published Monday, January 10th, 2011

Coppinger appointed as county mayor


by Dan Whisenhunt

Hamilton County commissioners this morning resolved a weeks-long deadlock and appointed Commission Chairman Jim Coppinger as mayor.

Commissioners unanimously approved Coppinger, after previously repeatedly voting 4-4 between Coppinger and Mike Carter, special assistant to Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey.

Coppinger, 55, is the former Chattanooga fire chief and was recently re-elected to his second term as a county commissioner. Carter resigned his position as special assistant today after accusing commissioners of backroom dealing.

Coppinger has promised to unite the county.

Ramsey steps down Tuesday to join the administration of Gov.-elect. Bill Haslam.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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jpo3136 said...

Weak timing and a poor process. This should have been resolved with an election. Hiding behind snow only weakens the merit of this assertion.

January 10, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
vwestervelt11 said...

As for your comment, I would like to ask you if you would've liked to pay for a special election to have taken place as such a process would only have cost the Hamilton County tax payers an exorbitant amount of money. I agree, the timing is poor and the process less than ideal, but both the timing and the current process were all that Hamilton County Commissioners and citizens had with which to work. I would also like to know how Commissioners could ever have accounted and/or planned for such a natural change in the weather. That would be an extraordinary feat indeed. Personally, I'm relieved to finally have this situation resolved and am extremely grateful to the Commission Board for sacrificing so much of their time and energy to ensure the stability of our county government.

January 10, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.
jpo3136 said...

Being too cheap to vote is a poor excuse for accepting this ruse.

I dismiss these nonsense claims about the cost of such an election. We have elections periodically. Breaking out the scan tron sheets because we're getting manipulated by career politicians is worth every cent.

It's not likely that, hard on the heels of the last election, that the politicians involved were actually surprised at the developments which put us in this position.

It's an artificial emergency created by politicos playing the system.

I don't think they "sacrificed" anything. What, of their personal resources, involved a loss that contributed to the group's welfare: in other words, what sacrifice?

Taking weeks on end to put one over on us is not a sacrifice. Betting on the idea that we're too cheap to vote is not a sacrifice. Appointing friends and exploiting the process for no resolute gain that can possibly serve the people is not sacrifice.

It's politics as usual.

January 10, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
jpo3136 said...

And then rolling out the decision when the whole county area is frolicking and enjoying a snow day: just weak and tacky.

Cheap, weak and tacky are substandard characteristics of the answer our people deserve.

January 10, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
before1999 said...

I for one think that vwestervelt11 is a coppinger fan and state that I have to live with the decision until next year when I can vote him out along with the commissioners now seated. To not excercise our right to vote is a travesty of justice. I live in the county and ask each and every commissioners "where were you when Littlefield was annexing the property that was in the count. Why didn't you stand up and fight for us ?"

January 10, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
dave said...

Gee Isn't this a big surprise. (right!) Once again the people were excluded from the process of deciding who will represent them. I guess the folks that REALLY run things in Chattanooga got THEIR man.

January 10, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

What did Mark Twain say? "If our vote really mattered, they wouldn't let us vote."

January 10, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
Allison12 said...

Coppinger is the best choice for mayor. Carter and Ramsey had a plan one year ago, when Ramsey created the position of assitant to County Mayor just for Mike Carter. Oh, the salary was $95,000 a year. Of course Mr Ramsey knew he would be leaving to work with Haslam, who was a shoe in to win based upon very early polls. Mike Carter has an entitlement attitude and he is angry that his plot to be county mayor failed.

January 10, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
saminchatt said...

Im a casual observer but i've noticed that no one seems to be FOR or AGAINST Jim Coppinger.

Everyone is either Pro-carter or anti-Carter and Coppinger just seems to be an after thought in the whole thing.

I don't know either man but i had heard of Carter before the process. I had never heard of Jim Coppinger.

He seems to be a nice enough guy but i think getting the position the way he did will hurt his credibility going forward.

January 10, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

A special election was not an option ... state law prescribes the process for replacing a county mayor, namely by vote of the county legislative body (commission). It may not be the best process but "it is what it is." No sense accusing the commissioners of somehow ignoring the public ... they did what state law told them to do, which is pick someone to fill Ramsey's seat. Don't like the process? Contact your state legislators.

January 10, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.
alex_miller said...

Hey! Payingattention, I'm pretty sure that Saminchatt is just another ringer if not Mike himself. 1.Seems like he has the same conspiracy theories (even though none of them have actually happened yet)... just like Mike. 2.He fully supports Carter for mayor (which is rare from the general public. not a great point, but it is worth mentioning)... just like Mike. 3.He sticks up for Carter's reputation after it was Carter himself that made an a$$ of himself in front of the whole county after not getting his way... who else ever stood up for Carter?... 4.He wants the commission punished... just like Mike. There's something fishy going on here. Don't you think?

January 20, 2011 at 11:26 p.m.
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