What is the life-or-death rush to grant rezoned land on Highway 153 for a supposed "village" development? There's no proof of market demand for such a complex in Hixson, so what's the hurry?
Is it because the developer thinks he has votes lined up for approval with the current City Council? If so, let's hope he's wrong because they're supposed to represent the interests of the people.
Is it because the primary owner is growing older and wants to leave a handsome inheritance to his family? That's actually something the abutting property owners can appreciate because we aspire to that. The difference is that we do not believe it has to be at the expense of our neighbors.
Is it because the mayor has declared that we must have more apartments even if it means having them on the side of a hill north of downtown or leveling a scenic hill in Hixson? Perhaps so, because RPA and the planning commission certainly polished their "approval" rubber stamps for him.
Let's hope that City Council members slow down enough to realize that with so few facts from the developer, the only prudent vote they can cast is "no."
GREGG MICKEL, Hixson
A letter and a column on Jan. 9 lambasted Al Gore for his role in selling Current Network to Al-Jazeera or, selling us out, literally and figuratively.
As a reader of Al-Jazeera English for over two years, I fail to detect the anti-U.S. bent both writers allege.
What I read is a much more thorough treatment of world news than one normally can find in our news outlets, and an interesting view of news more unique to our shores, like single-shooter mass murder.
DANIEL DURANT, Signal Mountain
I am pleased Roger Tuder is running for District 2, City Council. I know about Roger's passion for public service and his hard work on the local workforce board. His eagerness to educate and train the workforce of tomorrow is evidence that he is a business leader who appreciates the importance of economic opportunities for all.
On a more personal note, I would also like to add that Roger is a caring person who listens and then acts quickly to get results. He recently met with residents throughout Fairfax Heights, my neighborhood, to get a deeper understanding for the concerns of District 2. I had the opportunity to discuss concerns about tree branches that were intermingled with electric wires - a recipe for disaster for the first freeze. Roger offered to contact the City of Chattanooga, and the next day, he had already facilitated communication and set plans in action. The day after that, the trees were nicely pruned by the time I came home from work. That is the type of quick response and coordination needed to get results; Roger would help our neighborhoods in District 2 to thrive.
Please vote for proven leader, Roger Tuder, on Election Day.
It's no secret politicians are often clueless and petty. So it went again at the Jan. 10, East Ridge City Council meeting. Because "some citizens" complained that various city vehicles don't have city tags or stickers. Three councilmen argued that all city vehicles should have them. Then the debate started. What about undercover cars? Ok, not them. It was pointed out that a mental patient was just released locally who was threatening government officials and it may be dangerous to identify all vehicles. In fact, there are many who want to harm government employees these days.
Police are in a far superior position than City Council to know what the dangers are and how best to protect East Ridge employees on this issue. That didn't matter. Councilman Manning insisted all vehicles needed tags. Vice Mayor Bethune and Councilman Gravitt agreed. What then ensued was 30 minutes of the most fruitless and petty questions and answers I've seen in a long while. They questioned most everyone in that chamber with a city vehicle, from Stump Martin to patrol officers to maintenance workers. Thankfully, Mr. Manning said he was just tired of arguing and dropped the whole thing. Still clueless and petty.
KENNY LUDLOW, East Ridge
We wish to commend one of your Times Free Press carriers, Rob Eaves. He faithfully delivers your paper to us every morning. Rob has been delivering our paper for about a year.
This Christmas, as in the past 10 years, we gave a nice "Christmas tip" to the two carriers that deliver newspapers to us, to the person that picks up our garbage and to the mail carrier. This year, for the first time, we received a thank you.
Rob Eaves took the time to write, and put with our paper, the most wonderful thank-you message. His doing so reflects his character, his integrity and his caring for his customers. We commend him for his thoughtfulness, and recommend those at the Times Free Press do likewise.
NANCY and RICHARD HUGHES, Cleveland, Tenn.
The question of rezoning the area between Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road is an economic one, deciding where to spend taxpayers' dollars.
For every dollar spent on this area for an office, retail and apartment complex, that dollar will not go to improvements in your district. Every foot of road paving for this complex is a foot of potholes in your neighborhood that will not be fixed. Every dollar spent for extra school space and teachers for children in these new apartments is money that will not go to your schools. Money spent on personnel and equipment for police and fire protection in your area will go to this part of town instead.
The amount of taxes collected is limited, and the distribution of those taxes are determined by your City Council representative.
Please contact your representatives and ask them to vote 'no' on this request.
People who tell the council that they are opposed to this action want their tax dollars to stay in their own communities. Where should your money go?
ROBBIE MOORE, Hixson
The weapon(s) and method(s) used in mass murders and in many other crimes are not the issue.
The real issue is those troubled and unstable individuals who are about to do something stupid and tragic.
The challenge is detection of those troubled and unstable individuals before they do something stupid and tragic, and taking positive action to prevent those stupid and tragic acts.
Gun control is a "feel good" panacea whose real effect is resentment by those forced to give up rights and freedoms.
ALLAN PHILLIPS, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Thank you for returning the obituary section to its old format. The new one was overwhelming.
Now, will you please work on returning real estate transfers to their old format? Prior to the recent changes, they were well-organized and quite easy to read. Now - pure gobbledygook.