Councilman calls Chairman "Oompa Loompa"
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Talk radio tongues are wagging thanks to an on-air feud between the city council chairman and its youngest member.
Away from his District 8 duties, Councilman Andrae McGary is a talk show host. His afternoon air-shift keeps him out of many council committee meetings.
McGary suggested he'd listen to the recent budget meeting while doing his show, which prompted Council Chair Manny Rico to remark on morning radio that he couldn't do both.
Pressed further, Rico added that while he liked McGary as a candidate, he was disappointed in McGary the councilman.
On the radio Thursday morning, McGary responded by saying he wasn't going to engage in personal attacks, but, called Rico an "oompa-loompa" and later, a rubber stamp for the mayor.
"I take everything Andrae says or does with a grain of salt. I know he's trying to, probably trying to get people to listen to his radio program and this is what I was afraid of might happen. Him taking the job as radio host, that he would kind of maybe use the council to say things, maybe, that would entice people to listen to him," says City Council Chairman Manny Rico.
This is not personal and petty, this is a professional disagreement. My statement should be taken in that context," says Councilman Andrae McGary, District 8. "That is why I am very much concerned about the council going forward. Let's really talk the issues here. I was not elected by the mayor, nor was I elected to serve the mayor. Let's recognize that we're serving our citizens or we're not."
It's not the first time the two have bumped heads. Last week, Chairman Rico objected to Councilman McGary setting up and promoting a website to solicit contributions to Tonya Craft.
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield released as statement regarding the spat, saying, "The City is facing many difficult decisions and has much work to do. This is a matter between two council members and I am positive that it will be resolved soon. Our attention should not be diverted from our mission of running the City of Chattanooga."