Chastain Political News


Chastain Political News Archives

It has been said that all politics is local. For Chastains, this is literally true, except for
Elijah Chastain of Georgia who served two terms in the United States House of Representatives (1851-1855).
However, that does not mean Chastain politics is boring.
Consider the political career of Clay Chastain of Kansas City!
Or Jane Chastain's political commentary from the right!
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12-10-04 Butch Chastain Retires as Mayor (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) In just a few short weeks, Butch Chastain will slip quietly away from a 33-year career in public service. After eight years as mayor of Mitchell and 25 years as a police officer in Mitchell, Chastain admits it will be difficult to leave the office because he loves the job and the people he works for and with. He’s leaving city hall, but at 62 years old, he’s not ready to completely hang up his hat...“It’s going to be something other than political,” Chastain said. “It might be public service possibly in some form or another."...Chastain joined the Mitchell Police Department as a patrolman March 19, 1975. Through the years he moved up through the ranks until he was appointed chief of police in 1985. He served in that capacity until he ran for mayor of Mitchell and won that office in 1999. Full Story Back to Top
12-08-07 Charles Chastain Insists that Mike Huckabee Initiated Discussion on Wayne DuMond (Raw Story - Cambridge, MA) Chastain says that Huckabee specifically brought up the DuMond case in an executive session, portraying DuMond as a "guy from the wrong side of the tracks who got a raw deal." "I responded," says Chastain, "by saying: 'Governor, If you rape a cheerleader in a small town like that, you're going to get a long sentence if you're convicted. And, furthermore, that sentence had been changed by former governor Tucker to 39 1/2 years." "When I was called for the next board meeting," adds Pondexter, "I was informed by board members that the Governor had appeared before them, asking them for support in the release of parole in DuMond." Huckabee told NBC's Meet the Press on November 28 that the Parole Board asked his personal advice on whether DuMond should be paroled, and he, in turn, said that it ought to be given a "serious look." Dr. Chastain disagrees: "If you think about it, there's no reason why the Parole Board would be asking the governor for advice about a given individual." Full Story Back to Top
11-29-07 The Ballad of Clay Chastain (Kansas City Star - MO) There’s a fine line between imitation and flattery: Local folksinger Jim Abel walked it recently via a parody song called “The Ballad of Clay Chastain.”...While Chastain gives the ditty three on a scale of four stars, it’s kind of a don’t- quit-your-day-job thing. “It’s a catchy tune,” he says. “But I hope he sticks with writing ballads and not designing transportation systems.” Chastain’s favorite line: “Where it says, ‘Clay will be there at the judgment day.’ Mr. Abel is right. I will be here on judgment day when the city will face charges for unconstitutionally seizing power from 73,998 voters.” Hear it for yourself at Full Story Back to Top
11-26-07 Clay Chastain Offers Compromise (Kansas City Business Journal - MO) Clay Chastain on Monday proposed a compromise in an effort to revive the light-rail plan Kansas City voters approved last year...Chastain, drafter of that light-rail plan, wants the City Council to rescind its Nov. 8 repeal of the plan on Tuesday and put a ballot issue before voters in February to approve changes to make the plan more flexible...Chastain said in a Monday release. "We still contend that the voter-approved light-rail plan is workable and the best light-rail plan for Kansas City. However, the practical consideration is that this plan in its present form is unanimously opposed by the Kansas City establishment, including the city."...Chastain's proposed changes to the plan include:
*The route of the light-rail spine from Swope Park to Kansas City International Airport would be determined by city planners, so long as the route includes Union Station.
*The system would be a "seamless traditional light-rail system" instead of the streetcars that the Citizen's Light Rail Task Force had proposed.
*The system would be built in stages if financing requires it.
*City planners would design a starter streetcar system to connect Prospect Avenue to the light-rail spine.
*Roads through Penn Valley Park will remain open.
*The proposed gondola system would be scrapped.
*The city pledges to create a financing plan for the bus system and a plan for commuter rail from Eastern Jackson County to Union Station.
*The system would be powered by ground-level technology, instead of overhead wires, if possible.
*The three-eighths-cent, 25-year sales tax and electric shuttle bus system that were part of the original plan would remain. Full Story Back to Top
11-25-07 Parole Board Member Charles Chastain Says Huckabee Argued in DuMond's Behalf (WIBW - Topeka, KS) In 1985, DuMond was convicted of the rape of a 17-year-old girl with a connection to then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton: She was the governor's distant cousin and the daughter of a major campaign contributor. As Clinton rose to national prominence, the case came to the attention of his critics. Journalists and talk show hosts questioned the victim's story and suggested that DuMond had been railroaded by the former governor...When Huckabee became governor in 1996, he expressed doubts about DuMond's guilt...Less than a year later, DuMond was granted parole. Huckabee's office denied that the governor played a role in the parole board's decision, but there was contradict that claim. Charles Chastain, a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, who was on the parole board at the time, told the governor met with the board to argue on DuMond’s behalf. "He thought DuMond had gotten a raw deal," said Chastain, who calls himself neutral towards Huckabee...After the meeting, Chastain said, a number of the board members "switched their vote" from the previous year, and DuMond was paroled...he left prison in 1999 and ended up in Missouri. Not long after he arrived, he was arrested again - this time for sexually assaulting and murdering a woman named Carol Sue Shields. DuMond was also the leading suspect in the rape and murder of another woman. He was convicted of murdering Shields and died in prison in 2005. Full Story Back to Top
11-24-07 Councilman John Sharp Opposes Council Repeal of Clay Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) Kansas City Councilman John Sharp’s impassioned plea to fellow council members not to repeal Clay Chastain’s voter-approved light-rail plan, but rather allow voters to decide in February, did not fall on deaf ears. Chastain was so moved that immediately afterward he declared, “John Sharp for mayor!”...Sharp and council colleagues Cathy Jolly and Beth Gottstein lost out in their efforts to allow voters a say in the matter...Sharp says. “I know there are serious flaws in Clay’s plan. I just didn’t think it was proper for the council to repeal what the voters approved. That should be the (voters’) decision. Full Story Back to Top
11-21-07 U.S. Supreme Court to Review Juan Chastang Case (Press-Register - - Mobile, AL) The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to review a ruling by federal judges in Montgomery's U.S. District Court that Gov. Bob Riley violated the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act when he appointed Chastang, a black Republican, to represent the majority Democratic, majority-black District 1 on the commission...The Supreme Court will hear the appeal in March, according to a spokeswoman at the Alabama Attorney General's Office. Full Story Back to Top
11-14-07 Kansas City Resident Files Suit Against City Council’s Repeal of Chastain Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) A lifelong Kansas City resident said the Kansas City Council’s repeal last week of Clay Chastain’s light-rail plan so enraged her she asked her lawyer son to file suit. A copy of the lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court late Tuesday, states that Rose Marie Gunter, a south Kansas City resident, “was disenfranchised of her right to vote” when the council nullified the results of the Nov. 6, 2006, election. The council on Thursday voted 10-3 to repeal the election result. The lawsuit asks for the council’s repeal to be voided...she was not coordinating with Chastain and didn’t know him. Chastain this morning cheered the news of the legal challenge. “I’m glad to see there’s another citizen out there trying to protect the democratic process,” he said. Full Story Back to Top
11-09-07 Kansas City Council Repeals Chastain Light-Rail Plan ( - Charlotte, NC) The Kansas City Council scrapped the voter-approved light-rail plan on Thursday by a 10-3 vote. Council members who supported the repeal said the 27-mile plan voters approved in November 2006 had fatal flaws: It was illegal, didn't provide adequate financing and suggested a route that logistically wouldn't work. Repealing the plan by council action rather than a public vote would hasten the process to get rail-oriented transit in the city, they said...Council members John Sharp, Beth Gottstein and Cathy Jolly voted against the council repealing the plan. "We should trust the voters," Sharp said. "This will breed cynicism among voters." The council also passed a resolution committing to put a new light-rail plan before voters no later than Nov. 4, 2008. Clay Chastain, the light-rail activist who created the voter-approved plan, flew in from his Virginia home to attend the meeting. He called the council's action a "rape of democracy" and said he would sue to challenge the constitutionality of the repeal. Full Story Back to Top
11-07-07 Terrell Defeats Incumbent Mayor Morris Chastain (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Terrell was elected by a vote of 805 to 576. He will take office Jan. 2, marking the first time since 1963 that voters in Mitchell have elected a Republican mayor. Terrell, who challenged Chastain for the seat in 2003 and lost, said he is looking forward to working with the city council and clerk-treasurer to make Mitchell a better place to live...Chastain said he will look for other opportunities to work toward the betterment of Mitchell. Throughout the campaign, Chastain stressed the merits of the planned Hamilton Boulevard that will lead from Ind. 37 to an industrial park on the city’s east side. “It’s going to mean a lot to this community,” Chastain said earlier. He said after the election returns were in, “I don’t want to see the road project suffer for this reason.” Full Story Back to Top
11-06-07 Randy Chastain Becomes Mayor of Walhalla (Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson, SC) City government has a new look in Walhalla with Randy Chastain winning the mayor’s seat with 302 votes Tuesday, according in unofficial returns. Mr. Chastain, owner of the Bantam Chef restaurant and current mayor pro tem of the council, thanked the citizens for voting for what he said was right. Mr. Chastain said a campaign to bash him by the Seneca Journal and one of its owners, Jerry Edwards, failed, and that he would begin immediately to work on Walhalla’s water issue...Walhalla is home to about 1,790 registered voters, and voter turnout Tuesday was about 33.27 percent...The mayor and all six council members are paid the same, $100 a month. Full Story Back to Top
11-06-07 Clay Chastain Willing to compromise on Light Rail (Kansas City Star - MO) Forget about the rap on Clay Chastain that he won’t compromise. A couple of weeks ago some Kansas City civic leaders and city officials prevailed upon Chastain and his wife/attorney, Valerie, to fly here at the invitees’ expense to discuss overcoming an impasse on Chastain’s light-rail plan. The group had three hurdles for Chastain to clear: that the rail not go down Broadway, not cut through Penn Valley Park and the plan get separated into stages to ensure that the funding would be there. Chastain agreed in principle to changes that addressed all three...Chastain’s message to voters: “I want people to know that we tried to compromise. We gave and we didn’t get anything back. We bent over and they didn’t give an inch. They said they were excited about it, but when we got home (to Virginia), they blanked us. No communication. “Then when I pressed them, they said there’s no interest by the powers that be to use any part of the plan the voters approved. They were going to come up with a whole new plan, ‘That’s just the way it is, Clay.’ And that’s when they started to bang the drums for the repeal.” Full Story Back to Top
11-01-07 Clay Chastain Opposes Streetcars (Kansas City Star - MO) Streetcars are just too slow and too small to take the place of light rail, Chastain says. “There are no streetcars that go over 45 mph, and they can’t use a ground-level power supply system that’s a beautifying and pioneering rail technology. They have to use the antiquated and unattractive overhead pole and wire power system,” Chastain says. “Can anyone imagine themselves putt-putting along in a streetcar to the airport?” The cool-looking color illustration of an attractive streetcar on the cover of Sunday’s Star was impressive, Chastain concedes, but it was missing one thing: the uncool and unattractive overhead poles and wires needed to make the thing go...Chastain and his wife/attorney, Valerie, flew into KC last week at the request of civic leaders to discuss and consider possible refinements to his light-rail plan. By the way, there’s nothing new about Chastain agreeing to a starter line; he has said from the get go his plan could be built in stages, with the first being a starter. Full Story Back to Top
10-31-01 Groundbreaking for Mayor Morris Chastain's Major Road Project (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) The dirt moving was only symbolic, but Tuesday’s groundbreaking represented the start of a big change in Mitchell. Officials broke ground on the first phase of long-planned Hamilton Boulevard. The new road will serve the city’s fledgling industrial park as well as the Lehigh Cement Co. plant, among other parts of the community. “It means progress — jobs,” said Mitchell Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain. He said he’s been working on the road project since first took office in 2000. Full Story Back to Top
