Chattanooga Is Sleepwalking Into The Same Failed Pattern - And Response (3)

  • Thursday, February 29, 2024

Why must Chattanooga sleepwalk into the same failed pattern of every other city in the country? This week the 16 or 17 interested local dumb seals again clapped as the county committed to blowing millions on a new ball stadium for a team that is perennially threatened with orphaning by the league, that can't even fill its existing stands for a photo-op. I assume the clappers then left that meeting and idled in traffic, scrolling Facebook, for 20 minutes to go two miles on I-24, ignorant of the irony. It takes ChatGPT 14.43 seconds on EPB's 300Mbps connection to explain the public investment strategies of late-20th century Cleveland, Ohio: why do our "community leaders" here insist on copying such a failed model?

Chattanooga is now more dangerous than virtually every city in Latin America. Its fundamental public services like roads and water are overburdened and generally atrocious. Who knows when half the city will be out of water for a week again? Mayor Kelly's road plan, captured perfectly in the Dodds Avenue abomination just one or two blocks away from totally disintegrated asphalt in the gentrifying Ridgedale neighborhood (complete with twisted, exposed old rail in the middle of the street), hasn't helped the city's fundamental base of taxable home values. Nor did Mayor Berke's bike lane fetish that made downtown unnavigable even when it's totally abandoned, which is most of the day and night.

Alas we have a new infrastructure du jour that will surely save all of us, full of lovely drawings where walking people enjoy days in shops, the ball field, and whatnot. In reality this new, cool ghetto will soon be clogged with 15 year old cars with duct tape on the outside, some with random out-of-state plates surely in our city transacting honest business, and here and there the oddly shifting pile of blankets and tarps belonging to someone who eats from a bucket on the sidewalk. Main Street all over again. It's okay, only a few people will be horrifically stabbed to death: the county will buy a new building! Yay! Affordable housing! Yay!

Full disclosure, I don't make it my business to know anything about the stooges under whose yoke I toil. Per the best I can tell from perusing the reports on this ball field farce, et cetera, the County Monarch's only qualifying experience is having lived with his father's last name for some decades while his sister, the County Justice, seems to use public funds to plaster her favorably touched-up face on billboards city-wide beside 2009's best Republican sloganeering. The two of them, like the clown show of Berke and Kelly and all the others, obviously see Chattanooga as a springboard to Nashville, Washington, and Dominion of All the Earth and Her Interplanetary Colonies. Hey, more power to them, maybe they'd be better than the villains there now, but might a serially unemployed, impoverished local handyman make a simple request of his betters.

Please just take 15 minutes and think about what Chattanooga and Hamilton County will look like in 2050 or 2060. Do some research with ChatGPT: it's free. While you may be in your palace in the Hamptons by then, dining on the finest of Spanish veal, the rest of us slouchy proles are still going to be stuck in the wreckage that you forgot to invest our money in. Have a heart, stop being stupid.

Chris Wicker

* * *

I do not have adequate words to truly capture and express how much we have lost in our last county primary, and the lack of public benefit arising from hiring a family monarchy, and mini Gavin Newson. It is bad for the people. We have cheated ourselves.

There are people in this community that are just financially brilliant that could have addressed poverty, failing schools, and lifted the bottom up first. In this county, rich corporations are lifted in hopes of a trickle down that never materializes, ask East Ridge and their sales tax boondoggle.

There is a slew of brilliant financial type people in Chattanooga and Hamilton County that could fix most of our problems. Politics is mean and dirty, and I get why brilliant-minded people would chose not to run. No one wants the destruction that comes with politics.

Chris, I was taken by your ability to write. I don’t know anything about you, but bro you can write. Lots of skill in you, and your education I imagine.

Be blessed y’all.

April Eidson

* * *

Mr. Wicker, the DA's office doesn't have a dog in this race, so I don't know your problem there. The young county mayor expressed his concerns about this project and the county's money is going to education - something that needs the funding and nobody should complain about.

So your concerns should only be directed at the City Council and Mayor Biden. Excuse me Mayor Kelley.

Bill Foust

* * *

I'm loving the citizen comments on the joke that has become Chattanooga.  Chris Wicker was correct and I was impressed by his ability to sum up the debacle forming in front of us.  Two other people seemed in agreement, if only partially, but I think that shows that even if we all don't agree 100% on the issues, some people are starting to see through the smoke and mirrors some politicians are so adept at using.  

Maybe it's not too late to save this place, but only if average citizens start calling out and demanding more of the folks who are in...ahem...charge.

Dana Lingerfelt

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