published Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Missy Crutchfield censure effort fails


by Cliff Hightower
Audio clip

City Council

Department of Education, Arts & Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield should be censured for running an online for-profit publication with city resources on city time, a City Council member said Tuesday.

But the move died in the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee because of lack of support.

“I personally don’t recommend termination,” Councilwoman Deborah Scott told council members. “But I do recommend censure.”

The debate lasted for half an hour, with council members questioning whether they could even censure a department head. Some council members suggested placing a letter in her personnel file, stating that she made a mistake in judgment.

Scott withdrew her motion, saying she did not “hear five favorable people” for her idea. It takes five votes from the council to approve a measure.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said he does not expect the mayor to place a letter in Crutchfield’s personnel file.

“The mayor has already taken action,” he said.

Crutchfield said afterward she hopes everyone will be able to move forward.

“I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “It’s been a learning experience. It’s been a painful learning experience.”

Almost a month ago, Crutchfield admitted using city time and resources to work on her online publication Be Magazine. Two city audits concluded she had violated at least two city policies and could have violated two more.

In other action, the City Council voted 7-1 Tuesday to accept a parcel of land off 11th Street next to the old Farmer’s Market. JH Holdings, based in Illinois, is donating the property to Chattanooga.

But the site is a brownfield that may be contaminated by chemicals, so the city must pay almost $10,000 a year to monitor wells at the location.

Scott voted against the proposal, saying she does not like the cost of monitoring.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CliffHightower.

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fairmon said...

Censoring will do nothing. I don't understand why the council supports having an EAC department. The return on the investment does not justify the department. This council does not get the message; TAXES ARE TOO DAMNED HIGH! We need a hard nosed mayor not a hard headed one. The TAS DCD (Tax and Spend D.C. Disease) has spread to our local government.

It was not necessary to increase the property tax rate 19%, sewer rates 5.5%, storm water run off fees 300%, permits and inspection fess $600,000 per year plus other cost such as additional sales tax on the higher cost of goods and services businesses must charge due to their higher cost of taxes and fees.

Do these economic idiots not understand the impact they have on businesses and jobs with their inefficient and wasteful spending? They are totally insensitive to the economic plight of many citizens.

Voters need to remember the next election of council members the behavior and adverse impact on the local economy of this council. They just took on another contaminated piece of real estate that will pay no property taxes and cost tax payers $120,000 to monitor and confirm contamination of the wells on it.

November 3, 2010 at 2:42 a.m.
Allison12 said...

Harp3339 you are well informed. The City of Chattanooga raised taxes and did not cut any non essential services, such as this ridiculus waste of money Crutchfield department, Multi-Cultural Affairs, and a job for Littlefield hacks,, like Paul Page, and former Councilman Davy Crockett. These Littlefield political hack jobcs equate to over $1.3 million in new Dept heads and support staff, such as Be Mag, LLC business partner Melissa Turner. These department head positions did not exisit prior to the Littlefield admin. and are clearly non essential spending and taxpayer burden. This has to change. The City Council and Mayor have loose liberal spending habits of taxpayer money, and are terrible stewards. Debra Scott is a lone ranger in the fiscal responsbilty area, she is the only one. Sally Robinson, Pam Ladd, Carol Berz, Andra McGary, Manny Rico, and the old local Dems on the City Council and our inempt Mayor have ensured that Chattanooga has 1) the highest stormwater fee in the State of Tennessee, and 2) property taxes only surpassed by Memphis.

November 3, 2010 at 7:59 a.m.
fairmon said...

In addition the city owns significant real estate which of course generates no revenue. They own businesses that pay no property taxes or other city imposed fees that compete with privately owned businesses. Subsidizing businesses that are not regulated but competing with those privately owned is not appropriate even if one or more are self sustaining.

I am sure the council members think people like me just don't understand or are angry, uninformed and on the fringe. I don't recall the name of the town in GA. on 60 minutes last week that outsourced all their services and realized major savings and improved service. During the transition the mayor went from hated to loved. Chattanooga could benefit even more with a competent contract administrator.

November 3, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.
skinemaxfan said...

This has been a very painful learning experience for the citizens of Chattanooga as well, Missy. What did we learn? Some people are above the rules and face no consequences for their illegal actions. As long as Littlefield is in office, the EAC will continue to be a useless drain on the city coffers.

November 3, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.
Neo said...

This whole mess and the audit certainly cost the taxpayers money too. How about taking the cost of the audit out Ms. Crutchfield's pay check? Wouldn't that be the right and ethical thing to do, since even the Mayor said all of this is a result of her poor judgement.

Oh, wait, this is Chattanooga, ethical and government do not mix here, I forgot, silly me.

November 4, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
Sorceress said...

Pelosi may be on her way out of office on the broomstick she rode in on, yet as long as Littlefield and his flying administration monkeys are around the wicked-Crutchfield-witch of Chattanooga is apparently here to stay.

Not surprised at all that the City Council once again covers for her royal goofiness. It would be nice if they grew a spine and stopped being the Mayor's rubber stamp of approval for his insane tax and spend policies and her delusional behaviour.

It's amazing that with all of this alleged excess storm water mandating higher taxes and fees and Scarecrow's new brain no one can manage to find a bucket of water to toss on Crutchfield and melt her away and liberate Oz. We even had a tornado here, yet for some odd reason Dorothy's house missed her too.

November 4, 2010 at 10:44 a.m.
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