10-30-07 Kansas City Star Rail Proposal Echoes Clay Chastain Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) While The Star’s proposal has its own unique elements, the newspaper’s idea echoes in several ways Clay Chastain’s three core principles of light rail in Kansas City: Be willing to pay for it ourselves. Don’t wait on the suburbs to buy in; they’ll eventually see the light. And whatever you do, make sure the light-rail line runs past Union Station. Sticklers will note that The Star’s package itemized six guiding principles. But Chastain’s Big Three, while not attributed to him specifically, were either in there or implicit...Chastain’s plans always included federal funding, even when experts warned that the plan wouldn’t qualify for it. But this year Clay began to change his tune, saying Kansas City could go it alone. What? How could anyone spurn Uncle Sugar? “We could start a starter phase that is true to the existing plan the voters approved, while we try to get federal funds,” Chastain told me late Tuesday. “We don’t give up on them (the fed), but we don’t wait on them.”...The Star proposal, built of consensus among experts and community leaders, anticipates that suburban communities will want to hook up to Kansas City’s system once they see a starter line up and running. Chastain’s been saying that since he first started circulating light-rail petitions in the 1990s...True, the regional approach — the one favored by Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser — would be ideal. But the if-we-build-it-they-will-come approach has been the model in city after city...Yes, the route that The Star suggests differs significantly from the one advocated by Chastain and approved by voters last year. Besides being far shorter, it’s aligned with Main Street, not Broadway, as Chastain proposed. But The Star’s proposed route would run past Union Station, where it’s assumed that commuter rail lines might connect from the suburbs at some time in the future. Chastain’s been beating that drum since the early 1990s, when he first spoke of Union Station as a future transportation hub. Full Story Back to Top
10-30-07 Karen Chasteen Favors On-line Access to Documents (Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN) Accessibility to the public is the primary issue in the Richmond city clerk's race that pits challenger Ronnell Allen against incumbent Karen Chasteen. The candidates agreed about making the office more accessible to customers, but they propose different ways to do so. Chasteen, the Democrat, said making documents accessible over the Internet would be easier for customers to access..."We need to be on the cutting edge," Chasteen said. "So when people look at Richmond, they know what we have been a part of." Chasteen said she also thinks document preservation is important because the office has records that are 200 years old. Full Story Back to Top
10-26-07 Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain Takes on a Challenger for His Office (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Building and maintaining a community that offers a good quality of life is the overall mission of Mitchell Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain as he seeks a third term in office. But, Chastain’s challenger, Dan Terrell is convinced the city’s services are sagging, spending has become excessive and too many local jobs have disappeared. Terrell, a Republican, believes it’s his vision that will best lead the city forward if he’s successful on Nov. 6 in unseating Chastain. Chastain, a Democrat, defeated Terrell, a Republican, in the 2003 election. Full Story Back to Top
10-25-07 Colleague Commends Richmond City Clerk Karen Chasteen (Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN) I commend Richmond City Clerk Karen Chasteen. As a serving municipal clerk, I have come to know her as a highly capable colleague with a professional ethos. Active in our state professional association (the Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers), she attends professional development workshops, learning state law changes and improving her skills as a city clerk -- all to better serve Richmond. Also, I am impressed with her servant's heart for the people and the city of Richmond. I also know colleagues from both parties that respect Karen. She has a heart for working with everyone. Michael W. Griffin, Highland, Ind. Editor's note: Griffin is Highland Clerk-Treasurer. Full Story Back to Top
10-15-07 Kansas City Mayor Has Strong Words for Chastain Light Rail Plan (Kansas City - Kansas City, MO) Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser pulled no punches Monday when he called Clay Chastain's light-rail plan "dead." The mayor made the comments at a news conference at Union Station with several Platte County mayors, who favor the Funkhouser's regional mass transit idea instead of just a Kansas City line. "To me it's dead. I'm ditching Chastain's plan. It's not Kansas City's plan. It belongs to some guy in Virginia," Funkhouser said. "Let me be clear -- I think it's a dumb plan and I don't think it will work."...Chastain told KMBC that he thinks Funkhouser is "drunk with power" for trying to repeal a plan that was approved by voters. Full Story Back to Top
10-09-07 Juan Chastang Loses in Special Election (Press-Register - - Mobile, AL) District 1 residents elected Merceria Ludgood to represent them on the Mobile County Commission...Ludgood, a Democrat, beat out Republican Juan Chastang in a special election for the District 1 commission seat. That district comprises downtown Mobile and the northern part of the county. Vote totals are as follows: Ludgood - 5,434 (79.8 percent)...Chastang - 1,364 (20.2 percent). Full Story Back to Top
10-04-07 Clay Chastain Responds to Critics (Kansas City Star - MO) “I am not making a move; they have to make the move,” Chastain says. “I have a vote in favor of my plan right now, and they don’t. They don’t even have a vote to repeal my plan, and the polls say the voters of Kansas City don’t want to repeal my plan. I shouldn’t have to do anything. I already campaigned, and my campaign won. Nobody has offered any proof that my plan won’t work or that it’s impossible.” Then again …“I understand they’re going to throw lots of money at trying to defeat my plan, and it’s not going to be a fair fight,” Chastain says. “But I think we’ll win anyway because we have the best light-rail plan for Kansas City that will put us in first place.” Full Story Back to Top
09-27-07 North Kansas City Mayor is Fed Up With Light Rail (KC Community News - Overland Park, KS) As for North Kansas City Mayor Gene Bruns, well, let's just say he declined to participate any longer in the transit discussion at the Sept. 18 council meeting...Bruns let rip with his disdain for the multiple groups jockeying for influence over the light rail plan and said he was done with light rail altogether. “This light rail has just worn me out,” Bruns said. “I don't care where it goes … I don't care when it gets built because I'll be dead.” Bruns said he would not attend another meeting about light rail and voiced disappointment in the “nine or so wacko groups involved” for a lack of continuity, which he said slowed the planning process. Full Story Back to Top
09-22-07 Mayor Funkhouser Supports Lightrail, But Not Chastain Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) In Kansas City, voters in 2006 approved a light-rail plan drawn up by Clay Chastain. But Funkhouser and many others who strongly support mass transit oppose the Chastain proposal because it has many insurmountable problems. It would be far costlier than advertised, and too grandiose to complete. The mayor supports an election next February on an initiative petition effort to overturn the Chastain proposal. Still, Funkhouser and the City Council recognize they can’t just be against something designed to improve transit and promote economic development. They eventually have to give voters something to be for, such as a sensible, cost-effective light-rail plan. The Area Transportation Authority, consultants and a citizens task force are working on such a proposal for an expected election in 2008. It’s likely to occur just months after voters decide the Chastain issue. Full Story Back to Top
09-21-07 ATA Pushes for Alternative to Clay Chastain's Lightrail Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) Dick Jarrold, a light rail planner for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, addressed the North Kansas City Council this week about light rail plans for the metropolitan area. Jarrold said the ATA is trying to come up with an alternative to the plan devised by Clay Chastain. “The ATA supports light rail but not (the Chastain) plan,” he said...Jarrold said the ATA wants a realistic light rail plan that is technically and financially feasible, and supported by a strong bus system. He noted that Chastain’s plan would extend a 3/8-th cent sales tax earmarked for bus service and divert it to the light rail system. “That tax covers 40 percent of our (bus) operation,” Jarrold said. Jarrold said Chastain’s plan would cost somewhere between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion. And annual operations would cost between $11 million and $14 million. With revenue from the 3/8th-cent sales tax, that would leave Chastain’s light rail system with an estimated $488 million shortfall, Jarrold said. “And that assumes the project would be 50 percent funded,” he said. Full Story Back to Top
09-19-07 Police and Firefighters' Unions Oppose Recall of Mayor Kelly Chastain (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) The city's police and firefighters' unions are opposing an attempt to recall Mayor Kelly Chastain. Representatives from both unions made statements in support of Chastain at Tuesday night's City Council meeting..."In the opinion of Colton's firefighters, recalls are an action of final resort that should be saved for those who have done something criminal or who are abusing the public trust," said Doug Blinkinsop, Colton representative for the San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935. "This is clearly not the case with Mayor Chastain." A group of business leaders served the mayor with a recall notice at the Sept. 4 council meeting...Recall proponents said Chastain has misused her position by launching irresponsible attacks on her opponents. They said she has made fiscally irresponsible decisions and supported unpopular projects such as annexation and a bike path along Colton Avenue. Chastain said she is being attacked because she crossed "the `good ol' boys' who were used to getting their way in our city." Full Story Back to Top
09-05-07 Community Leaders Begin Recall Process on Mayor Kelly Chastain (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) Business and civic leaders on Tuesday night launched an effort to remove Mayor Kelly Chastain from office. Members of a nonpartisan group Citizens for Colton First handed Chastain an intent to recall notice during the public comment portion of the meeting...Leaders of the recall movement said Chastain has taken the city down the wrong path since she was elected mayor in November. Chastain, 44, has served on the council since 1992. "We are concerned about the way our city is being run and the level of government representation we are getting," longtime resident Frank Navarro, president-elect of the Colton Chamber of Commerce, said before the meeting. "We're doing the recall because she's not doing the job she was elected to do." Chastain responded that she is moving Colton in a new direction that some people might find uncomfortable. Call it an honor," Chastain said of the recall. "I guess I'm doing something right - making change." Full Story Back to Top
08-29-07 Juan Chastang Wins Republican Primary ( - Birmingham, AL) Democrat Merceria Ludgood and Republican Juan Chastang won party primaries Tuesday for the District 1 seat on the Mobile County Commission. The two will square off in a general election Oct. 9...Chastang, 45, left office May 1 after a panel of federal judges ruled his appointment to the position was illegal. On Tuesday, Ludgood received more than 59 percent of the Democratic vote to win without a runoff over three competitors...Chastang took 84 percent of the GOP vote to beat out Jeffery Jones. It was Chastang's first electoral victory. "I'm pleased with it," he said. "I think the voters have confidence in the job I've done." Turnout was less than 10 percent, with only 7,370 of the 75,144 registered voters in District 1 casting ballots. Full Story Back to Top
08-23-07 Platte County Discusses Light Rail Plan that is at Variance With Clay Chastain's Plan (KC Community News - Overland Park, KS) The committee also adopted three different alignment options for extending light rail in Platte County. The options would somewhat parallel the alignment suggested by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority but would differ sharply from the so-called Chastain plan that voters approved in 2006. All the options would extend light rail to KCI Airport with an alignment east of Interstate 29, while the Chastain plan would be west of the I-29. “Light rail is about getting people to jobs,” said Pete Fullerton, executive director of the council. “It's not about bringing conventioneers from the airport to the downtown area.”...But Fullerton said the link to the airport remained a key factor. “Taking light rail to the airport is what will get out the vote,” he said. “But engineers and consultants will tell you there is no way light rail to the airport can be justified because of low ridership.” Full Story Back to Top
08-15-07 Mayor Pro Tem Randy Chastain Declares Candidacy for Mayor (Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson, SC) Three candidates signed up to run for mayor before the noon filing closing Wednesday. The candidates include mayor pro tem Randy Chastain, former mayor Wayne Smalley and Walhalla businessman Jim Satterfield...Mr. Chastain, 44, who owns Bantam Chef restaurant and Rost Investigators Inc., has served 12 years on the council and twice been mayor pro tem. He is a 1981 Walhalla High graduate. “I have the experience and leadership that’s required,” Mr. Chastain said Wednesday. “I welcome a good race and when the polls close there will be no hard feelings.” Full Story Back to Top
