County Commission Does Not Go Along With Large Increase In Travel Item

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Randy Fairbanks
Randy Fairbanks

The County Commission on Wednesday did not go along with an increase in the travel item of the commission budget from $73,000 to $185,000.

Commissioner Greg Martin made a motion to keep the same $73,000 amount, saying, "We talk about efficiency in government and transparency all the time. This sends the wrong message."

Commissioner Chester Bankston voted against the motion, but other commissioners did after Greg Beck, who was considered a swing vote, was in support. Commissioner Warren Mackey was absent.

Commissioner Martin said even the current amount is far above what the commissioners actually spend on travel.

Chairman Randy Fairbanks, who submitted the budget request, earlier said he did so after a request from two other commissioners. He did not say which commissioners.

He said he also did so after County Mayor Jim Coppinger indicated there was sufficient funding available for the increase.

With that increase, the budget for the County Commission had been proposed to rise by $111,317 - going from $788,939 to $900,256. The jump is more than 14 percent.

Chairman Fairbanks said the new funds would be for more than travel and could be for special appropriations as deemed appropriate by the various commissioners.

He said an example would be the $1,000 he recently had donated from county funds to the Soddy Daisy Food Bank.

Chairman Fairbanks, commenting on charges that other commissioners were "blindsided" by the budget request, said he would have been violating the Sunshine Law by going to each commissioner and discussing the item.

He said other commission chairmen had not passed around commission budget requests to the other commissioners. He said that was the case when he said Chairman Jim Fields in 2016 put in $898,409 in discretionary money. He said that was a commission budget increase of 121.2 percent.  

Chairman Fairbanks said County Mayor Coppinger had vetoed a county budget with $900,000 in commission discretionary funds at a time when there was not sufficient funds to cover that cost.

He said the county mayor advised there is sufficient money to cover the new lower amount of discretionary funds.

Chairman Fairbanks said Commissioner Graham, who seconded the Martin motion, spent the most last year on special district appropriations - giving $30,000 to Normal Park School. 



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALGHUSSEIN, JAMIL ASAD  2814 WINDTHRUSH DR CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- AVERY, JUDAH CALEB  1210 TOMAHAWK CIRCLE CLEVELAND, 37311  Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Boy Scouts Place American Flags At Veterans' Gravesites

Members of the Cherokee Council of the Boy Scouts of America placed American flags at veterans’ gravesites  Saturday  at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. (click for more)

Conserving White Flight To Private, Public Secluded Schools Is Shameful

If you really care about the kids of Hamilton County’s most distressed schools, then you’ll take help where you can get it. The question on your mind isn’t which political label someone wears. Anyone who shifts attention away from the critical issues facing public education and toward political labels is not really committed to public education. Their support for equitable, quality ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Suckered

Just eight short days ago, Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd called a study on Hamilton’s County’s pseudo ‘socioeconomic desegregation’ farce as “the most far left, liberal document I have ever read. It does not represent the values of Hamilton County and I am insulted and disrespected by it." Then the School Board got so embarrassingly suckered  on Thursday  night ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)