IF that’s the case, do I want you as Mayor?
IF that’s the case, do I want you as my State Rep?
We all remember April 2018 in East Ridge, TN. The infamous letters arrived in our mailboxes. With lightening quick reaction, a true grassroots effort effectively dissolved the threat of eminent domain. TWO members of the council (Brian Williams and Esther Helton) who endorsed the establishment of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) now seek higher office. They faced constituents and fervently denied knowledge and support of the broad powers of the HRA.
Let’s take a brief trip back in time:
APRIL 27, 2017 – CITY COUNCIL: EAST RIDGE
Citizens questioned Resolution 2646 which would establish the HRA. They were advised the HRA would be appointed by the Mayor. Discussion included the broad definition of blight and the broad powers of the HRA. The sitting Mayor responded:
“Does it have broad powers? It has broad powers”.
•Councilman Jacky Cagle made a motion to table the vote stating that he had “just got it”. He abstained from the called vote.
•Councilman Larry Sewell made a motion to adopt Res. 2646, after some discussion.
•Councilwoman Helton seconded the motion to adopt Res. 2646, without ANY questions or discussions OF HER OWN.
•Councilman Williams voted yes, after some discussion.
•Mayor Lambert voted yes. He had stated “I DON’T WANT TO TABLE THIS”.
Less than a year later the HRA, with ALL it’s broad powers contacted citizens.
“I felt that we could lose our home at any time. That’s too much for anyone to endure. A group of people sitting in office made a careless decision and most of them have never apologized to the citizens of ER. Instead, they criticized us and yelled at some residents for standing up to them.” -SC
“Screwed by the very people who were supposed to look out for our best interests”. -CG
“I was intentionally ignored at the meeting that followed and felt instantly like the whole thing was one big con job, meant to screw the common man, while padding the pockets of someone more connected than I. -AN
“So close to paying off our house, no way would we let the city seize it to turn over to private developers”. -MG
Neither Williams nor Helton will get my vote. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
_ Jody Grant