08-10-07 Clay Chastain Identifies His Light Rail Enemies ( - Charlotte, NC) Light rail advocate Clay Chastain said that results of an alternatives analysis of his plan were skewed against it..."HNTB was hired by, and worked in cooperation with, two sworn enemies of the voter-approved light rail plan," Chastain said in a release Friday. He identified these "enemies" as the city and the KCATA, and detailed several arguments against the analysis...A group seeking to overturn the light-rail plan Kansas City voters approved in November submitted almost 6,500 signatures to the city on Tuesday. City Clerk Millie Crossland said Friday that the signatures are valid and that she will certify the petition through a communication to the City Council on Aug. 16. City Councilman Ed Ford said Thursday that Mayor Mark Funkhouser said he would introduce an ordinance for Thursday's City Council session to put the new petition on the November ballot. Ford said that Councilman John Sharp suggested a meeting with the committee of petitioners to see whether they would agree to modify the language of their petition to add that the City Council will present a new light-rail plan within the next calendar year, or something similar to that. Full Story Back to Top
08-09-07 Outside Expert Report Damages Clay Chastain Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) A consulting team gave the Kansas City Council a withering report on the $1.5 billion proposed system, saying there’s not enough money to bankroll it...The consultants, led by HNTB Corp., said they found a series of engineering and environmental problems that would add millions to the cost of the project and might even break the law...The report found that Chastain’s use of a three-eighths-cent sales tax to fund the 27-mile route from the Kansas City Zoo to Kansas City International Airport could fall more than a half-billion dollars short of providing the money needed to build and operate the project...“I see these numbers as predictably inflated, to support the contention that the plan is not workable,” Chastain said. “We can build this light rail for $45 million a mile, not $60 million,” by tweaking the project’s original scope, he said...Huffer and Kansas City officials emphasized that the report didn’t dampen their interest in light rail. “I believe this mayor and council are committed to light rail,” said Ed Ford, chairman of the Transportation Committee....The problems with Chastain’s plan don’t end on the balance sheet, according to the consultants. The Heart of America Bridge carrying Missouri 9, for example, is not strong enough to carry a two-car light-rail train, engineers said. And the cost of strengthening the bridge would be equal to building a new Missouri River crossing, adding millions more to the project...Running light rail through Penn Valley Park poses enough challenges alone to make the project extraordinarily difficult and expensive, if not outright illegal, the consultants said. Ken Kinney, a light-rail expert from HNTB, said that running light rail through the park was “as close to a fatal flaw as you can get” because of federal parkland regulations. Full Story Back to Top
08-08-07 Clay Chastain Opponents Submit Ballott Petition ( - Charlotte, NC) A group seeking to overturn the light-rail plan Kansas City voters approved in November submitted almost 6,500 signatures to the city on Tuesday...Allen said that the petition committee doesn't have an alternate plan to present but that the group thinks public transportation planning for the community should be returned to the Kansas City Area Transit Authority, the Mid-America Regional Council and the City Council. "They need to be able to put together a responsible, regional transportation plan," he said. Clay Chastain, who crafted the voter-approved plan, said he intends to "take the appropriate legal action at the appropriate time." Full Story Back to Top
07-19-07 Clay Chastain Recommends Changes to His Own Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) Clay Chastain called for wiping out the top floor of Science City on Union Station’s west side. There, he said on Wednesday, is where a new light-rail stop should go. Whoa. Voters never approved that last November while endorsing Chastain’s light-rail plan. Voters did approve ballot language that specified the rail system would begin at the Kansas City Zoo “with the route following 63rd Street” to Troost Avenue. Sorry, Chastain said, that’s not in line with his latest thinking. He now wants the route to head west from Swope Park to Meyer Boulevard, then through Meyer’s landscaped median for almost two miles before finally connecting to 63rd Street. Chastain brushed aside concerns that this wasn’t what voters approved. That’s an odd stance for someone who — threatening legal action — often says the city must strictly adhere to his proposal because it reflects the “will of the people.” Full Story Back to Top
07-18-07 Clay Chastain Takes Officials on Tour of Proposed Light Rail Route (Kansas City Star - MO) Clay Chastain took city leaders on a three-hour tour Wednesday of the light-rail route that he envisions through Kansas City. It was their first look at the route through Chastain’s eyes — and it included some big surprises...Until now, the route voters approved last year was only on paper, and public officials had made some assumptions about Chastain’s vision. “Some of this was quite unexpected,” said Dick Jarrold, a senior director and engineer for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. Chastain said he thinks the route needs few if any significant changes, but that some of his vision for implementing it is flexible. He acknowledges the route itself presents some challenges, although not as many as his critics claim. “I never said this was going to be a cake walk,” he said...During his series of meetings Wednesday, Chastain made clear he wants to work with city officials and is willing to wait until the completion next year of a comprehensive study of his plan and possible alternatives. But he also left no doubt that he is prepared to fight vigorously in the courts if the city attempts to toss out his plan...Public officials on the tour, including council members Ed Ford and Sharon Sanders Brooks, agreed the tour was illuminating and thanked Chastain for leading it in a van he personally rented. Full Story Back to Top
07-18-07 Candidates Line Up to Fill Empty Juan Chastang Commission Seat (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Six people have qualified to run for the vacant District 1 seat on the Mobile County Commission, according to election officials. Two Republicans, Juan Chastang and Jeffery Ray Jones, qualified to run for the GOP nomination. Four people -- Merceria Ludgood, Earline Martin-Harris, Thomas Sullivan and Douglas Wicks -- will square off in the Democratic primary. Both party primaries will take place Aug. 28. Full Story Back to Top
07-13-07 Larry Chasteen Appointed to Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board (Sikeston Standard Democrat - Sikeston, MO) At County Developer Joel Evans’ recommendation, seven appointments were made to the Enhanced Enterprise Zone. This board will determine boundaries, rates, and other regulations for the area designed to attract business. The appointees were: Terry Cole of Sikeston, appointed to a four-year term; Chap Arnold of Scott City for a four-year term; Joy Cauthorn of Sikeston for a three-year term; Steve Whitaker of Chaffee for a three-year term; Bud Morton of Sikeston for a two-year term; Mitch Wood of Oran for a five-year term to represent the schools; and Larry Chasteen of Oran for a five-year term to represent all the countie’s tax entities. Full Story Back to Top
07-12-07 Clay Chastain Opposes Any Alternate Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) Kansas City is a step closer to getting a $2.5 million federal grant to study the voter-approved light-rail plan and possible alternatives. Chief sponsor Sen. Kit Bond said Thursday that the money was critical for the proposal. “I am pleased to be able to deliver on a project that can benefit the region for years to come,” the Missouri Republican said in a statement. But light-rail advocate Clay Chastain called it wasted money. “That money would be better used to hire the engineers to do the final design work and start building the system that the people approved,” he told reporters near the Country Club Plaza. The grant would help pay for a so-called alternatives study, which is required before federal money can be used on light-rail design and construction. Chastain’s plan assumes some federal funding, but he said it should not come at the cost of major revisions to his own light-rail blueprint. “The people voted for a specific plan,” Chastain said. “They’ve already done their analysis.” Full Story Back to Top
06-30-07 Clay Chastain to Meet With City Leaders (Kansas City Star - MO) In a last-gasp effort to avert light rail Armageddon, Clay Chastain will attend a series of meetings in Kansas City later this month. The first will go down July 16 with KC Councilman Ed Ford, ATA honcho Mark Huffer, the Urban Society’s David Scott, Kansas City Southern exec Warren Erdman and other civic leaders. The mission: “They told me that they want to find common ground and a way to move forward on light rail and to give me a chance to explain my side of the issue,” Chastain says. “And I welcome that as a positive gesture from the establishment.”...“I want to give these meetings every chance to succeed,” Chastain says. “I want to convince people that I can be a team player and that this plan is the best plan and is doable. That’s why people voted for it.” Chastain thinks it would be foolhardy to sabotage his plan and start over from scratch. Seven separate light rail plans — including five of his — over a 10-year period were nixed by voters. “And now they’ve found a plan that they liked or they wouldn’t have voted for it.” Full Story Back to Top
06-21-07 JoAnn Chastain Voted Texas County Clerk of the Year (Lufkin Daily News - Lufkin, TX) Angelina County Clerk JoAnn Chastain has returned from the state convention for Texas county and district clerks with one additional piece of hardware in her luggage. It's the award for being named Texas County Clerk of the Year. The honor was bestowed on Chastain at Wednesday night's banquet held in Wichita Falls, attended by county and district clerks from the state's 254 counties. All of the county and district clerks from across the state vote by secret ballot for the honoree. "I was very surprised," Chastain said in an interview by cell phone Thursday as she returned from Wichita Falls. "There are a lot of deserving people of this award. It's really awesome." Chastain, who has served as Angelina County clerk for the past 13 years, was elected as a state officer as secretary of the Texas County and District Clerks Association several years ago at the state conference. Full Story Back to Top
06-20-07 Kansas City Awards Half Million Dollar Study of Clay Chastain's Light Rail Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority on Wednesday awarded a $512,350 contract to an HNTB-led team that will examine the plan pushed last year by rail proponent Clay Chastain. The study results could lead to voters being asked to decide on a light-rail plan different from Chastain’s plan...Chastain, a former Kansas City resident who now lives in Virginia, called the study irrelevant and bogus. He said the study was an attempt to legitimize the establishment’s complaint that his plan won’t work. “This is an effort to undermine the plan and hire a firm to come in and say the plan is not workable,” Chastain said. “The analysis has been done by the voters, and that’s what counts.” However, Chastain said the study could have value if it determined that some part of the route was impossible to build for engineering reasons. Full Story Back to Top
06-19-07 Jim Chastain and City of Bandera Disagree over Funding (The Bandera Bulletin - Bandera, TX) Most local government entities agree that a monitoring well is in the near future for the City of Bandera; the question remains, who's paying for it? Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District President Jim Chastain and General Manager David Jeffery were in attendance to discuss just that...Chastain suggested that if the city paid half of the cost, his board would likely vote to pay the other half. "We thought maybe you would pay all of it," Griffin told Chastain. Griffin said that the city has long paid taxes to the river authority, but the city does not reap benefits because it handles its own water system. This set off a tit-for-tat between the river authority, council members and city residents in attendance. Chastain countered that the river authority recently spent over $35,000 on a water study that will "greatly benefit" the city..."We pay city and county taxes and I think the water board should pay for the well," Stephens said. Full Story Back to Top
06-15-07 Commissioner Tommy Chastain Favors City Building and Zoning Office (Bradford County Telegraph - Starke, FL) With two commissioners for, two against and one undecided, the city of Starke seems to be moving toward the slow but eventual establishment of its own building and zoning office. Currently the county's office handles those matters for the city of Starke and keeps the revenue associated with those responsibilities...Commissioner Tommy Chastain said allowing the project director to cover zoning would allow the city to have an in-house zoning office and stay on top of what is happening with regard to zoning...To get a better idea of how much work is involved, Chastain asked county Zoning Director Nora Thompson just how much time her office spends on Starke zoning matters. She put that number at about 20 hours a week for herself and each of her employees...To the money issue, Chastain said the project director's position is funded but not filled and fees are supposed to cover the costs of running a zoning office. Starke is "to the point it needs to be doing its own thing," he said...Danny Nugent said he was leaning toward Chastain's position and wanted to see if it was feasible for the city to do zoning. Full Story Back to Top
