Mayor Littlefield has lost another battle in recall effort
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Mayor Ron Littlefield has lost another battle in the fight to avoid a recall election.
He says the stakes are greater, than whether he serves out his term, so he's headed back to court.
"We're gonna continue on the way," says Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. "Quite frankly, the Appeals Court decision was not a great big surprise."
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield hardly expected the same court who cleared the way for a recall to reconsider.
And it hasn't: telling him, tersely, that a lower court had no jurisdiction to tell Hamilton County's Election Commission it couldn't certify the recall petitions. Therefore he's not on point, re-hearing is denied.
But now he's trying to decide.
"Either to go to the Supreme Court or to Circuit Court. We're trying to decide which would be the most effective," says Littlefield.
"I guess I'm surprised that he wants to have a legacy of another politician going to court--trying to stay in power for so long," says Jim Folkner, recall ron petition organizer.
"I'm not gonna leave it for the next Mayor to deal with," says Littlefield.
Littlefield says it's not about denying the will of the people, but defining what the will really is.
"The question that we still need to resolve is how many signatures are valid, and whether or not the recall election should go forward at all," he says. "The equally-large, or maybe even larger, question: what to do about a City Charter whose recall language not only contradicts itself, but Tennessee law?"
The laws differ how many voters signatures a recall petition needs, what makes a signature valid, even whether a recall election should be "keep or toss" or include other candidates, if the voters say "toss."
There's no doubt this will have to play out as it is," says Folkner.
Littlefield believes city council needs to fix Chattanooga's charter first.
"They have to have an Amendment. It has to be approved as an ordinance, and it has to be placed on the ballot," says Littlefield.
"We can go back and look at making this a more clear cut, understandable process," says
But, council chair Pam Ladd says changes should wait, until after the court battles.
Otherwise, council risks being accused of rigging the process.
Littlefield says if the recall vote does go forward--as planned-- as part of next August's regular election: "yes, I would stand for re-election in that case."