published Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Bradley County early voting set to begin


The Hopewell Elementary School marquee signs urges a yes vote. Many Cleveland and Bradley County schools have the same advertisement this summer.
The Hopewell Elementary School marquee signs urges a yes vote. Many Cleveland and Bradley County schools have the same advertisement this summer.
Photo by Randall Higgins /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Poll
Should Bradley County have a wheel tax?

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Early voting begins Friday -- the 13th.

The Bradley County Election Commission already has noticed the coincidence, Mimi Angel, deputy administrator, said.

But no one seems to be concerned about it, she said.

One ballot question in the Aug. 2 election asks voters to decide if Bradley County should begin a $32 wheel tax. County officials have said the tax will generate enough money to leverage construction projects for schools, Walker Valley High School and Lake Forest Middle School in particular.

"There did not seem to be a late surge of registration because of the wheel tax question," Angel said.

Several schools, both city and county, are appealing on their entrance marquee signs for approval of the tax as a vote for school kids.

County school board Chairman Charlie Rose has asked voters to go to the county schools' website, bradleyschools.org, for explanations about the tax's importance to schools.

But some Bradley County Republican Party officials have urged a no vote, saying their opposition is not about education but that the county cannot afford more debt.

Bradley County has 61,479 registered voters eligible to take part in the Aug. 2 elections, Angel said. Early voting will be from Friday through July 28.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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