06-14-07 Mayor Kelly Chastain Wants to Reconsider New Park Location (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) The Wildlands Conservancy, an Oak Glen-based nonprofit public benefit corporation, will not offer any financial support for the park because of a dispute with the city. Without the group's participation, the future of the park appears bleak, county officials said. The conservancy's decision comes a week after a contentious City Council meeting at which the group's executive director asked the council to embrace the roughly 100-acre park at its proposed site along the Santa Ana River. But Mayor Kelly Chastain and Councilman John Mitchell refused to give their full endorsement. They said the city needed to explore relocation of the park and look into other economic development opportunites for the property where the park was proposed...Chastain said she was "perplexed and confused" by the conservancy's decision. "We never said we didn't want the regional park to be in Colton," she said. "We are just exploring our options to see what's in the best interest of our residents." Chastain said she is trying to set up a meeting for the parties to resolve their differences and hopefully revive the project. "I feel like the Wildlands Conservancy is jumping the gun before we have a chance to get to the table and talk sensibly about it," she said. Full Story Back to Top
06-08-07 Mayor Mark Funkhouser Wants to Partner With Clay Chastain on Light Rail (Kansas City Star - MO) Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser would like a heart-to-heart, face-to-face meeting with light-rail activist Clay Chastain. And he would like it to be soon, perhaps next month. But before that meeting, Funkhouser wants to break the proverbial ice by chatting over the telephone. “He and I first want to talk on the phone before he comes out here,” Funkhouser said recently. “We just have not succeeded in doing that. We’ll just have to schedule a call. That way we can at least know where each other is coming from.” If Chastain is willing, the mayor is ready to work with him. “I’m going to do light rail,” Funkhouser said. “So I want to get Clay involved in the process. I think it would be helpful to have him involved.” Full Story Back to Top
06-01-07 Mayor Kelly Chastain Says City has Emerged in Good Shape, but More Needs to be Done (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) Clad in a doctor's coat and with a stethoscope hanging from her neck, Colton Mayor Kelly Chastain delivered the city's prognosis during the state of the city address Thursday. Although Colton may have been considered to be on "life support for quite some time" because of ethical shortcomings and financial struggles stemming from the endangered Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, the city is moving forward with a new council, Chastain said. "Colton has had one challenge after another, but none were more obvious than the cancer of corruption that plagued our elected leadership," Chastain said. "Fortunately, the surgery to remove the cancer -- the operation performed by the voters -- was a success and we now have a new, healthy organ functioning within the body of our City Council." Full Story Back to Top
05-22-07 Mayor Mark Funkhouser Considers Clay Chastain an Ally (Kansas City Star - MO) From the get-go, it has been inevitable that fellow Abe Lincoln lovers KC Mayor Mark Funkhouser and absentee activist Clay Chastain might tangle. Or at least get together to hash out their relationship with respect to light rail. “I intend to talk to Clay,” Funkhouser says. “I don’t think I need to extend an olive branch, because we haven’t had any conflict yet.”...Funk’s upbeat bottom line: “I’m not in conflict with Clay. I think he’s doing Kansas City a huge service by forcing this issue. In many respects he’s an ally of mine.” Full Story Back to Top
05-10-07 Light Rail May Go Back to Voters (Kansas City Star - MO) Some Kansas City Council members are aiming for an August or November 2008 election to would resolve the future of light rail and the local bus company. They hope to preserve funding for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority while remaking a voter-approved light rail initiative that some city officials think is unworkable...The council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a two-hour work session this morning to hear from various groups on their thoughts on mass transportation in the Kansas City area. The committee plans to invite light-rail proponent Clay Chastain, who authored the voter-approved plan, to address them in the future on why he believes his plan is workable. Full Story Back to Top
05-09-07 Mayor Judy Chastain Goes Down in Surprise Primary Defeat (Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY) A 51-year-old businessman and township assessor pulled off an upset yesterday in Salem, defeating Mayor Judy Chastain in a hard-fought Democratic primary. David Bower blanketed the Washington County seat with yard signs and rode criticism of the Chastain administration's spending habits to a 24-percentage-point victory, ending the 64-year-old incumbent's bid for a second term...A shaken Chastain couldn't say for sure what led to her defeat. "I'm just really surprised. I don't know what happened," she said. Full Story Back to Top
05-06-07 Mayor Guy Chastain Faces Piping Problems (Seattle Times - Seattle, WA) While lots of cities are dealing with problem water systems, rural communities might have it the worst, Hoffbuhr said. They tend to need more pipe to serve a smaller number of dispersed residents, yet they don't have much of a tax base to pay for upkeep. Vader, in southwestern Lewis County, once was a robust town, but the clay plant shut and the sawmill burned down decades ago. Trains haven't stopped there in years. The high school is long gone. And in March, Vader Elementary School closed for good. One day last month, Mayor Guy Chastain's sport-utility vehicle bounced over potholes as he took a visitor on a tour past the post office, both churches, a few abandoned houses and the town's only businesses: a cafe, a convenience store, a mini-storage place and an Italian joint open on weekends. "You ain't never lived till you're the mayor of a small town and you've got no money to work with," Chastain said. "You probably have more money in your billfold." Full Story Back to Top
05-06-07 Clay Chastain Uneasy Over Proposed Changes to Light Rail (Kansas City Star - MO) A group of urban-core advocates is developing a light-rail plan it hopes will be more workable — and come sooner — than the plan approved by voters last fall. The Urban Society of Kansas City, which includes architects, planners and others interested in urban-design issues, envisions a 5½-mile starter line from Third Street and Grand Avenue to Volker Boulevard and Troost Avenue east of the Country Club Plaza. It would use a form of transit technology called “fast streetcar” that looks like light rail but runs at slower speeds. The group wants a vote on the $150 million proposal this year and has vowed to launch a petition drive if the Kansas City Council balks at calling an election. A group of urban-core advocates is developing a light-rail plan it hopes will be more workable — and come sooner — than the plan approved by voters last fall. The Urban Society of Kansas City, which includes architects, planners and others interested in urban-design issues, envisions a 5½-mile starter line from Third Street and Grand Avenue to Volker Boulevard and Troost Avenue east of the Country Club Plaza. It would use a form of transit technology called “fast streetcar” that looks like light rail but runs at slower speeds. The group wants a vote on the $150 million proposal this year and has vowed to launch a petition drive if the Kansas City Council balks at calling an election...Chastain’s plan, meanwhile, has faced increasing skepticism since it was passed in November. Among other concerns, critics have questioned whether his proposal vastly underestimated construction costs and whether it would qualify for federal money. Chastain has said that he doesn’t think there are any problems with his plan and that he will fight any significant change without good legal reason. Full Story Back to Top
05-02-07 Juan Chastang Ousted from Commission by Federal Judges ( - Birmingham, AL) Juan Chastang, who was plucked from obscurity by Gov. Bob Riley to join the Mobile County Commission, was removed from that seat Tuesday by three federal judges. The panel, ruling on a lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Montgomery, said Riley used a law that was not approved by the federal government to appoint Chastang to the three-member commission. "Riley's appointment of Juan Chastang to the Mobile County Commission ... was unlawful under federal law," the ruling stated. "Chastang's appointment must therefore be vacated." ...The order is a victory for local Democrats, who have been trying to oust the Republican commissioner since he was appointed by the Republican governor in November 2005. The north Mobile County district that Chastang represents traditionally votes Democratic. Full Story Back to Top
04-26-07 Area Transportation Authority Begins Review of Clay Chastain's Winning Measure (KC Community News - Overland Park, KS) The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which by City Council resolution must take the lead on the initiative, says the route is unworkable for a list of reasons we won't go into here. The ATA has applied for $2.4 million in federal funding to do what is called an alternative analysis, a process required to qualify for federal funding. Chastain says that is a betrayal of voter intent and an attempt by the ATA to scrap the voter-approved route in favor of another “more workable” route. Chastain has said he doesn't want to wait for federal funding that could take up to 10 years. He wants to start now...Throw into that mix the recent recommendation by newly elected Mayor Mark Funkhouser, who wants a light-rail system, but one that is regional in scope and financing. Full Story Back to Top
04-18-07 Biggest Warchest is Not Everything Says Political Science Professor Richard Chesteen (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) Madison County Mayor Jerry Gist has raised $71,900 - more than seven times as much money as any of his opponents in the race for Jackson mayor, according to campaign finance reports on file with the county Election Commission. The reports show money raised through March 31...But having a large financial backing doesn't always assure victory, said Richard Chesteen, a professor of political science at the University of Tennessee Martin. If a candidate has a larger-than-life personality, he or she can sometimes overcome a financial deficit, he said. "For every example you can point to where money made a difference, there is a example where it didn't," Chesteen said. Voters also pay attention to where candidates stand on the issues, he said...Having a large campaign coffer makes it easier for a well-known candidate to convey his message, or for a lesser known candidate to overcome the odds, Chesteen said. Full Story Back to Top
04-13-07 Clay Chastain at Odds With Those Who Would Tamper With Light Rail Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) Ever since voters approved a light-rail proposal in November, the city has been locked in a struggle over how to make it work. Clay Chastain, the plan’s author, who was in town this week, maintains it should happen now with no revisions. Federal and local officials say it needs at least some revamping...Chastain spent much of the past week in Kansas City. He held news conferences and attended forums and meetings, including one at the downtown library sponsored by a local architectural group that drew almost 300 residents. Chastain wants the Kansas City Council to immediately move ahead with designing the light-rail plan so construction can begin in 2009. He says the main “spine,” from the Plaza area north through downtown and across the Missouri River, should be done first. Chastain agrees with Funkhouser that the metropolitan area needs a regional transportation plan, and he wants to see heavy rail commuter trains from the suburbs into Union Station. But he vehemently disagrees with Funkhouser’s plan to concentrate first on renewing next year a tax for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the local bus company, before moving on with light rail and regional transportation. Full Story Back to Top
04-08-07 E. Thomas Cclanahan Disses Clay Chastain in Commentary (Kansas City Star - MO) If only Clay Chastain had walked away. If only he had said, “Here ya go, KC, here’s your best chance for light rail. I’m done with it.” Well, he would have been a hero. But then, he’s Clay Chastain, and his favorite role is playing David against Goliath — Goliath being what he calls the local Establishment. So there he was, nattily dressed in blue coat and red tie, promising to fight any significant change in the light-rail ballot issue he sponsored, which was approved by voters in November...After years of talk, Chastain convinced the voters it was time to do something. But in a luncheon speech at the Central Exchange last week, Chastain made it clear he was in no mood to leave implementation to city officials or the Area Transportation Authority, which runs the local bus system. Chastain said the rail plan must be executed as passed by the voters. He repeated his threat to file a lawsuit if the City Council endorses a substantially revised plan and puts it on the ballot. Full Story Back to Top
04-06-07 Clay Chastain Says Stop Stalling on Light Rail (Kansas City - Kansas City, MO) Clay Chastain fought for years to bring light rail to Kansas City, and now he has a new message. In a news conference on Thursday, Chastain told the city to stop stalling and to start building. He said the city should take the plan out of the hands of the Transit Authority because it is delaying the will of the voters. "We're losing economic benefits, transportation benefits, environmental benefits of light rail. There's no need to wait for a federal review that could take eight to 10 years," Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
