Early voting begins, some confusion over proposal - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Early voting begins, some confusion over proposal

Posted: Updated:

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - It's up to Chattanooga residents to vote on dozens of changes to the city charter, that officials consider outdated. The election administrator says the issue is things aren't written out on the ballot very clearly.

Revisions to 26 items on the city charter were discussed at a December council meeting. Now it's up to voters to give their input. Early voting started earlier this week, but election officials worry the question is too vague on the ballot.

"It's been very slow. People have been coming, but they're coming slowly," Election Commission Deputy Jeraldine Sims said.

Few people were casting their ballots Saturday at the Brainerd Recreation Center so election officials are try to drum up some enthusiasm about making decisions on local races and issues.

"Please come out and vote. This is a privilege to be able to vote, so they need to come out and express themselves," Sims said.

Quenston Coleman wouldn't miss the chance.

"I thought it was important to come out and vote as soon as possible," Coleman said.

But, here's one question on the ballot he wasn't as excited about.

"I voted against it because the wording was too short and the impact is too great," Coleman said.

He's talking about amendments to the city charter, but the 53 word proposal doesn't go into specifics. City Attorney Mike McMahan says that's because it's limited to 200 words on the ballot.

"If you can't tell me what you're going to do, then we need to have some more hearings or more information," Coleman said.

You can find the proposed revisions on the city's web site within 55 pages of council meeting minutes from December. The city attorney has revision notes on each item, some more than a century old. He calls them "archaic." Things like, "Sabbath breaking" for disturbing peace on Sundays, confining criminals to the workhouse, which Chattanooga no longer has, and aiding railroads to develop a 100 mile track... from 1895.

He also updates wording on some that don't apply to the city anymore, like for when the city used to be divided into wards, for example.

On the ballot, the amendment proposal says, "...to delete archaic provisions, modernize its provisions, to conform to state laws of general application, and to generally improve the charter."

Early voting ends February 28th.

  • NewsMore>>

  • #FNF3 Scoreboard Week-0, Aug. 22 with FNF Show highlights

    #FNF3 Scoreboard Week-0, Aug. 22 with FNF Show highlights

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:33 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:33:58 GMT
    Channel 3's Friday Night Football is back in its 30th year! #FNF3More
    Channel 3's Friday Night Football is back in its 30th year! #FNF3More
  • Supt. Smith gets above average report card from School Board

    Supt. Smith gets above average report card from School Board

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:33:12 GMT
    Rick SmithRick Smith
    For the third straight year, Hamilton County School Board members have given their Superintendent an "above average" report card. According to scores released by Board Chairman Mike Evatt, Smith ranks highly for his choice of attire, his personal ethics, and communicating with his staff and the public. At the lower end of the scale, Board members said Smith needs to improve on keeping them informed of personnel moves, clarifying his goals, and negotiating contract details with teachers. On a ...More
    For the third straight year, Hamilton County School Board members have given their Superintendent an "above average" report card. According to scores released by Board Chairman Mike Evatt, Smith ranks highly for his choice of attire, his personal ethics, and communicating with his staff and the public. At the lower end of the scale, Board members said Smith needs to improve on keeping them informed of personnel moves, clarifying his goals, and negotiating contract details with teachers. On a ...More
  • Person shot on Walker Avenue

    Person shot on Walker Avenue

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:22:53 GMT
    Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting on Walker Avenue.More
    Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting on Walker Avenue.
    More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.