Calhoun police still laid off three weeks after shutdown - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Calhoun police still laid off three weeks after shutdown

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CALHOUN, TN. (WRCB)  --  A list of delinquent taxes hangs in the window of the Calhoun City Hall. It's been there since early September when city officials announced everyone but the fire department would be laid off for two weeks, citing unpaid back taxes for the abrupt shut down.

"I don't think its fair that they're blaming one guy for not being open," says resident Bob Yesensky.

He's talking about former Mayor John Walker, who admitted to Channel 3 he has not paid more than $4,000 in back taxes, because he claims the city refuses to mow his properties.

That was three weeks ago.

Tuesday, the library is on an abbreviated schedule and the garbage maintenance employee is back at work but the Calhoun Police Department remains closed.

"I'll be glad and feel more at ease when I know that our local law enforcement is back on the job," says Phillip Worley, a resident.  

The city employs three full time police officers.

"I don't think they're really missed that much," Yesensky says. 

However, residents say they do miss the simple lifestyle, a time before politics and finger pointing and no one knows better than city hall's next door neighbor, Junior Eaves.

Eaves has lived and gardened at his home next to city hall since 1937.

"To tell you the truth I don't know as much foolishness as far as I'm concerned," Eaves says.

He says it takes patients and a lot of care to grow vegetables, attributes that could be used in city government.

"They ought to grow a garden instead of being in city hall," laughs Eaves. "Before it was incorporated this was the quietist, most peaceful town that's ever been."

On that note residents have some advice for city officials: "Quit fighting each other," Worley says. "Quit pointing fingers," says Yesensky. "Go back under the county," advices Eaves.

The city manager says they will discuss opening the police department next Monday. In the meantime McMinn County sheriff deputies and police officers from Charleston will help out if there's a need.

Channel 3 asked about the city's current budget but we were told city leaders have not looked at figures and budget numbers yet.

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