I'll take Scott DesJarlais over Weston Wamp any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Wamp's most impressive quality is that, at only 25, he's sufficiently brash to lose a race and immediately talk to the press about running elsewhere. I suppose nepotism renders it unnecessary to pretend a 4th District campaign would serve anything beyond Wamp's ego. Weston doesn't even live in the 4th District ... oh, wait ... he'll move to Elder Mountain to, just barely, squeeze in here. Only the perfect candidate would endure life in a gated community to save a few simpletons from a "creepy" monster like DesJarlais.
Are all of us 4th Districters as stupid as the Times Free Press suggests? Are we so obtuse to believe that Wamp isn't looking down his snotty nose at what he sees as a bunch of backwoods-dwelling marks, ripe for the picking? We must be, if not thoroughly uninformed: Chris Carroll explained as much on Nov. 25 when he wrote "[m]any 4th District locals don't see the Chattanooga Times Free Press or The Tennessean." Why else would 60 percent of us vote to re-elect Scott DesJarlais? Now, we're left to pray that Weston finds a suitable McMansion by 2014.
The Hamilton County PTA will host its annual State Legislators Forum today at 11 a.m. at Orchard Knob Elementary School, 400 Orchard Knob Ave. We have invited all our state legislators from Hamilton County, Superintendent Rick Smith and all the Hamilton County School Board members to answer questions.
Forums like this are an opportunity for state legislators to hear how their decisions in Nashville affect our schools. So please come ready to ask questions and share what's happening in our Hamilton County public schools so we can work with state legislators to come up with solutions.
This forum is open to everyone, not just PTA members or HCDE parents. Please show your support for Hamilton County public schools by helping us fill the gym at Orchard Knob Elementary School today at 11 a.m.
We also will be taking up a collection for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, so please bring nonperishable items to donate to families in need.
SCOTTIE GOODMAN SUMMERLIN
Hamilton County PTA Communications VP
Do we really care about Congressman Scott DesJarlais' 14 year-old divorce? He and his family have had to answer to repeated innuendoes and past misjudgments made while he was in his 30s. I don't know of any family who does not have something in the past that could be used in a negative light.
Scott DesJarlais was not chosen by politicians or the media; Scott was chosen by the people. Congressman DesJarlais came to my small town of Estill Springs when we were hit by a tornado. This man takes care of the people with regional congressional offices, such as the one located in Winchester. He talks regularly to his constituents with his town hall phone sessions. He votes the will of his constituents whether it is in line with the leadership of his party or not. People like the fact that Scott DesJarlais has sent back over $100,000 to the U.S. Treasury each year he has served. He is not your "good ole boy politician", meeting in the backrooms, smoking cigars.
Scott DesJarlais will probably have primary opposition; he always does, but we the people will vote, and Scott DesJarlais will continue to be our Congressman.
JOANNE P. DAVIS
Estill Springs, Tenn.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 3412 on July 25. The bill extends the so-called Bush Era tax cuts on income up to $250,000. The bill assures that 98 percent of Americans would not be hit with a hefty tax increase in 2013.
President Obama announced that he is ready to sign the bill into law. However, Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow the House of Representatives to vote on the bill. Why haven't Chuck Fleischmann and other Republican members of the House demanded that Boehner allow them to vote on a bill to prevent economic injury to middle class Americans?
Could it be that Boehner, Fleischmann and other Republicans insist upon benefiting themselves and their wealthy friends by extending the tax cuts to income above $250,000? How dare they hold 98 percent hostage to benefit 2 percent!
Boehner does not speak for all House Republicans. Rep. Tom Cole, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, said Republicans should approve a deal ensuring 98 percent of Americans do not suffer a tax increase that endangers economic recovery. If there are any other House Republicans with the courage to speak up, they should do so immediately.
Recent newspaper articles and an editorial state that Mr. John Bridger, of the Planning Agency, is proposing Chattanooga change its zoning and building codes to allow two- to three-unit dwellings in established suburban neighborhoods, (see Times Free Press, Nov. 20, page C1 for full text).
This is probably the worst idea to come out of the Planning Agency in many years. It is a direct attack on the sustainability of home owner property values, neighborhood appearance, safety, and security of families in good residential communities.
If this suggestion is implemented, the cycle will evolve like this: (1) Some home owners will add a rental apartment in their homes and developers will build multi-family houses in established single family neighborhoods, (2) home owners in these houses will eventually move out, (3) the homes will be bought by investors, (4) properties will not be maintained by investors and rental agents, (5) tenants will not be adequately screened, (6) safety and security of home owners still in the neighborhoods will be adversely affected, (7) a general decline of the whole area will result.
Every home owner in Chattanooga should be greatly concerned about this proposal, and the City Council should reject the idea.
Two weeks ago, Scenic Land Co. representatives told Hixson residents they didn't have answers to some questions about grading, traffic, and plans for storm water runoff related to the proposed development on Highway 153. The Hixson community asked the developer to withdraw his rezoning request temporarily, until he could give residents more information about the development. Duane Horton agreed that delaying the rezoning until after the holidays would be a possibility, but said he needed to check with his company. Horton promised to meet with concerned citizens soon, but ignored requests to set a specific date or time for another meeting.
It's been two weeks now since that request. He's ignoring the community. And the rezoning vote is just a few days away.
The rezoning would radically change the topography, the amount of traffic on Highway 153, and worsen flooding issues for the area. Scenic Land Company has rushed to push this rezoning vote through during the holidays, right before a new City Council is voted in, without answering the very questions that were raised when their rezoning request was denied for the first time.
Scenic Land Co. has been short on details in the meetings they've held and all ended with many unanswered questions. This rezoning request should be delayed to allow community input into the proposed development.