04-04-07 Commission President Juan Chastang Accused of Bad Appropriation Decision (Lagniappe - Mobile, AL) A $50,000 appropriation by Mobile County Commission President Juan Chastang to United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile apparently ended up funding a March 24 concert/fundraiser at the Mitchell Center called Spring Break Blast. The event, featuring pop star Ciara, lost the entire sum and has other commissioners questioning the donation. Discussion of the donation led to a heated exchange at a County Commission work session April 5 in which District 2 Commissioner Stephen Nodine blasted County Administrator John Pafenbach and County Attorney Jay Ross for allowing the donation to be made without following proper procedure. Chastang, however, maintains the donation was completely legal and ethical and that any questions about it are simply a "personal vendetta" against him orchestrated by Nodine. Full Story Back to Top
03-19-07 Mayor Kelly Chastain Invites Wyatt Earp to Colton (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) The first of possibly six murals depicting Colton's history and culture will be painted along La Cadena Drive, on the sides of the Interstate 10 underpass, in the coming months, city officials said. The subject matter for the first two murals came from local artists Imogene Bless, 91, and Andrew Manzano, 18, who won a citywide competition. The contest sought to find artwork depicting the city's historical, cultural and business assets, Mayor Kelly Chastain said. Bless' rendering shows a woman holding a parasol and a young child walking alongside a railroad track and train during the early years of Colton. Manzano's rendering depicts David Colton, the city's founder, and Wyatt Earp, the Old West lawman whose family had Colton ties. His work also portrays the Carnegie Library, Slover Mountain, railroads and the citrus industry. "These two murals will be the stepping stone to bringing more art into the community," Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
03-15-07 Commission President Juan Chastang One Step Closer to Removal (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Mobile County Commission President Juan Chastang has only one option left to retain his seat after the U.S. Department of Justice denied a request to reconsider its ruling that his appointment violated the rights of minority voters. Local Democrats have already asked for Chastang to be removed from office and a replacement selected by special election, but the state can still appeal to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The state has until March 21 to file that appeal. Full Story Back to Top
03-14-07 Shirley Chastain Call's for Artist Mural Submissions (KIFI - Idaho Falls, ID) Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation is asking Idaho artists to submit mural ideas. The winning mural will be painted on a prominent downtown building. The only requirement for the mural is that it reflects the history of Idaho..."What we like to do is continue this throughout downtown. So, that when the schools or the tourist come through it actually becomes a walking tour, a destination for an educational walk on the history of the area," said Shirley Chastain, Director for the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation. Full Story Back to Top
03-07-07 Clay Chastain Urges Fast Action on Light Rail (KC Community News - Overland Park, KS) Clay Chastain, architect of Kansas City’s new light rail plan, said construction on the first leg of the rail system should begin in 2009. “Construction should start as soon as possible so we can showcase the system,” Chastain told a task force on light rail Feb. 28. “There is no sense in sitting around wringing our hands and waiting for federal funding. If we don’t start, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.” Chastain, who joined the meeting by conference call, said the city’s finance department told him that bonds could be sold to cover early funding of the project...Chastain also answered some questions about the light rail, specifically if the airport route could be justified because more than half the users of the airport were from Kansas. Chastain said he did not know if there would be enough ridership to support the airport leg. Full Story Back to Top
02-21-07 Columnist Jane Chastain Supports Strong Immigration Reform by Changing 14th Amendment (Upside Down World - Hartwick, NY) While many religious organizations have worked to support undocumented workers and their families, newly formed conservative group, Families First on Immigration, is working to close US Borders and eliminate citizenship birthright. Under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, anyone born in the United States is a citizen...Conservative columnist and Families First supporter Jane Chastain explains her disapproval of birthright citizenship in her column. "While immigration advocates try to tell us that illegal aliens are a plus for our economy and not a drain, the dirty little secret is that when someone breaks into our country and has a child here, that child becomes an "anchor" for the entire family and provides a plethora of welfare benefits to that family. Those benefits include free food, housing and – yes – even free money!" In 2004, Chastain also proposed a guest worker program in which workers would be sterilized before they were allowed to enter the US. Full Story Back to Top
02-17-07? Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain Elected Secretary of Administrative Resources Association (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) The board of directors of Administrative Resources association on Feb. 9 elected Bedford’s Mayor Joe Klumpp and Mitchell’s Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain as its vice president and secretary, respectively...Founded more than 30 years ago with help from the Lilly Endowment, ARa is owned by southern Indiana cities and assists planning and financing community and economic development projects. Full Story Back to Top
02-15-07 Former Commissioner Tom Chasteen May Run for Vacant Congress Seat (Online Athens (subscription) - Athens, GA) Former Athens-Clarke Mayor Doc Eldridge and former Commissioner Tom Chasteen are among those mulling a bid for a congressional seat vacated by the death of U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood. They may join state Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Comer, who said Tuesday that he will run for Norwood's 10th District seat. Hudgens would have to resign his state Senate seat when he qualifies as a congressional candidate. Both Chasteen and Eldridge said they are considering a run, but plan to wait until after Norwood's funeral today to say for sure...Chasteen said he is trying to decide whether to run for Congress or Hudgens' state Senate seat. "Right now, both those things are out there, but I don't want to give any indication of what I'm going to do," he said. Chasteen said he might also opt to stay out of politics and continue running his insurance business, or sit out both races to run for mayor again in 2010. Full Story Back to Top
02-05-07 Mayor Kelly Chastain Supports Annexation (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) COLTON - If you thought annexation was dead, think again. The city plans to pursue a strategy to annex all of the unincorporated islands around its borders in the next few years. The renewed push for annexation comes less than five months after the City Council abandoned the idea because of strong opposition. City staff members believe the objections that killed the proposal last time can be overcome with better outreach to residents in the affected areas...Mayor Kelly Chastain said the city can provide unincorporated residents with better police, fire, pothole-repair and other services than they are receiving from the county. "I feel it would benefit them to be in the city," Chastain said last week. Full Story Back to Top
01-31-07 Valerie Chastain Threatens Legal Challenge (Kansas City Star - MO) Valerie Chastain responded to a recent presentation by the city attorney’s office that identified legal problems with Clay Chastain’s light-rail initiative. “In the event, upon taking office, the new mayor and city council of Kansas City delay implementing the voter-approved light rail plan by attempting to either repeal it or amend it significantly and resubmit it to the voters, these actions will be met with a legal challenge,” Valerie Chastain wrote...Bill Geary, assistant city attorney, cited several legal obstacles to the voter-approved initiative...Geary had said the city charter requires that major parks-system changes go first to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners before they go to voters, but the initiative did not do that...Geary also said that, under the Missouri Constitution, an ordinance adopted by initiative must identify the funds required to pay for it, and Clay Chastain’s sales-tax extension would pay only part of the light-rail system’s cost. Full Story Back to Top
01-29-07 Valerie Chastain Threatens Legal Action in Kansas City Over Light Rail (Phoenix Business Journal - Phoenix, AZ) Light-rail activist Clay Chastain's wife, a licensed lawyer, said Tuesday that she will take legal action if the city significantly changes or sits on the plan voters approved in November. Valerie Chastain said in a release that Kansas City's new mayor and new City Council can expect a legal challenge if they "delay implementing the voter-approved light rail plan by attempting to either repeal it or amend it significantly and resubmit it to the voters." In the release, Valerie Chastain, who is providing legal representation for Clay Chastain and the committee of petitioners for the light-rail initiative voters approved in November, said she also will take legal action if the new City Council "sits on the initiative and takes no action to begin implementing it in a timely fashion." Full Story Back to Top
01-25-07 Morris “Butch” Chastain Prepares to Run For Third Mayoral Term (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Wednesday was the first day candidates could file for office, and current Mitchell mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain arrived early at the Lawrence County Courthouse to begin a run that could bring him his third term at the helm of Mitchell city government...Chastain, a Democrat, first ran for mayor of Mitchell in 1995, but was defeated by incumbent and longtime mayor Jerry Hancock. He ran again in 1999, and won the nod, starting his first term in office in 2000. He was re-elected in November 2003, and is completing his second term as mayor. His accomplishments during two terms in office include the construction of the Mitchell Memorial Park, a state-of-the-art playground built by volunteers in 2003, and a new, expanded senior citizens center, built with the use of grant funding. Full Story Back to Top
01-11-07 Alabama State Officials Appeal Juan Chastang Decision (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) State officials said Wednesday they will appeal to the U.S. attorney general to keep Republican Juan Chastang on the Mobile County Commission. Meanwhile, Democrats filed a motion Wednesday in federal court in Montgomery requesting Chastang's seat be declared vacant and a special election set to fill it. The developments mean that Chastang will retain his seat for the time being after the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday decided that his appointment to the County Commission was legally unenforceable. Full Story Back to Top
01-09-07 U.S. Department of Justice Objects to Juan Chastang Appointment (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday objected to Gov. Bob Riley's appointment of Juan Chastang to the Mobile County Commission, saying it "appears to diminish the opportunity of minority voters to elect a representative of their choice." The decision is the latest step in a long legal battle designed to oust Chastang, a black Republican, from representing District 1, a majority-black district that has historically elected Democrats...Cecil Gardner, the attorney who filed the lawsuit against Chastang's appointment, said he will file a motion today asking that a panel of federal judges in Montgomery declare Chastang's seat vacant and order a special election to fill it. Full Story Back to Top
01-04-07 Tricia Chastain Named State Director for US Senator (Duluth Weekly - Duluth, GA) U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today announced that he has named Tricia Chastain as his new state director. “Tricia has worked for me for nearly seven years and has become an integral part of my team,” Isakson said. “She is a talented, loyal and dedicated professional and I am delighted that she will now take on this new responsibility. I know she will continue to help me do the best job possible for the people of Georgia.” As state director, Chastain will manage the day-to-day operation of Isakson’s Georgia office as well as represent Isakson at events across the state...Chastain is a native of Roswell, Ga., and earned her A.B.J. in public relations from the University of Georgia. She is currently pursuing her M.B.A. from Georgia State University. Chastain is married to Terry Chastain, who is vice president of government affairs at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Full Story Back to Top
12-16-06 Clay Chastain Has New Respect in Kansas City (Kansas City Star - ) These days, Clay Chastain feels as if he’s suspended in midair, floating through life. “It’s like I’ve been forgiven by the public,” he says. Imagine the feeling. All those battles going back all those years. All the lawsuits, the bitterness, the personal embarrassments, not to mention the crushing defeats for mayor and light rail and his campaign for Congress and all the ridicule that came with it. Ten times Chastain had put himself before the voters. Ten times he was rejected. But that’s the past. These days, Craig Clay Chastain is in a very different place when it comes to his standing in Kansas City...Just listen to the local radio and TV news programs. People now defend their boy, Clay. He’s the guy fightin’ the man, shining a flashlight into the future for a bogged-down, entrenched, out-of-touch City Hall. He’s a one-man establishment wrecking crew who had a dream and the guts to pursue it...Just two years ago, Chastain’s personal poll numbers were, shall we say, in the contemptible range. His name recognition was at 71 percent, pretty good for a local political figure. But Chastain’s favorable rating was 13 percent, and his unfavorable rating stood at 38 percent...“I had evolved into someone who was a too angry, too self-righteous, too self-centered, too arrogant, womanizing activist,” Chastain says, looking back. “And humble, I wasn’t.” But in 2002, Chastain had an epiphany. He had left Kansas City the year before for Tennessee, and he was floundering. His home rehab business had tanked. His mother had suffered a stroke. Relationships in his life were falling apart. All the defeats were eating him alive...That’s when he found God and married his wife, Valerie. A preacher in Tennessee took him by the hand. These days in Virginia, he runs Clay’s Landscaping Service, a one-man operation. He’s 53. Full Story Back to Top
