I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired.
I’m getting tired of living in the movie “Groundhog Day,” when you wake up day after day and the same things that are going on yesterday are happening today. “Groundhog Day” should be adopted by the City Council as the official East Ridge City Movie.
Last week I went to cover a City Beer Board meeting. The manager of Save-A-Lot applied for a permit to sell beer. The grocery store has been in business since 1997, occupying the former site of Pruett Food Town on Ringgold Road in the city’s central business district. The beer board denied the application because of a city ordinance that prohibits sales within a certain distance from a residential area.
Beer Board officials said there was nothing it could do. Save-A-Lot officials must go before City Council to ask for a variance.
Wait, this sounds familiar. Of course it does. Some poor soul who was trying to open up a business in what was once Ryan’s had the same thing happen to him a couple months ago. At the time, Mayor Brent Lambert announced that the council really needed to take a look at amending the ordinance pertaining to the issue and stop wasting everyone’s time … the beer board, the council’s and business people trying to make a buck.
Has the beer ordinance been on the City Council agenda awaiting amendment? Not that I’ve noticed.
Last month, a business owner came before council to ask if the council could do something about the trouble he was having with codes enforcement officials. It seems his business was flying some type of flag/banner to attract customers. No can do, according to our ordinances. At that time the mayor told the poor guy that, yes, he understood his plight. The City Council had a “workshop” on sign ordinances several months back. The mayor said the city needed to stop sending this message that East Ridge is unfriendly toward businesses.
OK, the city had a workshop, did it amend the sign ordinance to be more business friendly? Not that I can tell. Is there anything on a future agenda to bring this issue up? Haven’t seen it.
Don’t get me started on the Campaign Sign Ordinance. That one doesn’t count, apparently, because it affects the incumbents. That controversy swirling around this bad boy will come back before the council every election cycle. I don’t think it will ever be resolved. Groundhog wins on this one.
How many times will officials from the Crestwood Garden Club have to come before council to ask if it can plant a Memorial Garden for Jo Lawrence at Camp Jordan? The club had a master gardener lay out the plans and they are going to supply the plants, shrubs and trees to plant in an area around the new flag poles at the park. They are asking that the city use some equipment and do some grunt work to get the area prepared.
Hold the phone! How much is this going to cost the city, Councilman Jacky Cagle wanted to know? Is the price of that “Black Gold” soil from the garden center going to break the budget?
The garden club told council members that the fall is the time for this to be done. That gives new plants some time to get established. I personally don’t think it’s going to happen this fall. No, city fathers must move with deliberation on these issues. The garden club will be a fixture on the council agenda well into the spring. This thing will get off the ground (pun intended) when the Braves are five games back of the Nationals when the Boys of Summer return. Another win for Mr. Groundhog.
I wonder how many more times the good citizens of this city will witness city fathers deliberating the “Great Issue of Our Time;” who is going to mow Exit 1? The state will do it for nothing. That ain’t good enough. It’s got to be nice for all those cars whizzing by on Interstate 75. So, we will keep city employees busy buying equipment, breaking it, replacing it and mowing the exchange. The price tag _ which Vice-Mayor Marc Gravitt understands is $60,000 a year _ will continue to be disregarded.
Can’t have that Memorial Garden, though. Don’t know how much that might cost.
We will continue to have resolutions and ordinances that will provide for the Southeast Development District to administer grants to put in sidewalks and islands on Ringgold Road in a three or four block stretch. I don’t understand how many votes it takes to accomplish this.
How many more times will it take for the council to give its blessing to buy computers for cop cars? That will come back around, I guess. What do you say, Mr. Groundhog?
The good news is there is only one meeting in November and December. Here’s where Mr. Groundhog is going to take a whipping. I don’t think we will see any measures presented to begin a search for a City Manager. We will not take steps to hire someone to replace Thad Jablonski as the City Treasurer. The Industrial Development Board will not have a meeting to address any economic development issues. I don’t think the council will take any concrete action to move forward in building the city’s second fire hall.
Take that, Groundhog.
No, we can look forward to meetings where the winners of the Christmas Parade will be crowned and Councilman Denny Manning will give his passionate, heartfelt speech about Christmas bonuses for our employees.
Oh well, every hog has its day … Groundhog, that is