(Programming Note: Gentle reader, you are not forgotten. Being a grownup calls for occasionally having to put down the blogging toys for uncomfortable stretches of time.)
Meanwhile, the Chattanooga municipal elections are charging past at a good clip, and I don’t much like not being able to discuss them, and everything else that’s going on in local and state government, with you.
Fortunately for Chattanooga voters, the cool kids over at the Lamp Post Group and Nooga.com have created a new interactive voter guide complete with a social component. It’s called Keen Citizen, and you are advised to check it out.
Oh, my thoughts on the election? Well, I agree with pretty much every editorial writer and pundit who has expressed disappointment in former Sen. Andy Berke, the ostensible far-and-away frontrunner in the mayoral election, for being so light on specifics about his likely future term.
Can he get away with it? Sure. Do I still wish we could have a frank and somewhat detailed discussion about the city’s current issues and future direction? Of course. I’m not discounting the times Berke has held community discussions on crime and other topics; but the campaign message itself could have been clearer about his goals.
The Chattanooga City Council elections merit their own separate posts. Maybe by the time Election Day gets here, we’ll have had a chance to chat about them.
Thanks for being responsible citizens.
Tracy tries to make it a Dunn deal: A day before the re-elected incumbent (U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais) was sworn into office for his second congressional term, state Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville officially announced his candidacy for the Fourth District seat. More from Cara Kumari.
Related: All known potential #TN04 candidates are listed here.
Winslow v. Saltsman, Fleischmann, and the Tennessee GOP: Mark Winslow, as the Tennessean points out, is a former state party employee. But he’s also the current State Executive Committeeman for District 19, and he has added his party to the lawsuit that alleges defamation, claiming that party officials surreptitiously availed Chip Saltsman of Winslow’s confidential records.
One of these guys needs to get rights to a clip of Sofia Vergara yelling “Manny!“ Chris Anderson and Karl Epperson, two of the District 7 candidates challenging Chattanooga City Councilman Manny Rico, each described to the Chamber of Commerce why he would be a better representative than the incumbent. Rico defended. More from James Harrison.
Governor Bill Haslam has appointed a replacement for former Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge Ron Durby. From the inbox:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Lila Statom of Chattanooga as General Sessions Court Judge in Hamilton County.
Statom replaces Ronald W. Durby, who stepped down from the bench October 1, 2012 due to a disability. Durby requested a temporary replacement in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann.§ 17-2-116(a)(1).
“I am pleased to name Lila Statom to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the bench, and Hamilton County will benefit,” Haslam said. “She has served Hamilton County ably since 1998, and we are fortunate to have someone in this role with her qualifications.”
Statom has been Assistant District Attorney General in Hamilton County for 14 years, after serving as Assistant District Attorney General in Davidson County from 1989-1998. Prior to her work in Davidson County, she worked as a law clerk for Rieves & Mayton in West Memphis, Ark.
“I am honored by this appointment, and I am eager to serve the people of Hamilton County in this capacity,” Statom said.
Statom has supervised assistant district attorneys in General Sessions Court in Hamilton County for the last seven years. She has prosecuted a wide spectrum of criminal cases in General Sessions and Criminal Courts and performed numerous other duties in the Hamilton County office.
Statom holds a master of laws degree from Emory University in Atlanta and a juris doctorate from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Statom is active in the community in Hamilton County, including membership in the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute. She is on the Board of Directors of the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation, a national college scholarship program for children who have either lost a parent to breast cancer or have a parent who is a breast cancer survivor.
I’m thankful for the great state of Tennessee, for the people who serve in its government and who represent us in Washington, D.C., and for all of you who do your best to be citizens fully engaged in self-governing.
I hope everyone enjoys this day of reflection and celebration.
On November 6, 2012, Chattanooga voters opted to amend their city charter by repealing one section and inserting new language having to do with recalling an elected official.
Or, put another way, Chattanooga voters simply made official what a state appellate court has already decided: that the requirements pertaining to validation of petition signatures have been set by the Legislature.
Several provisions in Chattanooga’s recall procedure were out of line with state law, but the one change that motivated this amendment—from requiring 50% of the number of voters in the last election to requiring 15% of registered voters—is one of two* pieces the state statute leaves flexible. Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-5-151 (j) carves out the ability for qualified municipalities to set their own numeric thresholds, if they enact or amend charters after June 1997.
Do you feel like you just went in a circle? Hold tight and get something to clench your teeth on, because this post is going to get wonk-y. Continue reading