On the same afternoon that the Chattanooga City Council approved funding for a major crime-reduction initiative proposed by Mayor Andy Berke, a shooting on one of the city’s more troubled streets sent a victim to the hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.
Berke has made implementing the High Point model one of his top policy goals. Attempts by previous administrations to curb violent crime, particularly gang violence, have culminated in mixed results.
(Aside: Welcome David Morton to the government beat at Nooga.com.)
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
If you’ve ever been to a Chattanooga City Council meeting, you may have witnessed the end of a session, where citizens can freely address their elected representatives on the council. Sometimes there is a valuable exposition of ideas; all too often, however, there’s just some crank whining too long about some pet issue that cannot be understood, let alone resolved.
District 8 Council Member Andraé McGary, who also hosts “Live and Local” on WGOW-FM 102.3 weekday afternoons (and has taken heat for same in such end-of-session rants), wants you to know how it should be done.