12-03-06 Kelly Chastain Wins Mayoral Race in Late Count Squeaker (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) Races that were too close to call finally have been decided. The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office has finished counting the remaining ballots from the Nov. 7 election. Registrar Kari Verjil certified the results Friday night and posted them on the office's Web site. COLTON In the mayoral contest, Councilwoman Kelly Chastain held on to her slim lead over Mayor Deirdre Bennett. At one point last month, Chastain had a one-vote lead over Bennett. But when all the ballots were counted, Chastain's margin of victory was nine votes. The City Council will decide whether to appoint a replacement or hold a special election to fill the remaining two years of Chastain's council term. Full Story Back to Top
11-28-06 Clay Chastain Is Here to Help SEE VIDEO (KMBC - Kansas City, MO) Activist Clay Chastain returned to Kansas City this week for the first time since voters approved light rail on the November ballot...The city said that Chastain's $1 billion light-rail line from the Kansas City Zoo to Kansas City International Airport is impractical and too expensive. But Chastain's said he's ready to help figure it out. "I don't want to be seen as just dropping all this in their laps. I'm here to help them and see that it's implemented," Chastain said. According to Chastain, phase one from south of the Plaza to North Oak and Vivion can be built in seven years, and that the federal government will be eager to help pay for half of the $1 billion project. Full Story Back to Top
11-27-06 Clay Chastain Offers Input on Light Rail Implementation (Kansas City Business Journal - MO) Clay Chastain has offered city officials some answers to an abundance of questions about building light rail in Kansas City. On Monday, Chastain submitted a proposal to local government officials outlining his plans for implementing a light-rail ordinance that voters approved earlier this month. Chastain, the chief proponent of the ordinance, now resides in Virginia but temporarily returned to Kansas City this week to help "make Kansas City's light-rail system a resounding success." He said he would offer his assistance to the city and meet with a representative from the Federal Transit Administration while he was in town. Full Story Back to Top
11-22-06 Kelly Chastain Race for Mayor Still Too Close to Call (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) As the remaining ballots in San Bernardino County are tallied, some races are getting even tighter. A single vote separates the two candidates for Colton mayor. Results will be updated again Nov. 30. The Registrar's Office has until Dec. 5 to certify the election...Councilwoman Kelly Chastain leads Mayor Deirdre Bennett 3,079 votes to 3,078, with an unknown number of ballots still to be counted. The Registrar's Office on Monday evening added 122 votes to the previous total. Bennett received 66 new votes, while Chastain added 56 votes, reducing Chastain's previous 11-vote lead to one vote. Full Story Back to Top
11-17-06 Lyn Chasteen Elected to Chamber Board (Austin Business Journal - Austin, TX) With the dawn of a new year, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has brought on a new leadership team...Newly elected board members, whose terms expire Dec. 31, 2009, include Isaac Barchas, executive director of the Austin Technology Incubator; Jed Buie, president of Martin & Salinas; Tom Cedel, president of Concordia University; and the Austin Business Journal's publisher, Lyn Chasteen. Full Story Back to Top
11-10-06 Why Clay Chastain's Light Rail Initiative Passed (Kansas City Star - MO) Yes, the electorate knocked down seven other proposals, between 1997 and 2003, six of them Chastain’s. But to understand what happened on Tuesday, it helps to remember the date the city put before voters its one and only light-rail proposal: That vote was Aug, 7, 2001 — exactly five weeks before the 9/11 attacks. Turnout was low. Combined, the “yes” and “no” votes were 10,000 fewer than just the “yes” votes cast this week. And back then, when that $793 million proposal for a 24-mile light-rail system was trounced, Mayor Kay Barnes and others said they might rework the plan and bring it back in another year. But they never did. Meanwhile, the world changed in ways that made light rail even more attractive. Or at least that’s how it seemed to Clay Chastain. Oil prices shot up and up. Gas at the pump has been at times more than double the $1.33 a gallon that Midwest service stations were posting in August 2001. On the news every day are grim reminders of what comes from our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Then there’s the growing recognition that, rather than being a liberal myth, global warming is a scientific certainty. All of that worked in Chastain’s favor. But so, it seems to me, did some local trends. Downtown is finally on the verge of coming back to life, and it’s not just urban hipsters who look forward to taking the train to the Crossroads district, the new arena and the performing arts center. Add to that a general feeling of optimism in the city right now. Full Story Back to Top
11-10-06 Clay Chastain Flawed But Not the Vision (Kansas City Star - MO) For a decade naysayers have dogged Clay Chastain for errors in judgment the activist has long since apologized for. Most recently he weathered a “crazy train” cartoon hit on the cover of the Pitch. Not to mention a last-minute smear campaign implying that he drafted the light rail plan that voters embraced Tuesday on a food-stained napkin. Memo to some of his still-strident critics: Perhaps it’s time to dispense with character assassination and rock with the obvious. The voters have spoken. They dig light rail. What part of this week’s election results do they not get? “Finally, people looked at the vision and not the man. I think that’s what happened,” Chastain says. “The man was flawed, but the vision was not.” Let’s at least come clean. Isn’t Chastain a little surprised by his win? “Yes I am,” he says. “I told my wife I could see the thing going three different ways. Losing big — that I would only get 25 percent of the vote. On the other hand, I could see it close, but losing. And the third was I could see it barely winning, and that’s what happened.” Full Story Back to Top
11-09-06 Clay Chastain Speaks Out on Light Rail Issue (Kansas City Star - MO) Chastain heaped praise on the voters, who passed his measure 53 percent to 47 percent. “A new day has dawned for Kansas City, and life is going to be grand because of this courageous and historic vote for light rail,” he said. Despite having no campaign money or political backing, Chastain prevailed in his seventh ballot attempt, winning voter approval for a 25-year extension, beginning in 2009, of a 3/8-cent sales tax that currently goes to ATA buses...City leaders Wednesday chose to put a positive spin on the result, saying it reflects optimism about the city’s future and a desire for a state-of-the-art transit system. They said they will do their best to honor the will of the voters...What role will Chastain have in all this? Chastain, who now lives in Bedford, Va., said he hopes city officials will involve him in the process and he is willing to take up part-time residence in Kansas City to make sure the light-rail system succeeds...former City Councilman Ed Ford, a member of the ATA board, said Chastain should perhaps spearhead the plan, including going to Washington to lobby for the federal funding that is vital to its implementation...“This is his dream. Let’s put him to work on it,” Ford said. “It may end up with a starter line for light rail. Full Story Back to Top
11-09-06 Greg Chastine Defeated in City Council Race (Sherwood Voice - Sherwood, AR) Charlie Harmon, 43, defeated fellow challenger Greg Chastine, 44, by a margin of 1,179-762 in the race for Ward 1, Position 2. Thus, Harmon's margin of victory stands unofficially at 61 to 39 percent over Chastine...Chastine, owner and president of GFC Computer Services in Sherwood, said he was hopeful during his second run for a seat on the city council that he would be victorious. "I think the first time you run, you are getting your name out there,'' Chastine said. Chastine and his group of supporters were disappointed as the ward's election results showed that he lost. Chastine left the election night gathering at about 8:30 p.m., which was shortly after the results of the Sherwood ward contests were known. Chastine said he spent a considerable amount of time visiting Sherwood households and letting people know why he was seeking the office. Full Story Back to Top
11-08-06 Election Day Shocker -- Clay Chastain Light Rail Initiative Passes!! (KMBC - Kansas City, MO) One of the biggest surprises in local politics on Tuesday was that voters approved a light rail proposal for Kansas City..."This has thrown City Hall for a loop, hasn't it?" Mahoney asked City Councilman Troy Nash. "No question. Absolutely, without a doubt," Nash said. "I think it's amazing. It's absolutely amazing," City Councilwoman Bonnie Sue Cooper said. "I don't have a clue (how the plan will work). I don't know where the money is going to come from or how we're going to pay for any of it."...In a statement, Chastain said he believes there will be money for a line from the Country Club Plaza to north of the Missouri River fairly quickly. However, Mayor Kay Barnes said Chastain isn't expected to have much say in the matter because he doesn't live here anymore. "I'm not sure that beyond that opportunity to make public input, that there would be any particular role for him," Barnes said. Chastain's plan has a detailed route, mentions certain stops and has a proposed number of electric buses. The City Council will meet on Thursday to discuss the light rail issue. Full Story Back to Top
11-07-06 Tom Chasteen Loses Bid for Mayor (Red and Black - Athens, GA) The race for mayor isn’t over for incumbent Heidi Davison and Charlie Maddox. The two will head to a runoff for Athens’ highest position on Dec. 5 after none of the four candidates recieved more than half the vote Tuesday night...Maddox said three candidates choosing to oppose Davison and forcing a runoff showed people thought someone could do a better job. Maddox, a Baptist minister and division director at the Georgia Department of Labor, said he hopes to appeal to people who voted for Chasteen and Derose and is ready to continue campaigning in a runoff. Full Story Back to Top
11-06-06 Clay Chastain Responds to Choo Choo Mailing (Kansas City Star - MO) Clay Chastain broke his pre-election vow of silence to address a mailer describing his light-rail plan as having been “drawn on a napkin.” “Ask taxpayers to write me a check for $975,000,000,” the mailer reads, beside a doodle of an old-fashioned choo-choo train on a food-stained napkin. Chastain describes the mailing as inaccurate, desperate and disrespectful. “Apparently somebody’s distressed about the plan’s chances of success at the polls,” he says. As a degreed engineer, “I spent hundreds of hours researching and designing this light rail plan,” Chastain says. Full Story Back to Top
11-05-06 Political Science Professor Richard Chesteen Comments on Corker-Ford Race (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) "The Catch-22 is this: Harold Ford never makes it into Congress without being a Ford," said UT Martin political science professor Richard Chesteen, "yet being a Ford may be what keeps him from becoming a senator." Corker has a bit of ideological baggage as well. He's seen as a moderate-to-conservative Republican, came out of a bruising three-way primary, getting 48 percent of the vote against conservatives Ed Bryant of Jackson and Van Hilleary..."He earned his win, but he got lucky," Chesteen said. "If there aren't two conservatives splitting the money and vote from the right, Corker isn't running now." Ironically, Ford may be too conservative for the base of his party, and his moderate votes on issues such as Iraq and gay marriage and his call for balanced budgets in part helped put him on the cover of Newsweek as part of a wave of centrist Democrats. "I was talking with a member of the Democratic National Committee in Texas, who was from Union City," Chesteen said. "She said, 'I'm supporting Ford,' but in the next breath she said, 'but he's too conservative for me.'" Full Story Back to Top
11-04-06 Opponents Mail Clever Clay Chastain Ad (Kansas City Star - MO) Opponents of Clay Chastain’s transit plan (Question 2 on Kansas City’s ballot) win first place for their mailing of a choo-choo inked on a stained paper napkin. It’s supposed to represent “Clay Chastain’s comprehensive research and development report.” The ad is funny without being mean-spirited. It doesn’t stray far from the facts, either. Full Story Back to Top
10-29-06 Professor Richard Chesteen Expects Tennessee Anti-gay Amendment to Pass (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) It is already illegal for same-sex couples to marry in Tennessee. Amendment No. 1 would define marriage in the state constitution as being between one man and one woman and would make it more difficult for gay rights groups to change the law. "Once it's in the constitution, it is the constitution, and it would be rather difficult to withdraw," said University of Tennessee Martin political science professor Richard Chesteen, adding, "I would be surprised if it does not pass." Full Story Back to Top
