Residents vote on charter amendment - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Residents vote on charter amendment

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Polls are closed in Chattanooga, and one of the items on theballot is an amendment to the Charter of the City of Chattanooga.

The amendment is an effort to clean up "archaic" language inthe charter.

If voters approve the amendment, the referendum wouldessentially clear up and clarify the charter.

The mayor's office explained most of the charter is morethan 50 years old and some parts as much as 143 years old and portions of itare no longer relevant. The referendum proposes to get rid of unnecessarysections and make minor changes to the rest.

The Times Free Press highlighted some of the main changesthat will be made. They said it modernizes the terminology used to define citycouncil districts (replacing the term "wards" with"districts"); makes the city's property, sales and alcoholic beveragetaxing authority consistent with state law; deletes archaic language aboutbanking and bonds; and eliminates a couple of outdated boards and commissionsthat haven't been active in decades.

The proposed charter changes also:

• End aid to railroads (which hasn't been given since the 1890s).

• Update a handful of provisions related to issues such as zoning, lawsuitsand city borrowing in which state law now supersedes city rules.

• Allow firemen to legally take the amount of vacation days they areentitled to.

• Delete the references to $500 fines, because under state law Chattanoogadoes not have authority to create a fine in excess of $50.

• Eliminate the penalty for "Sabbath breaking."

• Abolish funding for city functions of days gone by such as a workhouse anda city band.

Polls closed at 7 p.m.

For latest and up to date results, visit the Channel 3 election site.

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