Transparency Needed In County Government

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

On Aug. 29 of last year, Jim Coppinger convened a press conference on the courthouse steps to announce that he was raising property taxes. The mayor and commission gave no notice; the deal was already done.

Seven days later County Commission passed the tax hike on its first reading. Citizens were never invited to comment on the matter.

Is this any way to run Hamilton County government?

For far too long, good ol’ boy, backdoor politics have been standard practice in Hamilton County, and for seven years County Mayor Coppinger has been the champion of these maneuvers. It’s time for change.

As Hamilton County’s next mayor, I will invite every citizen to participate in their government. In my first week on the job, I’ll call on County Commission to pass a comprehensive measure designed to guarantee transparency and citizen access in all aspects of county government. It will include the following reforms:

Hold County Commission meetings later in the day, at a time when more citizens may attend

Require County Commission to consider all ordinances after a second reading

Tax ordinances shall be considered after a third reading

Commission agendas shall be posted online one week prior to meetings

The mayor and full County Commission shall conduct quarterly town hall meetings in different venues around the community

On a local radio program on May 3 of this year, Jim Coppinger stated that, "The mayor is not subject to the Sunshine Law." Using the technicalities of our state’s Sunshine Law as cover for raising taxes without accountability is a breach of the public faith. County Mayor Coppinger needs to tell us why he feels it necessary to conduct the people’s business in the dark. 

The answer, of course, is that it’s not necessary at all. Doing county business outside of public view is simply a choice that the mayor makes. 

I will serve as mayor within the full light of public scrutiny, holding myself and the County Commission accountable in every step of the legislative process. In the Brown administration, because we’ve always done it that way, will no longer be acceptable in Hamilton County government.

Aloyse Brown
Hamilton County Mayoral Candidate



Roy Exum: 2018 Ig Nobel Awards

The word ‘ignobel’ is rarely used because only a few among us know that it means "characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness." About 30 years ago, a glorious group of great scholars took a literary hatchet to form the word into ‘ig nobel’ so it could be placed in the dictionary as a term that means “a satirical social criticism that identifies absurd research.” Think of ... (click for more)

A Societal Ill Wind

A societal ill wind blows a lot of controversy around over drug addiction and how it effects citizens, families and how we all live..  A recent doctor appointment brought me closer then I ever thought to drug addiction and its effects on the total community. I drove to Carthage, Tn. the first time ever travelling to another small town in eastern Tennessee. The injection, affordable, ... (click for more)

Mother Of 15-Year-Old Killed By His Father Said McElrath Had Been Acting "Manic"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by his father said Michael McElrath had been acting "manic" in the days leading up to the tragic incident in Hixson on Aug. 18. Judge Alex McVeigh bound a charge of criminal homicide against McElrath, a former jail officer, to the Grand Jury. He is charged in the death of Dylan McElrath, who was a sophomore at Hixson High School. ... (click for more)

Fire Causes $250,000 In Damage To Home On Signal Mountain

Fire damaged a home on Signal Mountain late Tuesday night. At  11:18 p.m., firefighters from Walden’s Ridge Emergency Services (WRES) responded to a house fire on 5011 Anderson Pike. When the first engine arrived on the scene, they reported two vehicles and a portion of the house were on fire. WRES immediately requested a mutual aid response for supporting fire ... (click for more)

Baylor Volleyball Pounds GPS, 3-0

It was just 20 days ago on August 29 when Baylor and GPS faced each other for the first time this season in volleyball.   The match was played at GPS.   The Bruisers lost that day, but they left feeling pretty good after winning a set and giving the defending state champs all they wanted at times. The second match between these two storied rivals at Baylor wasn’t ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about. Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) ... (click for more)