Greeson: Politics or policies, debate masters, 911 advancements and obit observations

Greeson: Politics or policies, debate masters, 911 advancements and obit observations

June 29th, 2019 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

Jay Greeson

Jay Greeson

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

OK, I've said my piece on the proposed and rejected property tax increase. What has been revealing over this past week are the differing messages from tax supporters and opponents covered by TFP reporter Meghan Mangrum.

The process is good when you get what you want? The other side's opinion — when we have to trust that they are voting for their districts, mind you — is wrong because it's not how you or your constituents see it? And for those who voted to support the increase, I hope you are voting the view of your district more than your personal belief, or goodness forbid, the views of outside influencers.

Most divergent was this statement from Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Khristy Wilkinson:

"Since quality public education is the key to economic mobility and workforce development, approving the proposed school budget increase was an opportunity for us to change these things for the better in Hamilton County — it was the right thing to do. Five commissioners failed our community this morning, and we're coming for their seats."

OK. Go get 'em Khristy. Was this about the kids or getting your way? Was this about education or a move to bolster left-leaners in public office, and therefore left-leaning policies?

Remember this: This was started by one of the county's most consistently conservative politicians — County Mayor Jim Coppinger — and if you want to turn it into a political war, well, OK.


Debate disaster?

Yes, I know there were 12 million GOP presidential hopefuls fighting for the chance to run against Hillary Clinton. (Side note: Politically speaking, running a race against Hillary has proven to be the equivalent of drawing the biggest kid in your class for the 100-yard dash at field day.)

I also know that putting any stock in presidential candidates 15 months before Election Day is a fool's errand. For goodness sake, at this point in the process in 2015, who had Donald Trump as the pick?

But the collection of Democratic candidates standing before, shouting at and sprinting toward the most socialist position possible is exhausting.

I watched the debate Thursday night that included Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and eight other folks trying to figure out the best way to blame the white man for everything.

That said, I pray the next time we have one of these get-togethers that one of these whippersnappers whom no one knows pulls no punches.

Try this: Next time the question comes to gun control and the Constitution comes up, please let one of these unknown challengers ask Joe or Bernie, "Senator, what was the sentiment in the room when the original Constitution was being drafted?"


All in the text

Let me start with a little praise. Kudos to John Stuermer, executive director of the Hamilton County Emergency Communications District, who led the group to become the first county in the state to have 911 access through text.

Those who need emergency assistance should have every option available to contact first responders. And as a Hamilton County citizen, I appreciate the county making it happen as soon as possible.

That said, the wording of the news release on this achievement was our modern obtuseness at its best.

Among them was the simple fact that a call to 911 is always best. So was the advice that emojis or other multimedia (?) would not be accepted.

It's hard to believe that they needed to include that emojis are not the best way to call for help but welcome to communication 2019, right?


Obit observations

Reading the obituaries in the morning paper can be a inspiring way to start the day. These sometimes short, sometimes lengthy summaries of a loved one's life teach us about the impact that person had in this world.

The names of family. Their circles of friends, their favorite hobbies and passions.

Well, Harry Arnold, who died Wednesday, checked all of them.

The longtime UTC fan had several nicknames — from GGP to his great-granddaughters to Coach to the masses he helped in youth sports to Super Fan to his fellow Mocs boosters. Arnold will be missed by too many to count.

Life is not about checking boxes, per se, but whatever this life is about, Harry Arnold checked a whole lot of them.

Contact Jay Greeson at

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315