Election panel asks for text of Littlefield recall petition

Election panel asks for text of Littlefield recall petition

May 3rd, 2009 by Cliff Hightower and Matt Wilson in Blogsmetrochatt

The Hamilton County Election Commission sent local recycling advocate Frank DePinto back to the drawing board Monday to work on his recall petition for Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Commission attorney Chris Clem told Mr. DePinto that his petition needed to include the text of a recall question as it would appear on the ballot.

Mr. DePinto said he did not see in the city code where including the question is necessary.

But Mr. Clem said state law requires it.

There was also some confusion over whether the petition automatically would recall the mayor and prompt another mayoral election or would create a ballot initiative to recall Mr. Littlefield.

Mr. DePinto would need to collect about 9,000 signatures or about 14,000 signatures in 75 days to recall the mayor. The differing numbers come from different standards in city and state law.

The Election Commission will reconsider the petition on May 13.

Design team touring area

A team of architects will visit the area this week for a three-day trip to investigate regional issues, city officials said last week.

The Sustainable Design Assessment Team of the American Institute of Architects will arrive Monday and leave Wednesday, said Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield. The group intends to visit Bradley, Hamilton and Marion counties in Tennessee and Dade, Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties in Georgia, he said.

The purpose is to look at sustainable growth and maintaining quality of life, Mr. Beeland said.

The nine-person team will present its findings at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the University Center Auditorium at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

City Council Chairman Jack Benson asked council members to report about their various committees Tuesday night during the panel's regular meeting.

Mr. Benson asked Councilman Manny Rico to report on the Public Works Committee. Mr. Rico is chairman of the committee.

Mr. Rico, leaning back in his chair, immediately mumbled something about meeting next week.

"Want to use a microphone?" Mr. Benson asked. "Somebody else might want to hear."

The crowd laughed and Mr. Rico leaned forward to say the Public Works Committee would meet Tuesday.

run, claude, run

With Hamilton County elections a little more than a year away, Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said he hopes he'll keep a partner in his efforts to consolidate services in his final term.

"I'm trying to talk (County Mayor) Claude Ramsey into staying around another term," Mr. Littlefield said Tuesday. "I don't know that I'll be successful or not, but I hope that he will."

Mr. Ramsey has not said whether he will run but has hinted that he might. In February, he asked members of the East Ridge Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce for their votes if he runs again.

To Turn or not TO Turn

A public hearing will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Girls Preparatory School for input on whether a permanent turn lane should be established on Barton Avenue from Veterans Bridge to Hixson Pike.

City Traffic Engineer John Van Winkle, along with City Councilwomen Sally Robinson and Deborah Scott, will lead the discussion. The city has placed traffic barrels in the middle of Barton Avenue over the last several weeks to see if converting the avenue to two lanes with a turn lane during peak times would work.

The middle lane of the road has been used in the past as a second lane in and out of the city during peak traffic hours.

Water company hosts open houses

Tennessee-American Water will host two customer open houses on Monday and Tuesday in Brainerd and East Brainerd, company officials said last week.

The Brainerd open house will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Brainerd Baptist Church BX, at 4011 Austin St. The East Brainerd event will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at East Brainerd Church of Christ on 7745 East Brainerd Road.

Company spokeswoman Kim Dalton said the idea is for water professionals to have face-to-face conversations with customers. Materials and brochures will be on hand to educate the public about the company's water practices, she said.