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Council, commission have duty to hear your ‘address,’ ‘remonstrance’ over abuses

Sheriff Jim Hammond greets people at a Hamilton County commission meeting. (Photo David Tulis)

 You have a right to address or remonstrate the Chattanooga city council or the Hamilton County commission for abuses of your property or personal rights secured under state law. 

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

This is a constitutional right that you should feel free to exercise.

➤ There are hundreds of families have been offended by the illegal ordinance called the STVR short term vacation rental organs that is an effective ban on the use of the Internet. According to Mary Alice Crapo, who’s being sued in circuit court by the city for her livelihood as an Airbnb host, 700 families have been targeted by letters and threats.

She is awaiting trial March 3 before circuit court Judge Kyle Hedrick. She and others in her position have a constitutionally guaranteed right to speak in detail about their grievances caused by an unconstitutional ordinance approved by former city attorney Wade Hinton, city attorney Phil Noblett and the majority of city council (Demetrus Coonrod alone voting no).

Residents of Chattanooga have a constitutionally secured right to address the City government apart from its niggardly 3-minute time limit in the public comment section of its Tuesday 6 p.m. regular meeting.

➤ As for county commission, I have in mind is the 249-day seizure of a working man’s private Ford Explorer by Sheriff Jim Hammond. It appears that the sheriff, either personally or in his office, has stolen this car, seized during a “traffic stop” May 30 in Hamilton County by his agent, deputy Gregory Carson, also acting under color of law, and perhaps in his personal capacity.. This humiliation, coupled with an illicit arrest under Title 55, the shipping law, is proper ground for address of grievance.

I propose that an address or remonstrances is not limited by time, as it arises from a constitutionally enumerated right. That body has a duty under the bill of rights to listen to any remonstrances or address, however long or tedious.

The remonstrance is authorized by the following provision

Declaration of rights, section 23. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.

The county commission and city government are subject to hearing your address or remonstrance because they are “invested with the power of government,” can be addressed “for redress of grievances, or other purposes.”

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