Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Beck, a Democrat, has announced he plans to run again for his 5th District commission seat.
"I am excited about the opportunity to serve our county at a time when strong leadership and integrity are needed in the community," he wrote in a statement. "My years of serving on the County Commission, working in the county jail, and hands-on work in the community through nonprofit organizations give me a depth of experience un-matched for this legislative position."
Mr. Beck cited education, economic development, strategic planning and defining "standards of excellence" for county employees as priorities.
The City Council discussed Tuesday the possibility of hiring an Atlanta-based environmental attorney to handle negotiations with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The negotiations would be for a possible water quality fine the city could be assessed in September, city officials said.
City Attorney Mike McMahan said the cost of the attorney would be about $375 an hour.
Councilwomen Carol Berz and Deborah Scott pressed Mr. McMahan about whether there would be a "cap" on how much money would be spent overall. Mr. McMahan replied there was not, but the city could always suspend the contract if spending went out of control.
Dr. Berz asked for a budget of spending for the attorney.
"That would be a wild (expletive) guess on my part, pardon the French," Mr. McMahan said.
beck vs. tasers
At Wednesday's County Commission meeting, Mr. Beck said he believes the county sheriff's office should stop using Tasers on students.
"If there's something that's killing folks, then why are our officers using it on our students?" he asked. "If you're not tough enough to break up a fight up, you need to get a job somewhere else."
A fight at Brainerd High School on Monday ended with a school resource officer using a Taser to shock a student. The student refused medical attention. The week before, a patient at Erlanger hospital died after being stunned with a Taser.
Mr. Beck said he believes Taser use opens the county up to increased liability.
Councilman Peter Murphy said Tuesday during a City Council committee meeting that the council is still waiting on word from Hamilton County commissioners on whether talks would start on metropolitan government.
"I don't know about any other council member, but I'm still waiting," he said. "We heard from one commissioner who was an iffy or a maybe."
Mayor Ron Littlefield stopped annexation of three residential areas almost a month ago to see if the County Commission would sit down with the City Council and talk about metropolitan government.
Council members said they may make a formal offer to the commission at the beginning of next year.
adams touts new school
Commission Chairman Curtis Adams had two pictures of the new East Ridge Elementary School on display in front of the dais at Wednesday's commission meeting.
"I want to thank everybody," he said. "When you have something good happen to you, people out there in the district brag on you. But if I hadn't had the commissioners and Claude Ramsey behind me, we wouldn't have this school. I'm so proud of it."
Mr. Adams pushed to get the new 120,000 square-foot school, which will replace the old East Ridge Elementary and McBrien Elementary schools, built.
He said he had some "rough sledding" to get the school built. His enthusiasm led to some ribbing from his fellow commissioners.
"You going to have indoor plumbing?" Commissioner Fred Skillern asked.
"I hope so," Mr. Adams said.
commission agrees to moccasin bend work
Hamilton County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to agree to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans to stabilize the bank at Moccasin Bend to protect archaeological resources there.
According to Shawn Benge, superintendent of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the artifacts at Moccasin Bend date back about 12,000 years and include villages from up to 3,000 years ago.