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Committee rejects Littlefield’s annexation proposal

Committee rejects Littlefield’s annexation proposal Posted: Dec 15, 2011 10:59 PM EST Updated: Dec 15, 2011 11:20 PM EST By WRCB Staff Source:

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) — In a meeting that lasted just minutes, a 20 member committee rejected Mayor Ron Littlefield’s annexation proposal, Thursday Night.

Mayor Littlefield was not present for the very meeting he asked for.

It didn’t seem to matter, the committee, made up of mayors, school board members, and business leaders, made it clear Chattanooga is not ready to expand.

After County Mayor Jim Coppinger opened up the floor, silence.

Until School Board Chairman Mike Evatt motioned to deny Mayor Littlefield’s request to expand city limits to the Bradley County line.

“I was waiting to see if there was discussion, seemed like the floor was open up for discussion, I was ready to vote,” says Evatt.

The vote was 12 against, 5 for, with 2 abstaining.

Spokesperson for Mayor Littlefield’s office and committee member Richard Beeland was one of five to vote in favor of expansion.

He says growth due to the new VW plant needs to be planned for, controlled.

“It’s not unexpected that they came to this decision, it’s a shame that they didn’t allow more discussion on it and at least study the issue and then come up with an amendment,” says Beeland.

But because the meeting was requested by the city, the burden to prove a discussion is needed is on them.

Without bringing a detailed amendment to the table, only a letter of concerns written by mayor Littlefield.

The board was able to strike it down, no questions asked.

A victory for groups like Ooltewah Citizens for Responsible Growth who are against annexation all together.

“This was just an opening shot, but we are well prepared for the next step,” says John Harris, with Ooltewah Citizens for Responsible Growth.

“I think if anything annexation should be the right of the voters, voters should be given the right to vote on if they want to annexed or not,” says Evatt.

But some city leaders see it differently and say to expect another proposal in the future.

In the letter, written by mayor Littlefield, and referenced during the meeting, he talked about the need to combine police and fire protection, public works services, and housing and building codes.

Mike Evatt says the letter was a slap at the county, which he says is doing just fine.

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