10-29-06 Tom Chasteen Departure an End to an Era (Online Athens (subscription) - Athens, GA) Carter, 80, has for years eaten breakfast with Chasteen, 59. They attend the same church, Tuckston United Methodist, where Chasteen said Carter was a mentor to him. And their voting records are similar, though Chasteen split with Carter on the green belt issue. But Chasteen has a far different personality - a born politician, serial handshaker and consummate backslapper. He doesn't like to show his cards early or make up his mind without fully exploring the issue, but whenever Chasteen votes, he's almost always in the majority. "Tom was one of the few people who waited until after discussion to make up his mind," O'Looney said. Eldridge credited Chasteen with an uncanny ability to represent District 9, the most diverse in the county, an area spanning half the county and including everything from Winterville farms to wealthy Five Points to impoverished black neighborhoods..."That's 24 years I've been at the table," he said. "Twenty-four years ago, downtown was dead. This town was in a world of trouble. "This town, arguably, is the best place to live in the world," he said. "It didn't just happen. It took hard work." Full Story Back to Top
10-27-06 Clay Chastain Says Final Goodbye -- Again (Kansas City Star - MO) Chastain announced his exit from Kansas City on Saturday...Chastain said he is leaving now because he thinks his image sheds a negative light on the issue. “People say I have an ego; they say I desire to be in the limelight and that’s why I do this,” said Chastain, who lives in Virginia. “I bring baggage. I’ve made my last stand on behalf of this city. I’ll go back to my family.” Full Story Back to Top
10-19-06 Candidate Kelly Chastain Supports Fly Protection Plan (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) More than $300 million in commercial building opportunities in the city's west side have been prevented during the past 10 years because of efforts to protect the fly, which is protected by the Endangered Species Act...Chastain and incumbent Bennett said the plan presented to the wildlife service in April is the best resolution for the fly and Colton. Under the plan, the undeveloped 71 acres north of I-10 near the intersections of Pepper Avenue and Valley Boulevard would be developed, and the 300 acres south of the interstate -- and within Colton's jurisdiction -- would be designated as fly habitat, where a recovery plan for the fly could be implemented...Chastain said she stands behind the city and the strides made to resolve issues with the fly. "I agree with everything we have done. We just need to ensure we take a strong stance and ensure property owners in that area are also able to develop their land," Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
10-13-06 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Goes After Former Friend (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) Councilwoman Kelly Chastain, the mayor's former close friend and City Council ally, is hoping to defeat Bennett in the Nov. 7 election. The two candidates clashed over public-safety and transportation issues during a 43-minute forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at Colton High School. Bennett, who was elected to the council in 1992, criticized Chastain for allowing money set aside for the widening of Interstate 215 through Colton to be shifted to other projects...Bennett, a 49-year-old special-education teacher, and Chastain, a 43-year-old homemaker, also differed on the subject of public-safety endorsements...Chastain said she has developed partnerships with elected officials in other cities through her work on the Sanbag board and the California League of Cities. Those connections will help the city's efforts to become a powerful regional player, Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
10-11-06 Harrison Chastang Says California Needs More Than One Debate (Beyond Chron - San Francisco, CA) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Treasurer Phil Angelides owe the residents of California an apology. An apology for scheduling only one, hour long debate on a Saturday evening, the day of the week with the lowest TV viewership, and against the baseball playoffs and the Cal-Oregon game. Throughout the debate, both candidates and the moderator acknowledged that there was not enough time to respond to the many questions the candidates were being asked. And they were absolutely right. In a state as large and geographically and ethnically diverse as California, one debate does not offer enough time to discuss the issues. Full Story Back to Top
10-10-06 Jim Chastain and Water Board Express Frustration with State and Developers (The Bandera Bulletin - Bandera, TX) Water board President Jim Chastain and fellow members lashed out with scathing tongues at lackluster subdivision rules that they say not only create sub-par water delivery systems, but put homes and residents of those subdivisions in danger...While local subdivisions are legally meeting state requirements, Chastain and company said those requirements are not nearly stringent enough..."I think it's detrimental to a small county that's growing like we are," Chastain said. "We are going to end up having all these subdivisions in place, and then by the time you get to the population that allows you to start enforcing stricter regulations, you're already in trouble. You can't afford to go back and start upgrading all this stuff. The cost would be astronomical." Full Story Back to Top
10-09-06 Clay Chastain Featured in Mystery Novel (Kansas City Star - MO) I missed Larry Rochelle’s light-rail page-turner when it came out a few years ago. But as Rochelle is ever the self-promoter — you have to be if you’re a local author — the Overland Park poet and mystery writer is once again pitching 2002’s Death and Devotion to coincide with Chastain’s latest light-rail campaign. “I changed his name to Sandy Banteen and fictionalized his struggles to get light rail started in this unenlightened backwash of a city,” Rochelle explained...What if Kansas City voters finally did approve one of Chastain’s plans? How might it happen? Rochelle asked himself that, and so a fictional Clay Chastain became a central character in one installment of Rochelle’s Palmer Morel mystery series. Full Story Back to Top
10-04-06 Congressman Emanuel Cleaver Joins Forces with Clay Chastain (Kansas City Star - MO) Imagine, if you can, stranger bedfellows than Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Clay Chastain…The two have wrangled for years. Now they’ve buried their respective hatchets and joined forces to try to bring light rail to the Cowtown. “We have been in contact by phone, and I’ve told him I have always admired his tenacity for light rail,” Cleaver says. “We just needed to re-channel it in the direction of business and community leaders, and we could actually establish some sort of transit system.”...“We’ve actually pledged to work together,” Cleaver says. “I told him it was too bad we didn’t work more on his initiative with other people. He is showing a renewed and admirable interest in trying to work with others now, and I think it’s genuine.” Full Story Back to Top
9-22-06 Tamara Chasteen Says Retail Development Not Enough (Huntsville Item - Huntsville, TX) Joseph Castille urged city officials to be aggressive in pursuing retail developers as it would provide much needed tax revenue for the city...However, Tamara Chasteen said not all of the city’s needs can be remedied by bringing in retailers. Chasteen cited several statistics indicating a high rate of alcohol consumption, neglect, abuse and sexual activity among area youths. “We need to get serious about our children, and shopping is not going to solve the problems we are facing,” Chasteen said. “We need to do things that show people that we are going to help our children and to support them.” Full Story Back to Top
9-21-06 Juan Chastang's Commission Appointment in the Balance ( - Birmingham, AL) Juan Chastang's future as a Mobile County commissioner is now in the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice, after the state decided not to appeal a federal court order handed down last month, a spokesman from the attorney general's office said. The order, handed down by a panel of three federal judges Aug. 18, said Gov. Bob Riley had 90 days to get clearance from the Justice Department that the Chastang appointment complied with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If the Justice Department approves the appointment, nothing will change and Chastang, the commission's president, will continue to represent District 1. But if the department finds that the appointment violated voters' rights, it could force Chastang out of office and call for a special election to fill the seat. Full Story Back to Top
9-8-06 Mayor Morris Chastain Praises Key New Road Project (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) It’s been a long time coming, but now that the city of Mitchell has received nearly $10 million in grant funding from the state of Indiana, it looks like Hamilton Boulevard will become a reality. For the past 6 1/2 years, Mitchell Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain has worked to bring that road to the city. The byway would stretch from Meridian Road to Ind. 37, opening the city’s 98-acre industrial park to development. “I think it’s probably the greatest announcement ever made in Mitchell,” Chastain said. “I don’t think the importance can be touted enough.”...“Communities that do not take aggressive steps to create growth or invest in their community will remain stagnate and their economic future will continue to decline,” Chastain told the crowd of more than 50 onlookers Thursday at the press conference in front of city hall. “This is not an acceptable future for the city of Mitchell...“Without this road, development won’t exist,” Chastain said. “We’ll lose, and we don’t want to lose. ... We now stand on the threshold of Mitchell’s exciting future. Up to this point, we have been carefully and wisely laying the foundation for our future. The time has come to build on that foundation.” Full Story Back to Top
9-2-06 Candidate Tom Chasteen Stands Alone on Downtown Bar Issues (Online Athens (subscription) - Athens, GA) An Athens-Clarke County commissioner's plan to close bars earlier probably won't do much to clean up downtown, say bar owners and other county officials...Chasteen disagreed, saying that moving up closing time would cut down on trash and rowdy behavior. Less time to drink means fewer people relieving themselves on the sidewalk, vomiting or littering, all of which now are common occurrences after a night of partying, he said. Chasteen also pointed out that some revelers and bar employees often stay far longer than the current 2:45 a.m. closing time. Police routinely cite downtown bartenders for serving alcohol after hours...If downtown is dirtier than it could be, it's because some bar employees don't use the $1 blue bags the county requires them to place their trash in for pickup, Corley said. Trash collectors won't pick up other, unofficial bags, instead leaving them on the curb as evidence for code enforcement officers. "If everybody put their trash out at the right time in the right way ... that'd make it a lot better," Corley said. Chasteen said he pushed for stricter ordinance enforcement downtown before attempting to move up last call...So far, Chasteen is the only mayoral candidate to make specific proposals about curbing underage drinking and cleaning up downtown. Other candidates have said they view it as a non-issue or an attempt to over-regulate downtown businesses. Full Story Back to Top
8-31-06 Mayor Butch Chastain Receives Notice that Bomb Test Will Not Occur in Mitchell Quarry (Indiana Daily Student) Activism by local politicians and community members might have deterred government plans to detonate 700 tons of military explosives in a southern Indiana quarry...Mitchell residents and groups opposed to the explosion — including Bloomington-based "Hoosiers Against Divine Strake" — have spent the last several weeks making phone calls to politicians and organizing their opposition to the explosion. After a press conference Monday in Mitchell, the city's mayor, Butch Chastain, received a letter from the vice president of Rogers Group, Inc., the company that owns and operates the quarry. According to Chastain, the letter said Rogers Group would not allow an explosion of that size in its quarry. Full Story Back to Top
8-31-06 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Favorable to Raising Drinking Age and Owner Penalties (Red and Black - Athens, GA) All but one of Athens-Clarke County mayoral candidates said the town has an underage drinking problem. However, the hopefuls disagree on what is the best way to approach the alcohol culture downtown. ACC Commissioner Tom Chasteen, who ran for the mayor’s spot in 1990, said he is “certainly open to raising the age limit to 21,” but doesn’t believe it should be the next step in alleviating underage drinking in Athens. Chasteen said Athens needs to implement a “foolproof ID system downtown” and ensure “bar owners know if they are complacent in letting people in on fake IDs there will be penalties.” Full Story Back to Top
8-27-06 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Thinks Downtown Bars Will be Election Issue (Online Athens (subscription) - Athens, GA) Depending on who's talking, downtown Athens is either the economic engine and social center of the county or a bar-heavy and debauchery-filled affront to respectability..."My sense is that (downtown) will be an issue," said Commissioner Tom Chasteen, who is running for mayor. "It's beginning to bubble up. I'm hearing it sporadically. Of course, (Tuesday) people were incensed." Tuesday was the day the Athens Banner-Herald reported on 71 alcohol-related charges over the weekend, a story picked up by newspapers statewide. That day's paper also included news of four new bars opening in a downtown that already has dozens. And the week before, The Princeton Review announced that the University of Georgia is the No. 12 party school in the country. Debate during the 2002 and 2004 elections focused on efforts to curb student misbehavior in residential neighborhoods...Residents complain especially about the sight and smell of downtown the morning after thousands of UGA students and others spend the night drinking and partying, Chasteen said. Bars are required to stop serving at 2 a.m. and customers must leave by 2:45 a.m., but Chasteen said he wants everyone out by 2 a.m., so workers can begin cleaning up, even if it means moving up last call half an hour or an hour. "The solution is to get them a vacated downtown so they can clean the street without cleaning around cars, or cleaning and then finding someone's vomited on the streets or on the sidewalk," he said. Full Story Back to Top
