River City Company Responds to Lawsuit Seeking to Halt the Business Improvement District

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A plaintiff in the lawsuit against the City of Chattanooga over the Business Improvement District, is hoping to stop the process from going forward.

But the River City company is trying to keep that project on track.

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Charles Paty, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the City of Chattanooga over the Business Improvement District, or BID, says he might have supported it….. if it had been done just by the City.

“I have a philosophical difference, that people who work for their money, shouldn’t, should NOT be required to turn it over to other private entities to spend as they see fit,” said attorney Charles Paty, with Paty, Rymer & Ulin.

Paty says “private taxation” and spending authority – and lack of public accountability, are his main concerns.

“We elect city government representatives, state, federal, and they are the ones in charge of our tax dollars. If we do not like what they do, then we can vote them out of office. This board that has been set up, they are being picked by I don’t know who, I have a suspicion it might be River City, in conjunction with some other people who want this, and they’ll put the board members in who they want in, and then it’ll be self perpetuating,” said Paty.

The River City company, a non profit agency working to develop downtown, issued this statement today:

“Despite recent challenges to the BID by a few, the organization of the Business Improvement District, along with forming a board of directors will continue as planned over the next few weeks, and the board of directors will decide the next operational steps for the Business Improvement District.”

An earlier effort to put that plan in place failed. Paty says that the city council should have waited a year before voting on it again.
Paty says he plans to ask a judge for an injunction against the plan being implemented.

A spokesperson for the City of Chattanooga says they typically don’t comment on active litigation.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at ahenderson@wdef.com.