Citizens: Let’s first look at the definition of “accountability.” Accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
I won election to the position of East Ridge Municipal Court Clerk eight years ago by the citizens of this city. I have ALWAYS been accountable for my actions and shown responsibility not only to you the citizens but am also accountable to the State of Tennessee. So, this political sign that has been floating around only makes sense of one thing: Are “they” saying that NO elected official at this point is accountable? That’s the way I read it.
I have served this city for eight year and have lived here for more than 20. Yes, I did go to the mayor and council and request them to make the court clerk’s position an “employee” position. I will be the first to admit that. Now, let me give you some background on WHY.
One Monday morning at the weekly department head staff meeting, we talked about the agenda for the next city council meeting. It was mentioned that “someone” handed each council member a memo regarding the elected court clerk’s office should be open to all Hamilton County residents. Needless to say, I was a little taken aback by this.
I asked to see this memo. I have yet to see it. Hmmm, in my mind, I knew who was behind this, especially since she was the one to get the eligibility of anyone seeking the office of Municipal Court Judge changed to anyone living in Hamilton County.
I agreed with this change only because we don’t have many attorneys who live in East Ridge and would want to run for the office. It simply broadens the choice. Other than that, my feelings are and always will be that if you want to run for office in East Ridge you should live in the city.
As for the clerk’s position, the council moved eight years ago to make it an elected position. Why would they do that? I would imagine it is for “accountability.”
The reason I went to the mayor and council was to stop them from opening up my position to all residents of Hamilton County. Yes, I had an ulterior motive, and that was to let them put it on the ballot and let you, the citizens, have a say. I’m counting on the fact that the citizens of East Ridge would see through this and vote against the referendum and adoption of the ordinance.
For the last eight years I have been blessed to be able to serve the City of East Ridge. I am not only humbled, I am honored. I take my job as court clerk very seriously because I know I don’t just work for the City of East Ridge, I work for the CITIZENS of East Ridge and the State of Tennessee.
We need to keep the office of court clerk an elected position, not only for the upcoming election in November, but for future elections going forward.
We don’t need the city manager or the administration to take our rights away, our voices away. My position is a judicial position, not a popularity contest or political position.
I do not work for the City Manager of East Ridge. I work for the Municipal Court Judge of East Ridge, and for the citizens of East Ridge.
I urge each and every one of you to vote against the adoption of Ordinance 1163. If it were to pass, it just gives the city administration more power and it takes away our voices as citizens and voters.
I’m sorry, but the current administration, and perhaps one a decade from now, does not need to have any more power than they think they have now.
Vote against Ordinance 1163. Don’t let them take our voices from us!
_ Patricia Cassidy, East Ridge Municipal Court Clerk