published Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd isn't sorry for firing range comments


by Cliff Hightower

A Hamilton County commissioner said Wednesday he has no apologies for admonishing his Chattanooga counterparts that the county won't overspend on construction of a jointly owned indoor firing range.

"I'm a taxpaying citizen," Tim Boyd said. "I represent 20,000 citizens of Chattanooga and 40,000 citizens of Hamilton County."

Boyd addressed the Chattanooga City Council on Tuesday night, telling members the county would not spend more than the agreed-to $1.5 million on the range. The city and county have agreed to split the estimated $3 million cost of the firing range.

Chattanooga City Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem took issue with Boyd's remarks.

"You have to ask yourself, is that a political move? A lack of medication? We don't know," Hakeem said.

Commission Chairman Larry Henry also chimed in.

"I regret that it happened because it was uncalled for," Henry said Wednesday.

Henry said he wished Boyd had simply called council members to voice his concerns rather than making public comments.

He reviewed the resolution last week and saw that the agreement was for $1.5 million from the county.

"Anything over that would have to come before both bodies," he said. "It was clear to me."

Boyd voiced frustration over the council talking last week about whether the county would put in more money if needed for the firing range construction.

Chattanooga police Chief Bobby Dodd had advised the council that the county commission could be asked for more money, just like the council.

Boyd said he wanted to make sure the council knew his position and to make clear the county would not just "ante up" on more funding. He said it was easier to go before all nine council members rather than "spend all day calling them on the phone."

He also said he didn't ask permission to address the council.

"I don't need permission from Larry Henry," Boyd said.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.

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