published Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Developer seeks help removing sex offender


by Cliff Hightower

by Matt Wilson

Developer Julian Bell came before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday to see if he could get some help running a convicted sex offender out of a house his company built.

Mr. Bell said the man, whom he did not name, approached a neighboring family and told them their teenage boy shouldn’t have to worry, but their young girl probably shouldn’t be there since he was convicted of molesting his granddaughter.

“That couple disappeared,” Mr. Bell said.

After being told that Bell Development wouldn’t complete the sale, the man, through his attorney, is requesting $200,000, reimbursement of $43,000 and a ceiling fan if the sale is not closed, Mr. Bell said.

“This is nothing more than a shakedown,” he said.

Mr. Bell asked the commission to recognize a park in the development since sex offenders cannot live within a certain distance of one.

Commissioner Bill Hullander said he would look into the matter.

ANYONE FOR A JOG?

City Council members debated the merits of letting the Chattanooga Housing Authority build a 36-unit complex on Fairmount Avenue and a resolution putting a moratorium on building permits in the area.

During discussion Tuesday, talk centered on public safety and the steepness of the terrain. Councilman Peter Murphy said he jogs in the area all the time and made a proposal to other council members.

“If anyone wants to join me running up Valentine Circle, please join me,” he said.

“Oh, thank you,” replied Councilwoman Sally Robinson. “I can’t wait.”

airport blues

Airport delays after a vacation meant that County Mayor Claude Ramsey barely got to Wednesday’s County Commission meeting in time. That led Commissioner Richard Casavant to comment about the reliability of flights at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

“Obviously, your airline schedule worked and you were able to get here in a timely way,” Dr. Casavant said to Mr. Ramsey. “But not all our businesspeople here in Chattanooga expect that will happen when they go on a trip.”

Dr. Casavant said that will be “a burr in our saddle” going forward as business grows in the area.

Mr. Ramsey replied that “a great deal of our problems could be cured in Atlanta.”

“A lot of people are hesitant, I’ll go ahead and say it, to fly the Delta connection because it’s not reliable,” he said.

Mr. Ramsey said county officials have talked to airport officials about bringing more direct flights to Chattanooga.

THOSE COLD, LONG DOG DAYS

Going over purchases Tuesday in a committee meeting, the City Council heard about two bomb and patrol dogs that the Chattanooga Police Department is buying.

Councilman Peter Murphy asked about names.

“Who’s got naming rights?” Mr. Murphy asked.

“We’ll name it after you,” Assistant Chief Bobby Dodd replied.

When the council looked at approving the measure later that night, Councilman Andraé McGary made a special provision.

“I want to approve only on the condition that one of those K-9’s be named ‘Murphy,’” he said.

A DIME HERE, A DIME THERE ...

At a City Council committee meeting Tuesday, Lee Norris, public works deputy administrator, told council members about an employee who saved the city $150,000 by using initiative.

Mr. Norris said an information systems employee was able to use an old program for business licensing.

Councilman Jack Benson interrupted.

“At one point, we used to reward employees who came up with creative ideas that saved money,” Mr. Benson said.

“Now we just suck it out of them, Jack,” Mr. Norris replied.

JFK CLUB MEETING

Dr. Clif Cleaveland, a columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, will speak to local Democrats at noon Monday at the JFK Club.

The topic of his speech will be “Health Care Reform: Now Comes the Hard Part,” officials said.

The meeting will be at the Out of the Blue Cafe on Brainerd Road.

county No. 2 in donations

Hamilton County drivers donated nearly $32,000 to the Tennessee county clerks’ Organ Donation Awareness Foundation last year, according to Clerk Bill Knowles’ office.

That’s the second most donations in the state, a news release stated. Throughout the state, nearly $308,000 was raised.

“I commend the motoring public for participating in this effort to aid persons desperately awaiting an organ transplant,” Mr. Knowles said. “Even during weak economic conditions citizens have shown an interest in helping others through this program.”

Bernie Miller to speak

The Greater Chattanooga Democratic Women’s Club will host Dr. Bernie Miller at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the IBEW Union Hall, 3922 Volunteer Drive.

Dr. Miller is pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church and host of two radio programs, “Power Praise” on WJTT-FM and “Sunday Celebration” on WLLJ-FM J103.

Contact club President Katherine Snyder at 875-0100 with any questions.

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librul said...

What a hoot - developers like Bell do everything to skirt public interest laws that they dislike, but they go braying to the government to pass laws that will benefit their own narrow interests. Two words ... Boo Hoo.

January 14, 2010 at 10:23 p.m.
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