2013
11.06

SPLOST for Private Development

With high turnout in an odd-year election, Walker County SPLOST was renewed by 68% of 6,452 voters.

6,452 is the second-highest participation in a SPLOST vote held in the county (record 7,682 in 1987). Efforts from both sides, pushing yes AND no votes, apparently got a lot of people interested in this issue.

Unfortunately more than two thirds of the people who showed up voted against their own best interests. That’s 6,452 people who will continue paying SPLOST sales taxes until at least September 2020, and whose property taxes will all go up next year anyway.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

PRECINCT BY PRECINCT:

PRECINCT YES (%) NO
LAFAYETTE 656 (57%) 494
CENTER POST 124 (55%) 98
ROCK SPRING 450 (61%) 284
ARMUCHEE 102 (64%) 57
LOOKOUT MTN 100 (60%) 66
CHATT VALLEY 459 (73%) 170
KENSINGTON 145 (64%) 80
ROSSVILLE 409 (74%) 144
CHICKAMAUGA 743 (75%) 241
FAIRYLAND 279 (93%) 20
FAIRVIEW 138 (70%) 58
ABSENTEE/EARLY 796 (70%) 339

In city elections, outgoing councilman Andy Arnold handily beat Mike Lovelady and James Mashburn to become LaFayette’s first new mayor since 1991. Incumbent councilman Ben Bradford came out ahead of challenger Ronald Underwood, keeping his Ward 2 chair.   Tiny Facebook

LAFAYETTE MAYOR:

CANDIDATE VOTES % OF VOTE
ANDY ARNOLD 570 69.77%
MIKE LOVELADY 181 22.15%
JAMES MASHBURN 64 7.83%
OTHER / WRITE IN 2  

LAFAYETTE COUNCIL WARD 2:

CANDIDATE VOTES % OF VOTE
BEN BRADFORD 433 53.92%
RONALD UNDERWOOD 369 45.95%
OTHER / WRITE IN 1  

For Ward 1, Robert Wardlaw and Beacher Garmany were top finishers against Glenn Gunnells, but neither man received more than 50% of the vote, meaning a runoff will be necessary. Single-race special election for Wardlaw and Garmany will be held on December 3rd.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

LAFAYETTE COUNCIL WARD 1:

CANDIDATE VOTES % OF VOTE
BEACHER GARMANY 327 40.27%
GLENN GUNNELLS 113 13.92%
ROBERT WARDLAW 367 45.2%
OTHER / WRITE IN 5  

In addition to abusing county resources, using the Chamber of Commerce as a campaign organization, and campaigning inside schools, Walker County Government decided to abuse the new “reverse 911” system to push the SPLOST vote:

Reverse 911 SPLOST Text

It’s not necessarily bad to remind people about voting, but seems like they’re awfully selective in how this is used. If it was JUST city voting, would the county have done this? Will the county send LaFayette residents a reminder to vote in the December 3rd election?   Tiny Facebook

    LU Daily Update, 03/01/13: “No word on what kind of “MORE ‘NON-EMERGENCY’ MESSAGES” the county might send out, but it’s probably just a matter of time before they push the boundaries on that and start sending out thinly-veiled political messages.”

Apparently “a matter of time” was eight months and three days.

Elections results from nearby communities:

Sunday liquor sales in Fort O. – both by the glass and retail – won almost 2 to 1. Fort O. also threw out many of its incumbent city leaders who were involved in the controversial firing of a popular city manager.   Tiny Facebook

James Powell, the only candidate for Chickamauga City Council who seemed to have any sense, was also the only candidate for Chickamauga City Council who didn’t get elected. (In Chickamauga, candidates run as a pool for all open council seats and those with the most votes all become council members.)

Chattooga Co: Incumbent candidates win in Summerville. Trion elects “retired furniture salesman” Larry Stansell over school teacher (and LaFayette property owner) Lanny Thomas, who served as mayor years before.   Tiny Facebook

Shop-Rite LaFayette

Vending machine crimes continue:

    WQCH Radio, 11/05/13: “TWO CHATTANOOGA MEN WERE ARRESTED IN LAFAYETTE SUNDAY ON CRIMINAL ATTEMPT AND DRUG CHARGES.
    “A LOCAL PATROL OFFICER NOTICED A CAR PARKED ON WEST PATTON NEAR THE SHOPRITE AT 1 AM SUNDAY. A SUBJECT WAS REPORTEDLY OBSERVED USING A CROWBAR ON A SOFT DRINK MACHINE OUTSIDE THE BUILDING.
    “60 YEAR OLD FRANK J. WALKER AND 53 YEAR OLD JAMES FREDERICK HARRIS WERE BOTH CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO COMMIT A FELONY, POSSESSION OF CRACK COCAINE, POSSESSION OF DRUG RELATED OBJECTS (A CRACK PIPE), AND POSSESSION OF TOOLS FOR THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME.
    “THE ARREST IS NOT BELIEVED TO BE RELATED TO EARLIER DRINK MACHINE BREAK-INS, REPORTED LAST WEEK.”   Tiny Facebook

Further from home, last week’s Rossville shooting suspect was arrested yesterday around 4:30 PM in Chattanooga. A $1,000 reward was offered for his arrest, but he was apparently taken into custody before the award was announced.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Victim of ANOTHER unrelated shooting in the Rossville area, on Monday, survived his injuries. A suspect in that case turned himself in to RPD yesterday.   Tiny Facebook

Remember making fun of Chattanooga for having a shooting every weekend?

Not so funny anymore… We should offer Hamilton County some money if they’ll take Rossville off our hands.

Norm Hodge MugshotFormer LaFayette Councilman and ex-LHS teacher/coach Norm Hodge (who was celebrating his own electoral win four years ago) appeared in court Monday, facing two charges of sexual assault by an authority figure. Hodge was arrested in February and then resigned from teaching at LHS after being accused of sleeping with a student.

No word yet on exactly what went on in court; LU will update when details emerge.   Tiny Facebook

Three teenagers were rescued from Pettyjohn’s Cave over the weekend.   Tiny Facebook

(So far no teenagers have been rescued from Norm Hodge.)

Chief Randy Camp / Walker Co Emergency Services

During last month’s “Lunch and Learn,” county fire dept. leaders talked about aspects of their jobs. This month’s lunch, planned for November 20, will feature fire marshall Westbrook discussing smoke alarms and arson investigations.   Tiny Facebook

Federal prosecutors and possibly the FBI will get involved with the fishy case of a 17-year-old Macon student who was killed in a gym mat back in January.   Tiny Facebook

Gilbert Elementary introduces more hands-on teaching and a focus on core “STEAM” subjects.   Tiny Facebook

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