most sex offenders are going to be released from prison at some point. They too deserve a place to live. 

Now back to actual reasons vs excuses: Labeling poor, often minority poor, communities crime infested isn't the reason for gentrifying and "weed 'n seeding" them. It's the excuse. Dismantling public housing based on the false flag they're overridden with crime isn't the reason, it's the excuse. Banning people from their homes they worked for decades to own, many outright owned, using code enforcement and minor code violations as the excuse to displace them and take away their home, isn't the reason, it's the excuse. Destabilizing entire communities on the pretense of "revitalizing them, and making them "safe", isn't the reason for gentrifying them. It's the excuse. 

We could have lost our own home years ago if I hadn't become loud, very loud at that, when the city came after us over that at times smelly storm water ditch that runs parallel to our home as well as others throughout St. Elmo, and there was a sewage overflow in addition to a pipe running across the ditch leaking sewage from the opposite side where sewage flowed from another property into a city easement line on our property. If I'd remained silent, not only could we have lost the home, but faced hefty fines and possibly prosecution. You'd think the city would know which way and how its sewage lines flow, wouldn't you? At times it felt like I was the smartest, most intelligent person in the room. And that's a scary cross to bear. All these educated minds, and none intelligent enough to ask questions, pull their own records nor did any possess a lick of common sense. That period in Chattanooga was a very stressful time for us, as I know those individuals forced from the place they called home, Americans-at least one a veteran maybe more, must be stressed to the max now. 

It doesn't take any smarts to show human decency. But I'm sure greed has played a lot into closing that East Ridge hotel, as well as forcing people from their communities, homes they've worked hard to own, dismantling public housing and tossing everyone like "weeds" on the side of a road. Same as greed has played a role in gentrifying targeted communities here as well as across the nation over the decades; robbing fellow Americans of their homes and moving renters around like pieces on a chessboard. 

"The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure."--William Blake 

"Every bird loves to hear himself sing."--German Proverb-Egotism 

Brenda Washington 

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