published Saturday, November 19th, 2011

City may seek outside help on Mayor Ron Littlefield’s fate


by Cliff Hightower

A City Councilman said Friday he will ask colleagues’ opinions on whether they need outside legal advice to determine if Mayor Ron Littlefield should immediately be removed from office.

“I don’t know what we’re supposed to do,” said Peter Murphy, chairman of the City Council’s Legal and Legislative Committee. “That’s why we need to seek outside counsel.”

The Hamilton County Election Commission on Thursday certified a mayoral recall petition and set a recall election for Aug. 2, 2012.

Littlefield said if the council does decide an ouster is possible, “that’ll probably go to court as well.”

Murphy said in an email to council members Friday that the city charter is unclear on whether Littlefield should be removed from office until the recall election or continue to serve.

“There is the question of whether we have ministerial duty to pass a resolution that would temporarily replace him [Littlefield] with Chairwoman [Pam] Ladd,” he wrote.

Littlefield agrees there is some confusion in the charter.

“There are two provisions in the charter that aren’t exactly compatible,” he said.

One part of the charter says a recall would mean the council chairman or chairwoman would become temporary mayor. But another section describes a recall election as a “removal election.”

Murphy said the council will discuss hiring an outside attorney at the Legal and Legislative Committee meeting Tuesday. He said if council members decide to hire legal help, a resolution could be prepared in time for a vote at the council meeting that night.

In the wake of the election commission’s decision, Littlefield is considering legal challenges.

Last year, three groups — Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, Chattanooga Organized for Action and the Chattanooga Tea Party gathered more than 15,000 signatures on ouster petitions.

Littlefield filed suit before the election commission could vote whether to certify the petitions. A Hamilton County Circuit Court judge for Littlefield, but the Tennessee Court of Appeals early this month said the judge should have allowed the election commission to consider certifying the results.

Littlefield’s attorney has asked for a rehearing and is also considering seeking an injunction, as well as appealing to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Ladd said hiring outside counsel may be prudent.

“The one thing he [Murphy] stresses and I agree with is we have more questions than answers,” she said.

Councilman Andraé McGary said getting an accurate interpretation of the charter is the “big issue” right now.

“We’re going to have to make a decision on whether or not to remove the mayor,” he said.

But one council member said the panel should not rush to hire an attorney.

“I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” Councilman Manny Rico said. “Let’s let the legal system play out.”

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MasterChefLen said...

It's the doubtful the Chattanooga City Council will take action to oust Mayor Littlefied. The council is full of his buddy cronies, especially Rico and Benson.

November 19, 2011 at 7:47 a.m.
sangaree said...

First they said a precentage of registered fosters must sign a petition to make the recall legit. Then they said a percentage of those who voted in the last election must sign the petition to make it legit. Which one is reguired? A precentage of registered voters or a precentage of those who actually voted in the last mayoral election? Also, were any of those who signed the petition actually contacted validate their signing the petition to be sure they understood what they were signing and why? People showing up at doors they wouldn't normally show up to obtain a signature can be very intimidating for some people. Those individuals may have signed without fully being told or understanding what they were signing.

I never saw som many pale skinned people swooping down into dark skinned neighborhoods before in order to obtain a signature. I doubt if many of those individuals were actually aware of what they were signing. Nor were they likely told all the peition was really about.

They were likely approached with something like, "Are you concerned about crime in your neighborhood?" "Do you think the mayor is doing enough to combat crime, or to provide enough recreation facilities for young people in your neighborhood to disway them from committing crime?" "If so, we'd like for you to sign this petition." Of course, this was all done with a smile, with disdain for the signers hiding behind the smile.

November 19, 2011 at 9:19 a.m.
fedup350 said...

Again a poster shows their racist colors like sangaree does in the above post. So white people aren’t supposed to come into black neighborhoods? Blatantly racist ! If a white person had said that these same people would be in an uproar. sangaree you are as much of a racist as any klan member. You attitude is sickening.

