Fewer 6th-graders transferring from public to private

Fewer 6th-graders transferring from public to private

June 21st, 2009 by Cliff Hightower and Matt Wilson in Blogsmetrochatt

The number of rising sixth-graders transferring from public schools to private schools is declining, Hamilton County Commissioner Richard Casavant said Wednesday.

The parents of 7.1 percent of Nolan Elementary school's rising sixth-graders said they were going to send their children to a private school, he said, citing data from the Hamilton County Department of Education. That's down from 35 percent in May, 2005, Dr. Casavant said.

About 27 percent of rising sixth-graders at Thrasher Elementary were planning to go to private schools, he said.

"That's down substantially, too," Dr. Casavant said. "When people speak with decisions made about their children, that is a powerful statement in my book."

Commissioner Larry Henry said about 230 students will be coming from private schools to the new East Hamilton School. He said at least another 100 from the now-closed David Brainerd School likely will enroll there.

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS SET

Mayor Ron Littlefield will deliver his State of the City address at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Doubletree Hotel, 407 Chestnut St. The public is invited to attend. A reception is set for 4:30 p.m.

For information, contact Richard Beeland, the mayor's media relations director, at beeland_r@mail.chattanooga.gov.

mackey changes vehicle vote

Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey bowed to other commissioners Wednesday and changed his vote against a track loader to be used at Enterprise South industrial park, where the Volkswagen plant is being built.

Commissioner Bill Hullander asked Dr. Mackey, who has said he would vote against any county expenditure for a vehicle, to reconsider his "no" vote and make the tally unanimous.

Mr. Hullander said the county's share of the cost is $17,250 of $73,393. The rest is to be covered by the city of Chattanooga and a grant, county Finance Administrator Louis Wright said.

Dr. Mackey said he wouldn't want to "impede or impair what (Volkswagen) is doing here." He explained that his votes against vehicles were "somewhat of a protest trying to get the budget cut."

INTERPRETATION TIME

At the City Council's committee workshop Tuesday, Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Mayor Littlefield, started to discuss budget matters, then looked up as he got to an item about the purchase of a load interrupter for the Waste Resources Division.

He asked Waste Resources director Jerry Stewart if he had "a different interpretation" of a word.

"What is it?" Mr. Stewart asked.

"It's the purchase of a load interpreter," Mr. Johnson said.

The crowd laughed. The week before Mr. Johnson and Mr. Stewart bantered about how to pronounce "spechtrophotometer."

MAYOR SERVING ON ADVISORY BOARD

Mayor Littlefield has been selected to serve on the United States Conference of Mayors, according to a news release.

He was chosen during the group's 77th annual meeting, held last week, the release states. The conference is a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

LOOKING AT FINANCES

Tom Dugan, executive director for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, went over the financial reports for May at Thursday's business meeting.

"The finances continue to be good," Mr. Dugan said.

Steve Jett, CARTA's board chairman, interrupted, saying, "End of report."

Many in attendance burst out laughing.

Sometimes gas is not a gas

During the authority's business meeting, talk turned to putting as much money into the fuel budget as possible.

Mr. Dugan said it was good that fuel prices were about $1.90 per gallon, compared to $3.90 last year at this time.

"Heaven forbid it go up to that level," he said.

Mr. Jett sighed. "Let's change the subject," he said.

"Let's talk national health care," CARTA board member Ernie Hedgecorth replied.