Oh and by the way Ron, I'm a democrat, even voted for you in the last election, and I am thankful there is a recall method because clearly I and every other democrat who bought into your campaign sales pitches bought a lemon.
Your attempt to characterize the entire recall effort as Tea Party hate mongers, is also false.
“I believe that you are in violation of the laws of God and man,” Littlefield wrote.
What kind of man of God forces tax increases upon people who have not seen cost of living increases in their paychecks in over 5 years?
What kind of man of God doesn't care if his new taxes add new burdens upon the elderly and retirees who have not seen cost of living increases?
What kind of man of God tries to sway the opinion of a judge towards a conviction instead of allowing the due process of the courts take it's course.
What kind of man of God coerces people to become citizens of his city with forced annexation instead of allowing them to choose freely?
What kind of man of God gives a sweetheart tax break to VW and shifts the city's lack of revenue from VW not paying onto every other business in Chattanooga?
What kind of man of God think placing scrap metal sculptures that just sit on a lawn and do nothing but sit there and look pretty is more important than dealing with Chattanooga's growing gang and violent crime problems?
What kind of man of God creates a new division in city government simply to give a 6 figure job to the daughter of one his long time political pals?
I'm sorry Ron, but your actions show you not to be the "good Christian man" you and all your out of town friends on these boards keep saying you are.
It's your elitist actions Ron that have lead to the recall.
Your inability to listen to the people of Chattanooga, and your power mongering to rule over them and force your will and agenda upon them, and failure to do the will of the people and of represent them, that has led to your recall.
"Last week, a senior law consultant for the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service issued an opinion saying that state law trumps the City Charter."
That seems highly doubtful since the election for Mayor of Chattanooga is not a state election, but rather a local election and local elections within the city limits are governed by the City Charter.
If the recall was to remove, for example, someone from office who had been elected to the State Legislature, that is when the state law would kick in and apply, yet since this is only a local election and not for a position in TN state government the local rules apply.
Regardless, if the annexations go through there will be more than enough new registered voters in the newly annexed county areas being added to the city to drive a 2nd recall effort which would meet both state and local requirements.
Despite the pure utter garbage this "mayor of chattanooga manufactured" opinion piece spews the reality is quite simple.
Just as Tennessee is but one of fifty states within the USA and it's residents pay both state sales taxes (local government territory) and federal taxes (encompassing greater government territory, Chattanooga is but one of nine cities within Hamilton county, and therefore, it's residents pay both taxes to the local government's territory of the city and the greater encompassing territory of the county.
The state law does NOT require the county to establish fire tax districts, it simply allows that as an OPTION, if the county wishes to go that route.
This is yet another of Littlefield's perpetual grasping at straws justifications, First it's for safety, even though it's in the city we have see gun violence/crime this past year on a weekly if not almost daily basis; then it's for the Census federal dollars, even though forced annexations are ineligible, and now fire districts. What's next? the annexation is for the if Mars invades Chattanooga defense fund? The justifications from Littlefield and the City Council grow more ludicrous and laughable with each passing week.
Quite amazing that it is the 21st century and here in the deep south people still do not have a vote or representation.
All it will take to move the annexation issue from a decision before a chancellor to a trial by jury is one minority person in the annexed areas saying they feel they are being denied a vote and representation, and this annexation issue then becomes a violation of the Civil Rights Act, and the city council then has a new nightmare-legal battle on their hands.
The problem is really the archaic property tax system, which should be done away with and replaced by either a state income tax or a local sales tax or both, either of which would generate far more revenue, and would be fairer, as with the latter system you could not lose a paid off house over losing a job and not being able to keep up with your property tax, you simply stop paying taxes if you have no source of income.
The citizens of Chattanooga should be as opposed to this annexation attempt as the County residents.
In the long run, annexation means the city will have to raise taxes on us in the city even higher in order to have enough resources to support all the new areas being annexed.
Right now the city lacks the resources to provide adequate services within the existing city limits.
Annexing new areas will only stretch city services even thinner.
Not that those services are all that great to start with.