Back to the original story though, if littlefield had any decency at all he would just resign. It is clear that the large majority of citizens are tired of his administration. To keep filing lawsuits is really just pathetic and only reinforces the negative view that most people have of him. Nothing will be accomplished by him staying and will only keep City government in turmoil until he finally leaves, one way or the other. I agree with MasterChefLen, the Chattanooga City Council is full of littlefield flunkies...but most are like littlefield and have no morals at all and will likely turn on the head rat to save them selves.

November 19, 2011 at 9:53 a.m.
macropetala8 said...

fedup350 said... Again a poster shows their racist colors like sangaree does in the above post. So white people aren’t supposed to come into black neighborhoods?

As always, your blatant ignorance is showing, fedup350. I and others read sangaree's post and nowhere did he/she say or imply that white people can't come into black neighborhoods. What he/she did say or imply is those very same individuals who ventured into those minority neighborhoods would rather have been boiled in oil under any other circumstance than to be caught anywhere in or near those neighborhood they went into to obtain signatures.

Keep talking, fedup. Lots and lots are observing your stu*pid postings. Without the mayor's intervention, you should have read what some really had in store for the homeless and those poor minority neighborhoods. It wasn't at all pretty.

Gentrification TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS by any means necessary!

November 19, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
fedup350 said...

sangaree said "I never saw som many pale skinned people swooping down into dark skinned neighborhoods before in order to obtain a signature". Looks like you need to re read the post before you show your ignorance again macropetal, Sure sounds like racial talk to me. Your blatant racism and stupidity are showing macro. You keep talikng, you are showing the world your true colors.

November 19, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

And fedup, you've long shown the world your true colors, stupidity and ignorance. Keep on keeping on, you angry hateful fool!

November 19, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

fed up...keep in mind..it is easy for anyone to get on here and voice any kind of opinion...especially when one can do such under a "screen name"... like yourself i could only wonder if the "pale Skinned" remark would spark outrage if used in the other way>>>take that back... i dont wonder i know that it would. Let me say this...for those that want to bring race into it...what has the mayor done for minority neighborhoods. take the southside for instance...when most refer to the south side, they are refering from about the 1200 blocks to about the 2000 block...they are not refereing to st. elmo...piney woods...alton park....the forgotten southside. I speak with the people in that area on a daily basis..most not all feel that they are forgotten...most think about all the money spent for downtown art while they get nothing in thier area... the true southide area is one of the best areas in chattanooga with a mixture of all kinds. yes there are some very low incomes in the area..but they are not stupid to what the city officals are doing...or should i say not doing...

November 19, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
BravesDave said...

Littlefield is the very definition of a corrupted, career politician and Manny Rico is in his pocket. It continues to amaze me that someone in a position of power in this economic climate can make choices to spend taxpayer funds for new paint schemes on police cars and blue rhino (art?) sculptures when we face such OVERWHELMING financial problems! He is refusing to leave office because it is his personal GRAVY TRAIN. 200 years ago citizens would have stormed their offices and doled out vigilante justice. Is no one else outraged by these corrupt thieves?

November 19, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.
fairmon said...

Recalling the mayor is not likely to result in better city governance with the same council that approves and supports his incompetence and irresponsible spending still in office.

The unconfirmed conclusion that the number of signatures from primarily minority residents areas as disproportionally high is likely incorrect although those areas and the youth in those areas do appear to need more support than the city provides. The signatures are primarily people objecting to the irresponsible spending and poor management that resulted in increasing the annual cost of being a city resident by 19% in the most difficult economic times seen in decades. There is little interest by the mayor or the city council in avoiding the impact on businesses and citizens by improving the efficiency of city operations, bringing city employee compensation into line with the private sector for similar and like work while failing to staff and provide better compensation for the fire and police departments, spending based on special interest pressure, failing to publicize and address future unfunded liabilities including pensions/health care and maturing bonds. A cost benefit analysis of expenditures is a foreign language to the mayor and council other than whether it will increase the probability of votes toward their being re-elected. Those signing are probably aware of how much real estate and how many businesses the city owns that pay no property taxes and other fees which would negate the need for citizens and businesses to pay more. City government is the largest business in the area and council members say you can't operate government like a business. There is a clue in that statement about the ability of leadership to seek to provide an efficient effective government and be good stewards of tax dollars.

February 10, 2012 at 5:26 a.m.
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