published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

East Ridge Council appoints Charter Commission members

The East Ridge City Council created a group it hopes will help change some city rules.

During its meeting Thursday night, the council appointed 10 people — two per councilman — to a Charter Commission that will review the charter and recommend changes. Then, those recommendations will go on a ballot and citizens will vote whether they want to make those changes, perhaps during the May 2014 primary elections.

The Charter Commission members are Robert Bedwell, Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd, Hamilton County Election Commissioner Ruth Braly, former East Ridge Councilman Darwin Branam, East Ridge Hotel-Motel Council spokesman Bill Breneman, attorney Estes Cocke, former council candidate Mimi Lowery, former state Rep. Ken Meyer, East Ridge Revitalization member Donna Reed and East Ridge Merchant’s Association President Robert Stahl.

As of Thursday, the Charter Commission did not have a planned first meeting, but some councilmen have already expressed key changes they would like to see. Marc Gravitt and Larry Sewell have said in the past that they don’t like the rule that requires the East Ridge judge to live within the city limits, and they don’t think the city manager should have to hold a bachelor’s degree in public administration.

Both of those rules are too constricting, the councilmen have suggested.

Free upgrade: Bug-a-Paluza President Randy Schneck has agreed to upgrade and repair the city’s electrical panels near the Camp Jordan parking lot and amphitheater for free.

Bug-a-Paluza is an annual gathering of Volkswagen collectors who bring their show cars to East Ridge.

Camp Jordan Fencing: The council agreed Thursday to cover the costs of repairing the fences at the Camp Jordan baseball fields. City Manager Eddie Phillips said he did not know how much this would cost, but that it would be “well below $10,000.”

The city will pay for this out of its Bond Anticipation Note fund.

Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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