Anderson abruptly resigns city post
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Mar 13, 2013 | 996 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charleston City Commission member Larry Anderson unexpectedly resigned before Tuesday night’s regular business meeting after 10 years as a commissioner.

Mayor Walter Goode, Commissioner Donna McDermott and City Manager Caroline Geren were all caught off guard, judging by their reactions.

Anderson carried in a book of city codes before sharing a quick word with Goode. The mayor asked if he wanted to talk, and Anderson quipped, “It’s like beating a dead horse.” He clapped McDermott on the shoulder before leaving prior to the meeting.

Geren said a written resignation will be needed before Anderson’s actions are finalized. Goode said he would give Anderson a call to determine the problem.

In an interview this morning, Anderson revealed the reason for his resignation.

“I was kind of getting burned out, I guess,” Anderson said.

He repeated the phrase “burned out” several times throughout the interview.

“We’ve been going through this annexation for over a year ...,” Anderson said. “It was supposed to be done at the first of this year, and now it is going into March.”

Anderson said he would like to see Charleston grow.

“I’ve been a commissioner for 10 years and I am not getting any younger. I have a lot of stuff going on,” Anderson said. “... It is just like nothing gets done that you want done.”

Anderson said he believed interaction from Charleston residents is a two-way street with the city’s officials.

“To me, if people saw the officials were trying harder to get things done, then they would get more interested,” Anderson said. “They wonder why they should do anything if the city is not.”

Regular business began following Anderson’s departure.

Chief J. Hank Hayden was recognized by the Commission for receiving a certificate from the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators for 25 years of membership. He said he has taught most of the instructors in Chattanooga.

Goode offered his congratulations for Hayden’s accomplishment.

“We are small, but we have pretty elite people we surround ourselves with and it is good to know we have a guy of your capabilities within a telephone call,” Goode said. “People look at us as if we are just a bump on the wall, but we have good people who are sitting in good positions.”

Hayden also said it looked like Charleston might lose animal control coverage when Bradley County reviews its services.

“I have already called the mayor [D. Gary Davis] and told him we need animal control’s help,” Hayden said. “The mayor said they are going to work on it.”

Wilma Brown said the Recreation Department is continuing preparation for the March 30 Easter egg hunt to be held in the Charleston city park at 11 a.m. She also said she is interested in utilizing the park more on a monthly basis for recreation activities open to the city.

Goode encouraged recreation board members to recruit help.

“The thing I keep trying to tell the seven recreation board members is each of you have the authority to go out and find subcommittees to work for you,” Goode said. “The seven [on the board] have to be appointed by me, but after that you can go out and find five or six or even 10 or 12 to help them put on events.”

Continued Goode, “That seems to be the problem of the recreation board. They cannot seem to grasp hold of people who are willing to help them.”

Harrill Millsaps, pastor at Charleston’s First Baptist Church, said he is interested in organizing a Charleston clean-up day. According to Millsaps, several churches in the Charleston area would be interested in offering their help. Goode said he approved of the initiative. He also said he would get in contact with Keep America Beautiful to see if everyone could meet up on the same day.

“There are a lot of things we as a people can do for this city,” Millsaps said.

In other Charleston news:

- The Street Department said it is looking to open the park’s bathrooms next week. Maintenance is being done around the city, including fixing signs. Goode offered a reminder to the public, trash can loads cannot weigh more than 70 pounds. An extra receptacle must be purchased.

- The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society will not have a regular meeting this month due to the election of new officers.

- McDermott made separate motions to accept the first read-throughs of the Annexation Ordinance 2013 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration renewal.

- The Beer Board recently approved Poblano’s restaurant’s beer license.

- Hayden said officer Kammy McCullough is doing an excellent job. She was recently hired and has handled herself admirably, according to Hayden.