It was an early, quick meeting for members of Chattanooga City Council on Tuesday afternoon.
The group took care of its business two hours ahead of schedule to accommodate members participating in National Night Out events in neighborhoods across Chattanooga. The council flew through items on its agenda, approving all ordinances and resolutions unanimously with little discussion.
Among items passed by the group included a resolution to authorize the Department of Economic and Community Development to submit a request for proposal for 100 project-based vouchers offered by the Chattanooga Housing Authority in support of Mayor Andy Berke's affordable housing initiative.
Administrator Donna C. Williams told council members during their afternoon agenda session that the vouchers would be given to developer-landlords participating in the program to ensure properties would stay affordable as neighborhoods revitalize.
The group also unanimously backed a resolution to support the mayor's recent decision to appeal a judge's ruling to reinstate two city police officers, who were terminated last year after an incident between the officers and a halfway house inmate. The incident left the man with eight leg fractures.
Before approving the item, Councilman Moses Freeman said the ruling overturning the action by Police Chief Bobby Dodd had been a "travesty of justice" for the community, adding that it did not reflect men and women of the police department.
"The administrative decision rendered was just something that is very frustrating, very disappointing for this community," Freeman said. "I think we are ashamed of [the officers'] behavior in this action."
Council Chair Yusuf Hakeem said the group would stand by the mayor and police chief in the appeal.
"This is not a tagalong," Hakeem said. "We are full partners with you in this process."
Following approval of the resolution, two citizens rose to address council members on the city's response to the case. Hakeem asked that the citizens withhold their comments because the item had already been approved on the agenda and public comment is dedicated to non-agenda items.
The citizens spoke privately with various council members after the meeting had adjourned.
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