Limit Tim Gobble's Talking Time - And Response

Saturday, January 12, 2013
Anyone that knows me knows that I am 100 percent supportive of open transparent government. Government business is supposed to be done openly, giving the public the opportunity to know how their tax dollars and resources are being used. However, there is a point in time when too much talk only confuses and belabors the process. That is what being allowed to happen in our East Ridge Council meetings.
Our city manager's position gives him the opportunity to be involved in the discussion, but affords him no voting power.
Our current city manager, Tim Gobble, certainly takes advantage of having the opportunity to speak and speak and speak. This results in very long discussions where Mr. Gobble repeats and repeats the same points. It reminds me of a child when they want to do something that they know their parents’ answer is going to be no. The strategy is to wear down the opponent so they will give in, just to get you to shut up.
To our five elected officials in East Ridge, it is time to put a stop to this. Citizens are afforded five minutes to address Council and voice their concerns about issues. Gentlemen, citizens truly appreciate having that opportunity. There should also be a time limit put on the city manager. Give him the opportunity to make his case once, and then council members discuss and make their decision. The city manager should not be able to interrupt or interject any other comments unless asked by a Counci member and that should be for new information, not to allow him to rehash what he has already said.

The last Council meeting lasted until 10 p.m. and, to be honest, got very little accomplished. I am not alone in my feelings that Mr. Gobble’s need to incessantly speak hinders our elected officials in doing their jobs in a timely manner.

How much additional overtime is paid with these long meetings that could be just as informational in much less time?

Frances Pope

* * *

Oh please, Mrs. Pope. Surely you, a lowly taxpayer and mere citizen of East Ridge, would never suggest any government body conduct meetings in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order as your city charter mandates.

Just for grins, you might review your city charter. From there, a quick review of Robert's Rules will show that the person acting as chairman is nothing more than a meeting facilitator, and is never to participate in the discussion. Proper recognition by the chair, yielding the floor, and points of order might additionally be worthy of review to the members of the council as well.

Holy moley... a tax paying and voting citizen who not only participates in government but holds her elected officials and appointed functionaries accountable for their behavior. What, pray tell, is this world coming to?

You go, gal. But a word of advice. Daily workouts with a tennis ball not only strengthen one's wallet holding grip, they also strengthen that eye-poking finger.

Royce Burrage, Jr.


Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)

Home In Ooltewah Damaged By Fire Caused By Lightning Strike Sunday Afternoon

A home in Ooltewah was damaged by fire early Sunday afternoon. At  4:33 p.m. , the homeowner called 911 reporting a fire at the residence at 711 Rocky Shadows Drive (Mountain Shadows subdivision in the Ooltewah area). The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting light smoke showing from the roofline. Firefighters entered ... (click for more)

Family At Bedside Of Legendary Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt

The family of legendary Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt was at her bedside on Sunday. Erin Freeman, of the Pat Summitt Foundation, released this statement: “On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during ... (click for more)

Chris Douglas Repeats As Waterfront Triathlon Champ

Sunday was a hot, hot day, but that didn’t keep nearly a thousand local and regional triathletes from around the Southeast from putting their best foot forward in the annual Waterfront Triathlon in downtown Chattanooga. Chris Douglas and Sara Gibson were the overall winners in the International distance race, which started with a 1.5K (.93 mile) swim, followed by a 42K (26 ... (click for more)

Lookouts Capture Series From Generals With 6-2 Win Sunday

For just the fourth time this season, the Jackson Generals have lost a series with Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Lookouts have won three of the first four in the five-game series in their quest to make it to the Southern League playoffs again. Aaron Slegers started for Chattanooga and picked up the win after eight ... (click for more)