Is the 2013 mayoral race already starting?

Is the 2013 mayoral race already starting?

August 30th, 2009 by Cliff Hightower and Matt Wilson in Blogsmetrochatt

Todd Womack, chief of staff of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is being talked about as a potential Chattanooga mayoral candidate in 2013, said City Councilman Manny Rico.

"His name has been thrown about," Mr. Rico said.

The rumors were fueled even more last week when a Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter overhead someone asking Mr. Womack -- in town with Sen. Corker for several events -- if he would run for mayor.

Mr. Womack said later he had not made a decision yet.

"I absolutely love what I'm doing now and can't imagine anyone is thinking about it very seriously yet," he said.

Mackey says no to annexation

Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey joined several of his fellow commissioners Thursday in taking a stand against Chattanooga's annexation plans.

"I want to be on record as opposing annexation," he said.

Dr. Mackey said the city's police department is "already stretched thin," and he argued that city officials don't know "what it will cost to bring other areas into the city."

Commissioner Larry Henry, one of the most vocal commissioners in opposition to annexation, thanked Dr. Mackey for his comments.

Mr. Henry said he has talked to residents who are worried about their county services being diluted.

senior leadership

Hamilton County commissioners had a little fun Thursday while electing their two oldest members, Curtis Adams, 76, and Fred Skillern, 72, as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

Commissioner John Allen Brooks nominated Mr. Adams, calling him "our senior commissioner." Then, Commissioner Bill Hullander nominated Mr. Skillern, referring to him as "another one of our senior citizens."

After the voting, the new leaders took some ribbing from their fellow commissioners.

"Sometimes we have youth leading the way, and sometimes we don't," joked Mr. Brooks.

Mr. Skillern said he and the other commissioners would work with Mr. Adams with "the help of the Lord and Dot," Mr. Adams' wife.

Mr. Brooks chimed in again, asking if Mr. Adams would be buying all the commissioners lunch once he becomes chairman.

Mr. Adams responded, "I'm so old, I can't hear you."

reading program wins award

The National Association of Counties has given a national award to "Read With Me," a radio program created in a partnership with Hamilton County's Read 20 program and WSMC 90.5 FM, according to a news release.

The "Read With Me" program is broadcast every Thursday morning from 10:10 to 10:30 a.m. and features stories read aloud to listeners.


As city officials talked about an upcoming Tennessee Civil War Trail in the Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday, Councilman Peter Murphy raised a question.

Mr. Murphy said he thought signs being placed around the city were directional signs telling people where the Civil War sites were located. He found out later they were informational signs only.

"There won't be directional signs," said Larry Zehnder, administrator of the city's parks and recreation department.

Mr. Zehnder said supplemental pamphlets or brochures are being considered that could include maps of where the areas are located.


During the discussion of a new bicycle ordinance in the Legal and Legislative Committee on Tuesday, Councilwoman Sally Robinson brought up placing a sign near Mountain Creek Road where there have been problems with bicycle riders.

City Traffic Engineer John Van Winkle immediately said he was against it.

"It's superfluous," Mr. Van Winkle said.

He said the sign would not be enforceable and, because of the city's tight budget, he would rather spend the money on other signs.

"Putting signs up just leads to more signs," he said.

But Councilwoman Deborah Scott, who represents the district, said a sign could be placed for bicyclists.

"You put a sign up saying, 'Watch for the deer,' " she said.

time to touch a truck

Hamilton County's Parents Are First Teachers, the county Parks and Recreation Department and Read 20 are sponsoring Touch-a-Truck, an event in which kids can see big vehicles up close and personal.

The event is Sept. 12 at the Tennessee Riverpark from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call 209-6838 or 842-6748.