Actually what annexing these areas will do is shift the power balance in the city from Democrat to Republican.
All of the areas to be annexed, such as East Brainerd, Ooltewah, Hixson, Middle Valley, Harrison and outlying areas of the county are predominantly Christian, Conservative and Republican, so with that many new voters and new citizens that can now become candidates, you will definitely see a shift towards more Republicans winning local elections, and thus a shift away from some of the liberal, "green" things the city has done in the past. Factor in that the next governor will most likely be Zach Wamp, and the state legislature is a republican majority and most likely will be for the next 10 years and the age of Democrat is at an end in Chattanooga.
Mayor Littlefield's legacy wont be merely annexation this second term, but he will be known as the mayor who shot is own political party in the foot and ceded power to the Republicans by adding a huge Republican voter base to the city's list of eligible voters.
It's rather disappointing to see that Mayor Littlefield is so lacking in original vision that he had to recycle this idea of taking over the water company from the Kinsey mayoral era of two decades back.
It seems out of character with the Mayor Littlefield's ideas.
I wonder if it's really Ron's idea, or is he getting some bad advice from his cabinet and others.
I think the Mayor's quest to take over the water company is a mistake.
It sends the wrong message to other privately owned businesses thinking of relocating to the area- watch out or the local government will take control of your company. Definitely not the message I would think our local Chamber of Commerce would want to send to potential new businesses considering Chattanooga.
It's also bad for the public. In every city where the government has taken over utilities, utility rates soar, and the public has no options- just higher taxes, higher utility fees and no competition in utility services to keep costs low, because the local government then has a monopoly over utilities, and when have you ever known a politician to lower taxes or rates on anything?
I also think the plans to annex Middle Valley and East Brainerd, simply for the sake of boosting our population ahead of Knoxville's, are misguided.
Part of the appeal of Chattanooga is that one may reside in the city or the county, a choice between urban and rural that offers the best of both worlds in the Scenic City.
Annex all the way to county borders and part of what draws people to this area is gone.
Also, it seems the city would have to raise taxes to a much higher rate, with the addition of 30k people in Middle Valley and another 46k from East Brainerd, simply to provide services for those areas- so both existing city residents and annexed ones would lose. It just seems a highly impractical goal to achieve and something that cannot be done without raising taxes even more, since much of the existing city is under-serviced and has infrastructure in need of repair.
This is the one time, I'm hoping most of this is merely "a speech" and like most politicians he won't keep a word of it.
If there is one thing I would like to see the Mayor accomplish is that residents in the city do not have to pay the full county tax rate. It seems silly to pay the full county rate when those of us in the city are supposed to be getting the bulk of our services from City government anyway. The county tax rate for those of us in the city should be offset by the amount we pay to city, so that there is no difference in the financial tax burden between city and county residents.
If Chattanooga wishes to remain a "Green City" then they need to keep their hands off of the East Brainerd area. The massive deforestation that took place along I-75 to build Hamilton Place mall is one of the reasons carbon emissions from automobiles are now out of bounds with Federal Standards. It's real simply thick, vast, tracts of land with trees soak up emissions, and the area along Gunbarrel road is now far from "GREEN" but GRAY and as paved over as the eye can see.
Further commercial development in this area would only further aggravate the problem, and cost the city more in the long run.