Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.
Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.
Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.
Meanwhile, I witnessed the donation of gloves... GLOVES... made to the East Ridge Police Department by a National Representative from the IBPO.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice if we're having to have GLOVES donated, we have a problem on our hands, pun intended.
I remained focused on the task at hand: communication with the Institute for Justice and saving citizens from eminent domain... aka ACTUALLY protecting property rights, not just talking about it or using it for votes to get to State.
The dissolution of the ERHA (East Ridge Housing Authority) folded like a deck of cards.
Next up: Why are gloves being donated to first responders? Where is the money in East Ridge being spent?
The latest council meeting I attended, City Manager J. Scott Miller made it clear he has an open door policy. Every council meeting I attend, he mentions how much experience he has. It's become a constant. Go to City Council and hear about Scott Miller's tales from the other cities he's managed or how long he's been doing this.
Let me ask this...
If a "regular Joe" citizen such as myself can take notice of the obvious troublesome blazing fire burning during a small presentation at a council meeting and think: Gosh, there seems to be a problem on your hands (pun intended again). Then how did this slip past someone with years and years of city managing experience? Why did he have to read about the problems within his department in the paper?
Anyone who's ever had a job and has "chain of command 101" understands this: You follow your order. You go to your immediate supervisor. You wait for response. You don't start off by going to your boss's boss's boss's boss and ask for items.
That said, if you are managing so well, or as well as you claim to be, you should never be blindsided by reading about it in the paper. It should never overflow into the public's eye to see. You manage that boss's boss's boss's boss so that you're not having to be in this situation.
Much less, publicly ask those officers to step out of the chain of command and come to you directly for help. How dare you put them on the spot and in that situation when you know the backlash they will (and have) receive for reaching out to you. Don't you get it? They step out of the chain of command instilled upon them to open door chat with you, and they will be in jeopardy of being scrutinized by peers and supervisors.
Start by managing their leaders and it should never be "Why didn't you come to me?" Learn the department, the problems, then come back to council meetings well versed on your city and the staff you so famously "manage." SPEAK with the reps from the IBPO as they now represent 35 out of your officers. They are now your go-to for communication.
Fix it. Put the fire out. And stop placing blame elsewhere.
Meanwhile, today at the Camp Jordan Pavilion, in 90°+ weather... Pure magic happened.
A lieutenant, a sergeant, officers, reserve officers, their wives, their children and citizens all came together as a COMMUNITY to raise money for supplies.
Today was the first time in this city that citizens threw a fundraiser for the police. And it was poetic.
But where were you? Did I not speak before council and publicly invite you to attend? You say you have an open door policy 24/7, but I guess that doesn't include Saturdays.
Funny thing is...I had bumped into a Chattanooga police officer at the bank when I went to get change for the Bake Sale. I cordially invited him to the fundraiser, I even gave him a ticket.
He said "I thought that fundraiser was a rumor."
No sir, it was an actual occurrence. It happened and MANY were there.
Thank you ALL who joined us at the FIRST ANNUAL BACK THE BLUE BBQ AND BAKE SALE!
We will see you next year!
East Ridge Citizens for Property Rights