We pay nearly double the property taxes of county residents and what do we get for it in return? The garbage and brush pickup isn't really free when you consider how much more we pay in property taxes. The sewer tax is a joke and simply a way for the city to gouge both business and residential properties on water utilities. Many residential properties are still on septic tanks, simply because the city lacks the resources to run the sewer lines out to residents and residents have to pay nearly $8000 for the so called "privilege" of being hooked up to the city sewers.
Everyone, who lives within the city, needs to contact City Council and oppose this, because if this goes through you can expect to see the city property tax rate far exceed that of the county. All that will do is further damage Chattanooga's economy because between our excessive property taxes and sales tax rate, businesses will have a hard time staying competitive with what Georgia has to offer.
Hamilton Place mall already is starting to look more and more like a ghost town because people in neighboring East Brainerd cut back on local purchases due to the recession, add a $800-2500 property tax increase on them and they have even less purchasing power spend even less locally.
I think it would be wise to wait until after the 2010 Census data is in and until after Volkswagen is up and running, and fully functional to see what, if anything, needs to change. Going through with annexation now based on a study from almost a decade ago is simply foolish.
Too often politicians try to force their ideas on the public instead of serving the public and asking what the people want.
It's supposed to be government for the people, by the people and of the people, not over the people.
It would be nice to see more things put to a public vote instead of being decided by a handful of career politicians.
I'm tired of seeing our elected officials act like our rulers, when they are supposed to be our representatives.
"Mr. Littlefield noted that their terms will end eventually and that board members “more receptive to consolidation” could be appointed."
I too find that statement from the Mayor quite unsettling.
However, I think it goes beyond cronyism and sounds like corruption.
If I were Claude Ramsey I would not touch the idea of doing the appointments
to the water authorities the way Mr. Littlefield suggested with a 99 and a half foot pole. Stink, stank, stunk.
The implementation of a county wide water authority
would impact everyone in the county,
it should therefore be put to a public, county-wide vote,
and not decided by a handful of carefully chosen political appointees.
Mayor Littlefield are you that unethical
that you would actually suggest rigging
a panel of appointees to vote your will on this issue?
I am really disappointed in you, Mayor Littlefield, for that statement, starting to regret having voted for you,
and beginning to wonder if there are not other reasons,
besides recycling, to sign Frank Depinto's petition to recall you from office.
I turned Mr. Depinto's request to sign down last time,
but after reading that quote,
if he comes round again, I think this time, I may.
Kudos, to the Times FreePress for staying on top of this issue and keeping us informed.
I most likely would have never seen this on our local TV news.
I hope the Times FreePress will follow up on this article and ask the Mayor to clarify his quote above.
He's got some explaining to do.
Mayor Littlefield contradicts himself in his inauguration speech.
He states the the VW/Enterprise South revealed inadequacies in city infrastructure
and services to support the site, yet he also wants to annex new territories.
Why? - to serve those same inadequacies to other areas
and further spread the city resources too thinly?
The city is already failing to deliver services
to those of us already within city boundaries.
We're being charged for sewer services and still have septic tanks.
The police response time to Brainerd is slow and sometimes not at all.
The 911 center misses calls.
Curb side recycling is hit and miss, some areas are serviced while others are not.
Plus, we've had to put up with that god awful chip seal on the roads,
which is dangerous (cars slide on it and have trouble braking,
and God help the poor school bus driver who has to drive over that stuff)
and it makes Chattanooga look like a backwoods, gravel paved community.
You simply need to look at some back issues of The Times-Free Press
over the past four years to see all the existing unresolved problems within the current city limits.
Before the mayor even considers annexing onto the city he needs
to do right by existing city residents and have the city live up to it's
obligation to provide equal services for existing city residents.
There is plenty that needs fixing right within the existing city limits.
Adding new territory would only further aggravate existing problems
and would necessitate the need to raise property taxes on existing city residents,
in order to support the newly annexed areas,
so that they would receive equal services as well.
And the idea that county areas must be annexed for safety reasons is simply ludicrous.
If anything the county is most likely safer than the city.
I think the first commenter hit the nail on the head, this is nothing more than a foolish effort to boost population count for federal dollars, and perhaps a bit of a vanity project on the part of the mayor.
If the mayor is trying to build a lasting legacy in his last term, restoring existing neighborhoods within the city to their former glory would be a much better project. Let the county take care of itself and focus your efforts on serving your existing constituents better.