published Sunday, October 11th, 2009

County leaders recognize Bennett’s honor


by Cliff Hightower

by Matt Wilson

Hamilton County commissioners spent about a third of their Tuesday meeting congratulating Assessor Bill Bennett on his lifetime achievement award from the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers.

“His commitment to public service goes back to 1980 when he served here on the commission,” said Will Denami, executive director of the assessors’ association.

Mr. Bennett said he is very thankful for the award and for his employees.

He also said he plans to go to Florida soon for treatment and evaluation of the cancer he battled last year.

County Mayor Claude Ramsey, former county assessor, said Mr. Bennett got caught in “the perfect storm” this year in property tax reappraisals. Many county residents were upset by what they saw as radical jumps in their property tax bills.

Mr. Ramsey joked that he was going to ask President Barack Obama to put Roy Rumfelt, Mr. Bennett’s chief deputy, in charge of the economic stimulus.

“He created instant wealth at (my address),” Mr. Ramsey said. “I didn’t know it was worth that much.”

Commissioner Curtis Adams chimed in, “My wife always wanted a $500,000 house. We could never afford it, but Bill Bennett got us one.”

Commissioner Richard Casavant said he appreciated Mr. Bennett, then joked, “I wish you’d stop sending me that yearly letter.”

Mr. Bennett said, “We’ve all got a difference of opinion. I know that. I always tell everybody it’s for the children.”

JFK CLUB to meet

The JFK Club will host its monthly meeting at noon Monday at Out of the Blue Cafe with County Commissioner John Allen Brooks as guest speaker.

Mr. Brooks will discuss issues facing the county, according to a news release.

The cost of the event is $11 for a buffet. The cafe is at 3230 Brainerd Road near the east end of the Missionary Ridge Tunnels.

ODOM SPEAKING AT MEETING

State Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville, and leader of the House Democratic Caucus, will speak to the Greater Chattanooga Democratic Women’s Club at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The speech will take place in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Hall on Volunteer Drive.

Rep. Odom will speak on “The Challenges facing Tennessee Democrats in their quest for a new majority in 2010,” according to a news release.

For questions about the meeting, contact club President Katherine Snyder at 875-0100 or First Vice President of Programs Ann Pickering at 296-8184.

TDOT TO PRESENT FINDINGS TUESDAY

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will hold a presentation about the results of a study on Interstate 75 at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Brainerd Recreation Center, according to a news release.

State Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, is hosting the event, which will include plans for I-75, as well as the I-75 and Interstate 24 interchange.

The recreation center is at 1110 Brainerd Road. Contact Rep. Favors at 624-5088 if there are any questions.

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