published Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Coolidge Park to get brighter

by Cliff Hightower

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an emergency purchase to replace light bulbs in Coolidge Park and add new lighting under the Walnut Street Bridge.

The purchase is from Chattanooga-based Global Green Lighting for $251,695. City officials said $40,000 will be provided as a grant from the city’s Office of Sustainability.

Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the administration had been working “strenuously” on getting better lighting at Coolidge Park.

“We want to have it ready by summer,” Johnson said. “When the kids let out, we want it ready to go.”

Johnson said the lights will be brighter throughout the park. He said Coolidge Park is a test case. If the lighting works well, city officials will replace all lights throughout the city, he said.


Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Paul Smith jabbed local businesses Monday during a speech to the JFK Club, an arm of the local Democratic Party.

Smith said the County Commission failed its responsibility and obligations to fund Hamilton County schools.

But at the end, he also said several local businesses need to “step up” as well. He said the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce needed to privatize and stop accepting public money.

He called on Volkswagen and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee to start paying more dues to help the Chamber become more sustainable.

He said Republicans and those in the business world always cry for privatization of services.

“This will go with their philosophy,” Smith said. “Their philosophy is to privatize, and I believe charity starts at home.”


Chattanooga Public Works Administrator Steve Leach came to the microphone Tuesday night during the City Council’s regular business meeting.

“I’m going to start with employee of the year,” Leach said.

Leach then turned and handed a plaque to Lee Norris, deputy administrator of Public Works.

Immediately, he pointed at Norris.

“It’s not him,” Leach said.

The audience burst out laughing, and Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd threw out a comment.

“Good choice,” she said.

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