While admonishing me for the audacity to question one (or any) of his decisions over the last few years, Mayor Ron Littlefield would include Anita Ebersole in his emails as a witness to whatever facts he chose to use at the moment, as if including her name would make me suddenly feel bad for speaking out against him. As with many aspects of his behavior as mayor, I was genuinely puzzled by this.
To that, I say this: I do not recall a single meeting individually or in a group in which she was present, and therefore even culpable in making me regret a stance in which I was opposed to him. Yet the fact is, in the few encounters we had, I greatly liked Ms. Ebersole and have not a jot of ill-will against her. To anyone on the street, I would quickly convey that I like her. Meet her for yourself and you’d agree.
Once submitted for City Court Clerk, while I too found her $98,538 first-day-on-the-job-salary offensive (as compared to the current person's $55,710 salary after four years on the job), even then she had the decency to withdraw from the position, thus solidifying the image of her I already had as a, for lack of a more politically-correct term, “classy lady”.
Yet here we are 16 days later, and when the Mayor’s $62,000 spokesman Richard Beeland takes his first-day-on-the-job-with-no-experience as the Deputy Administrator for Personnel at $73,000 dollars…there is only comparative silence.
Susan DuBose made this appointment, not Mayor Littlefield, according to public record, and I’m sure he had no hand in this (as opposed to the toxic waste dump purchased from an election donor that was supposed to be a homeless campus and is more appropriately a police compound the Police Chief said we did not need and a “wellness center” blocks down from the one we already had)…but there is no collective response to this, when Ms. Ebersole was publically flogged for her own post-Littlefield appointment.
I find this curious. Is there something I do not know (I ask jokingly)? Is Ms. Ebersole somehow an easier target? Is this a sexist response, or are you all just numb from these shenanigans from the Mayor who cannot be recalled (despite being recalled)?
There are elections forthcoming, Chattanooga. A new Mayor and Council will soon emerge.
Stop expecting less – that time is over. And stop dumping on a decent woman like Anita Ebersole when a male comparison such as Mr. Beeland’s is presented just as equally and ridiculously as her own flawed nepotistic reward.
$73,000 first day on the job? Tell that to a rookie cop or fireman electing to risk his life, not his reputation, when it’s his or her first day on the job too, even without a political favor as obvious as this one.
Do not let this go. We are sick enough as it is.
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As a 28-year former city employee, never ever has an (interim) director of a city department had the ability to select a deputy director without the permission of the Mayor. As we (should) know this is a Ron thing to attempt to place Beeland in a position that may help him stay a city employee after the election. Again he (Ron) thinks he is above and smarter than all with this move and the attempted Ebersole move.
Shame on him for placing Susan Dubose in the position to lie for him after a long gracious career of her own.
Shame on Ron, I can't wait to see and read what he attempts to do next prior to his exit, but whatever it is will not be surprising. That's simply his character.
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Officer Joel, as you rightly surmise, the Council has no authority over interdepartmental personnel shifts. Should we have, either individually or collectively, raised a concern, our power would be limited that: a concern only.
There is a fundamental difference between the nature of Mrs. Ebersole's and Mr. Beeland's appointments, respectively. Mrs. Ebersole's appointment, should it have gone forward, would have been initiated by the mayor and confirmed by the Council. Mr. Beeland's appointment, unfortunately, does not require Council approval. If only it did.