Members of the Westside Community Association have filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing appeal to a lawsuit regarding the effort to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield.
The group, which aggressively campaigned against a recent redevelopment proposal by Atlanta-based Purpose Built Communities and also demanded that city officials make public housing a legislative priority, filed a legal brief with the Tennessee Court of Appeals Thursday. The group also announced its plans to proceed with an initiative petition, with the intent of seeing a housing initiative passed into law.
An initiative petition, as defined by the City Charter, allows a group to collect a certain number of signatures in order to have a proposal brought before the Chattanooga City Council, if no council members will propose similar legislation themselves. If a group can gather 25 percent of voters who voted in the most recent mayoral election, their proposal will be brought to the council for a vote.
If the council rejects the measure, it becomes a ballot item in the next election, according to the group.
Karl Epperson, vice president of the Westside Community Association, said the group chose to file its motion to intervene in the lawsuit after their housing initiative was not taken up by council members, despite a petition with more than 1,200 signatures calling on the group to act.
"We have exhausted all our options and decided that if we were going to pass this legislation, it would have to be done by the people rather than by politicians who are too afraid or too comfortable with the developers and special interests that control our city government," Epperson said.