Is anybody home at John Allen Brooks' St. Elmo residence?
Mr. Brooks, a Democratic candidate for Hamilton County Commission District 6, says he lives in the house on Alabama Avenue, and he's got the expensive gas bills and other mail to prove it.
But supporters of his primary opponent, Democratic incumbent Lou Miller, this week questioned whether anybody actually lives at the house he lists as his address.
The issue surfaced after Jean Swafford, president of the East Lake Neighborhood Association, said in a widespread e-mail the house appeared to be vacant.
Mr. Brooks said he didn't think Ms. Miller herself was responsible for what he said was an attempt to get off the real issues.
"Don't ask me why, but I always expected dirty tricks," he said. "I don't know if this will be the last one."
Ms. Miller said it was her supporters who were pursuing the issue. She said she wasn't concerned with his residency, but noted she has lived in the district all her life. Mr. Brooks' family owns a dairy farm in Ooltewah, and he said he has lived in three different places in District 6.
Ms. Swafford said she stopped at the house last Sunday and Tuesday and that the house did not appear to be lived in. Mr. Brooks said he and his family have been renovating the house.
A visit to Alabama Avenue on Tuesday night found the house well lit, and a vehicle with a campaign bumper sticker for Mr. Brooks was at the end of the driveway.
A POLITICIAN IN THE MAKING?
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield's Blue Ribbon Personnel Committee includes human resource managers, legal experts, community activists - and a potential politician.
During the committee's first meeting Tuesday, former Chattanooga fire Chief Jim Coppinger received a more elaborate introduction than his counterparts.
"He has had a lot of experience with personnel issues in the city, and now he's jumping into something even hotter by running for the County Commission," joked Mayor Ron Littlefield, who organized the committee to examine the city's personnel policies.
Mr. Coppinger, a Republican running for the District 3 commission seat, replied, "I'll remind you, mayor, you're only a politician if you're elected."
RAMSEY ON LITTER TOUR
Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey will visit schools each day this week to glimpse students' efforts to combat litter.
Mr. Ramsey's tour will begin Monday with a 10 a.m. visit to Falling Water Elementary School. Other visits will include a puppet show, "Puppets Promote a Litter-Free World," at Snow Hill Elementary on Tuesday; custom-painted trash cans at Birchwood Elementary on Wednesday; a PowerPoint presentation at Big Ridge Elementary on Thursday; and poems and songs about litter at the Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts on Friday.
Mr. Ramsey introduced an anti-litter initiative, "Hamilton SHINES" last year, and the issue remains important to him, spokesman Mike Dunne said.
HEALTH CLINIC SITE BOUGHT
Chattanooga is purchasing the Senior Neighbors annex from Alexian Brothers health System for $160,000 for its new city employee health clinic.
Harvey Webb, the city's director of real estate, said the city did not appraise the property, but the price is below the county assessor's appraisal.
The health clinic is expected to start seeing patients this summer.
Compiled by staff writers Herman Wang and Ian Berry.