published Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Carter slams 'backdoor plan' on county mayor selection

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    Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press Mike Carter waits outside the Hamilton County Commission room on Monday morning after commissioners deadlocked in making a choice between Carter and Commissioner Jim Coppinger to replace the outgoing County Mayor.

Mike Carter, who was facing Hamilton County Commissioner Jim Coppinger in the race to replace outgoing County Mayor Claude Ramsey, described today's move to temporarily appoint Coppinger to the position as a "'backdoor plan."

In an e-mail, Carter, the special assistant to Ramsey, said Commission Chairman Fred Skillern "and several other commissioners successfully organized a backdoor plan to place Commissioner Coppinger in the county mayor's position without a vote."

Skillern stepped down this morning from the chairman's position, immediately moving vice chairman Coppinger into the role. Since the commission has deadlocked 4-4 in two votes between Coppinger and Carter for the mayor's job, the commission chairman will automatically be given the job once Ramsey leaves.

Ramsey is stepping down Tuesday and, on Monday, the commission is scheduled to take another vote on who will replace him. If the commission deadlocks again, Coppinger will become acting mayor.

"No one should be surprised since Chairman Skillern did exactly what he told me and the newspaper that he was planning to do just that last week," Carter said in his e-mail. "I do not think that this is in the best interest of Hamilton County, and what happened today lacks credibility."

But by April 9, the commission must appoint a mayor who will be in office until the general elections in August 2012, when voters will select the permanent mayor.

" I am proud of the four men who continue to support me and who would not be part of this type of backroom politics," Carter said.

Commissioners Warren Mackey, Greg Beck, Tim Boyd and Chester Bankston voted for Carter.

Read the story so far here.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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BigRidgeGOP said...

The whole process should be dropped! While I would like to see Coppinger serve as County Mayor, I do not believe he should serve as interim Mayor through a resignation, which just smells like politics as usual.

The County Commission needs leadership and vision... not more of the same "secret" agreements. If no one can get five votes, the Commission should just appoint a "caretaker" and let both men run for election in August 2012.

Then... the people of this county will get the opportunity to pick the next County Mayor.

January 5, 2011 at 4:41 p.m.
sparkman4099 said...

To accuse anyone of our Hamilton County Commissioners, of backroom politics is very unbecoming of Mr Carter. I feel as many other residents of Hamilton County, that he owes each commissioner and apology and should make a retraction on the accusation.

January 5, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.
RichardGreen said...

If Jim Coppinger is willing to become mayor under this crooked scheme than he can't be trusted in the office

January 6, 2011 at 12:52 a.m.
sparkman4099 said...

Mr. Green if you would research just a little you would find that State law lays out the guide lines for replacing any elected personnel in local or state goverment. Because of your lack of knowledge or just being lazy, DUH! I cann't finger it out so it must be crooked. Crawl back in your hole.

January 6, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
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