When the weirdness quotient drops a notch at Red Bank City Hall, it’s a sure bet that the East Ridge is prepared to pick up the slack. In fact, the misadventures of East Ridge City Council have recently raised the bar for council meetings worthy of their own reality series. Here’s just a few items of note from the Thursday, Dec. 13, meeting alone (as reported by The Chattanoogan.com):
• Council votes 3-2 to fire City Attorney John Anderson for over-charging the city. Mayor Brent Lambert calls the action “bush league” and “pretty low,” but moves on the vote. After being fired, Anderson—who earned almost $300,000 in his two years as part-time city attorney and smartly drafted his own contract and will receive three times his monthly salary as severance—is asked to lead the group in a prayer.
• City Manager Tim Gobble, a colorful self-promoter with approximately zero shame, hires 19-year-old church pal/disciple Chris Clabough as his administrative assistant—a job that carries with it a $35,000 salary—and mudslinging hilarity ensues. To wit:
—Councilman Denny Manning tossed the first bomb, saying, “all he has seen the new employee do is wash the city manager’s car, get the oil changed, get him Cokes and fetch his umbrella for him,” according to The Chattanoogan.
—Despite the 76 applicants who applied for the position, including some with master’s degrees and the several years of experience the job description call for, Gobble chose Clabough, who attends the same Cleveland church as Gobble, as his protege and defended his youthful hire, who is allegedly his daughter’s boyfriend, saying he “made a high score on the ACT” and was training as a future city manager.
Can’t get enough? Read the soap opera online at TheChattanoogan.com or visit Gobble’s Facebook page, where, according to the TFP’s Drew Johnson, Gobble spends much time on “self-centered diatribes in which he defends himself and attacks his many critics.”