Mayor Andy Berke is a member of the state’s judicial branch who has crossed over into the executive branch of one of its corporations; he is mayor of a municipal entity called City of Chattanooga.
As a lawyer, he is well aware of the perils of ignoring a proper framing of a legal case, called “laying the foundation” in a courtroom setting. Right now, transportation administrative notice is laying a foundation against him and his cops.
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7
For 10 months (as of Dec. 20) he has ignored transportation administrative notice — a legal and widely published restatement of law designed to help his political constituency. He refuses to heed; he shrugs his shoulders and stops his ears so he cannot hear — and to the poor and the victim his heart is like flint.
But that’s A-OK with me (for now), the preparer of TAN and chief scribe for the city’s disaffected and abused minorities on this matter of exercising their rights as free people (some of them descendants of 19th century chattel slaves).
Each day ignored is one day stronger
The notice doctrine in Tennessee law indicates that when a party has been put on actual or constructive notice of either fact or law, certain steps are required. And if the steps are not done, that the law alleged or the facts alleged in the notice stand as accepted and beyond dispute.
But Mayor Berke has a lot of other things to do that are better than having to worry about background noise.
➤ The homeless problem — Mr. Berke wants groups to organize better and cooperate more, and supports a plan whose costs will run into the millions of dollars.
➤ Mr. Berke is anticipating the Mayor’s Council for Women’s conference Feb. 7 and 8, with the theme being “leading for change, one policy at a time.” Hmmm.
➤ Mr. Berke is involved in a flap over the former Harriet Tubman government-run slum and its rezoning and redevelopment.
➤ Lighting a menorah candle in a 25 menorah-topped car parade as part of Jewish religious celebrations of Hanukkah (Mr. Berke practices the traditions of the Pharisees, joined by federal Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in obeisances).
These points and many others occupy Mayor Berke’s comings and goings from his office on East 11th Street. He is a busy man.
And he is conveniently ignoring citizens’ redress of grievances embodied in the notice. Matters of justice and righteousness are well within the scope of his oath of office.
The city charter doesn’t restate his oath, but declares the mayor must make “an oath *** to faithfully, uprightly and honestly demean himself as mayor of said corporation” and that he vow to “faithfully discharge the duties of his office, and such other oath or affirmation as may be now or hereafter prescribed by ordinance” (city charter, section 8.51).
But don’t complain too much
It is fine for future court action, either offensive or defensive, that the city pays no mind to the silly little transportation administrative notice.