8-25-06 Clay Chastain Initiative On Kansas City Ballot (Kansas City Star - MO) The Kansas City Council grudgingly agreed Thursday to put Clay Chastain’s latest light-rail petition initiative on the November ballot but urged residents to vote against it. “I think this is problematic,” Councilman Charles Eddy said. Nevertheless, Eddy told his colleagues that Chastain had collected the required 2,626 valid petition signatures, so the council had little choice...Chastain, who now lives in Bedford, Va., has promoted numerous Kansas City light-rail plans since the late 1990s. Full Story Back to Top
8-26-06 Mitchell Mayor Butch Chastain Holds News Conference Regarding Potential Military Test Explosion (Fort Wayne News Sentinel - Fort Wayne, IN) Politicians, environmentalists and others are concerned that the U.S. military might conduct a large test explosion at a southern Indiana limestone quarry as soon as next year. Mitchell Mayor Butch Chastain and David Sanders, who is running for the 4th District congressional seat against incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Buyer, have planned a news conference Monday to discuss the so-called "Divine Strake" test. The test is scheduled for sometime next year, pending legislation currently on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The Senate could vote on the bill as soon as Sept. 5. Full Story Back to Top
8-26-06 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Challenges Mayor in November Elections (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Ontario, CA) Mayor Deirdre Bennett on Friday called for the resignation of two councilmen involved in the apparent fraudulent use of a city credit card and cell phone. Councilmen Ramon Hernandez and John Mitchell should quit their posts because their behavior has tarnished the city's reputation and hampered its ability to function effectively, Bennett said...Mitchell and Hernandez, who are strong allies on the council, have said the attacks against them are politically motivated because it's an election year. Three council seats and the mayor's position are being contested in the Nov. 7 election. Bennett is being challenged by Councilwoman Kelly Chastain, whose term ends in 2008. Chastain would remain on the council even if she lost. Chastain has also been a political ally of Hernandez. Full Story Back to Top
8-24-06 Editorial Advises City Council to Put Clay Chastain Measure on November Ballot to Kill It Early (Kansas City Star - MO) Some Kansas City Council members are wringing their hands over how to handle Clay Chastain’s latest transit-related initiative petition. The answer is simple: Place it on the November ballot at today’s council meeting, the deadline to decide which issues voters will face in that election. Kansas Citians over the last decade have defeated other light-rail plans from Chastain...a postponement would simply allow Chastain to complain once again that politicians were trying to unfairly thwart his efforts. Individual council members will have ample opportunity this fall to argue against the plan. After its likely defeat, the city should continue working on a more logical, better-financed mass transit proposal to submit to voters in the future. Full Story Back to Top
8-23-06 Clay Chastain Secures Enough Signatures to Get Measure on Ballot (Kansas City Star - MO) Clay Chastain has once again succeeded in getting enough signatures to place a light-rail measure on a Kansas City ballot. The only question is — when?...Chastain says his proposal should go on the ballot Nov. 7. But the City Council is unsure it can meet its Thursday deadline for November election matters. Full Story Back to Top
8-19-06 Governor's Appointment of Juan Chastang May Be Overturned (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) A panel of three federal judges ruled Friday that Gov. Bob Riley should have sought federal approval before appointing Juan Chastang to the Mobile County Commission. The judges ordered Riley to get clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice that the Chastang appointment complied with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The governor has 90 days to ask the Justice Department for its approval. If the Justice Department finds that the appointment violated voters' rights, Chastang's nomination could be voided, and a special election could be held to fill the seat...Cecil Gardner, attorney for Kennedy and the other two state representatives, said he will argue that Riley disenfranchised black voters by appointing Chastang. District 1 is the county's only majority-black commission district and typically elects a Democrat. Chastang, who is black, is a Republican. Full Story Back to Top
8-18-06 Star Columnist Says It is Good to Have Clay Chastain Back in Kansas City (Kansas City Star - MO) The good-government crowd won’t agree, but it’s good having Clay Chastain back at it again. Sure, it’s the same old stuff. Plans for a light-rail line that stretches from the zoo to the airport. A revamped Penn Valley Park. And the gondola, of course...Still, I must say, Chastain is making more sense all the time...So I was happy to spend part of my Wednesday following Chastain up to the 25th floor of City Hall, where he filed the results of his latest light-rail petition drive. “It’s on people’s minds,” he said. “They’re concerned about gas. They’re concerned about the foreign oil. They’re concerned about all these (commercial) developments with no way to connect them together.” At 53, Clay Chastain is a little grayer and far more serene than the fiery figure that burst onto the scene 15 years ago with his campaign to save Union Station...City leaders would just as soon Chastain stayed in Virginia, where he now makes his home, and leave the transportation planning to them. But just as the man has changed, so have the circumstances...Light rail might figure in — but way off in the future. Which is too long to wait, Chastain says. And you know what? I happen to agree with him on that. In a way I almost wish his plan, as flawed as it might be, gets enough votes to pass. Just to see what would happen. Just to find out if Clay Chastain has been right all along. Full Story Back to Top
8-9-06 Mayor Butch Chastain and Councilman Moore Dialogue on Weeds (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Dwight Moore, a councilman, asked the city to look into beautification efforts. “Every major artery coming into the city needs attention,” he said. “Is there anything the city can do about those?” Chastain said most of those weed-filled areas are in the state's right-of-way and that the city could put in a request, but ultimately, it's up to the state highway department as to whether the areas get mowed. “We called last year before the festival and they came down,” he said. But Moore said there are tasks that can be done inside the city limits. “There are weeds coming out of curbs and the curbs need to be repainted,” Moore said. “Š I don't think we should wait until two weeks before the festival each year to get work done that needs attention throughout the summer.” Chastain pointed out that budget constraints are already pinching a stretched-out street department. “Budget constraints in recent years have forced us to not replace workers who have left us, so we're down men compared to previous years.” Moore said that was his point. He wants to start talking now about what can be done with the budget to allow for this work to be done. Full Story Back to Top
8-4-06 Juan Chastang Favorable to Hiring National Consultant for County Courthouse (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) A national consultant who specializes in public-private partnerships has offered a proposal to oversee Mobile County's potential development of the site of the former county courthouse...County Commission President Juan Chastang said the commission could vote as early as its next meeting, Aug. 14, whether to hire Stainback. The first phase of the consulting contract would cost the county $79,900 plus expenses and would take 14 weeks, Chastang said...Commissioners Mike Dean and Stephen Nodine said they were impressed by the presentation, but were not as ready as Chastang to approve a deal...In April, Chastang proposed building a condominium tower on the tract, which sits just south of the Bankhead Tunnel entrance on Government Street. Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, a former commissioner, was not pleased that Chastang was diverting from a plan to turn the land into a Mardi Gras-themed park. The county had decided to build such a park in 2002, when Jones was a commissioner and Chastang and Nodine were not...Chastang said hiring Stainback would make sure every possible use of the land is considered. "We can't make everyone happy, but we can come close to making sure everyone's needs are satisfied." Full Story Back to Top
8-2-06 Harrison Chastang Questions Selective Use of 'Dictator' for Fidel Castro (NewsBusters) Harrison Chastang of the non-commercial San Francisco radio station KPOO-FM complained: Many news outlets doing stories on Cuban leader Fidel Castro's surgery have lead stories with "Cuban dictator Fidel Castro...." The term dictator is rarely, if ever used to describe the leaders of China, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia, all nations with unelected leaders of governments that match the classic description of the term dictatorship. In regards to Castro, the term dictator is the favorite word President Bush and the Miami exile community uses to describe Castro. Do reporters and editors buy into the mindset of the Bush administration and the exile community in using the term dictator to describe Castro, but not leaders of other Communist or unelected governments. Full Story Back to Top
7-24-06 Richard Chesteen Recalls Tennessee Gubernatorial Race of 1994 (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) Chesteen recalled 1994 when Illinois native turned Memphis Republican Don Sundquist ran for governor as a low-key congressman from the Seventh District. "He hit all the right keys, especially with the income tax issue ... though later he wound up supporting a tax and it soured everyone in his party," Chesteen said. There was another factor Chesteen recalled. "There were 11 Democrats running to replace McWherter ... I was one of them, though I dropped out for lack of money. That donnybrook helped Sundquist." Full Story Back to Top
7-23-06 Political Science Professor Richard Chesteen Comments on Politician Harold Ford Jr. (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) The bar on Airways Boulevard in Jackson has become a touchstone in Harold Ford Jr.'s campaign to become the first Democratic senator elected in Tennessee since 1990, and though Ford downplays this, the state's first black senator...Richard Chesteen, a political science professor at UT Martin, said style was one reason why Ford didn't take much heat as a manager for Gore's 2000 loss to George W. Bush in Tennessee. "Al never was able to make the old core of the Democratic party feel comfortable with him," Chesteen said. "Ford doesn't have that problem." In many areas, Ford leans more to the center than his father, of whom he says "we have policy disagreements." Though Ford Jr. raised hackles by calling the GOP primary donnybrook "The Three Stooges," Chesteen said, "He doesn't shoot from the hip like his father or uncle." Full Story Back to Top
7-20-06 Greg and Lisa Chastang Support Israeli Defense at Detroit Rally ( - Detroit, MI) Sporting a dark yarmulke, Roni Leibovitch passed through a throng of more than 3,000 people as he entered Congregation Shaarey Zedek on Wednesday night. Amid reverent men in suits, women clutching blue and white Israeli flags and children carrying T-shirts that read, "Detroit Stands With Israel," the development analyst from Bloomfield Township arrived at a Solidarity Rally for Israel...Rally attendees advocated peace in the region but also supported the Israeli military's right to defend the country. "What God has given no one can take away," said Lisa Chastang of Inkster, who attended the rally with her husband, Greg, and their two sons. Full Story Back to Top
7-20-06 District Engineer Lou Chastain Reports on I-575 South Improvements (Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription) - GA) The clearing of trees along I-575 South, between Towne Lake Parkway and Ga. 92, signals a small answer to one of many commuter prayers. It is the beginning of the $2.5 million addition of third lanes to both sides to relieve the gridlock that hits the mile-long stretch of highway at rush hour and on busy Saturday mornings. The lanes lock up with traffic because Towne Lake Parkway and Ga. 92 are major entry and exit points. At rush hour, lines of cars waiting to get off or on the two crossroads back up onto the highway, reducing its flow to one lane...Lou Chastain, the district engineer for the state Department of Transportation, said the widening of I-575 will include the construction of a sound barrier wall between Towne Lake and Dupree Road on the west side of I-575 because of the highway's nearness to homes. "Once the barrier is completed, there's not a great deal of earthwork to do," Chastain said. "We've had great weather, so the contractors are going to try to get as much done as possible this summer." The contract completion date is March 2007. Chastain added that drivers will see more work on I-575 north from Towne Lake Parkway. Full Story Back to Top
7-18-06 Clay Chastain Solicits Support for Transit System Plan (Kansas City Star - MO) I’ve been imagining what an aerial gondola might look like ever since I read Clay Chastain’s ballot proposal for an expanded local transit system. First of all, I admire and respect Chastain’s enthusiasm. In fact, I relish debating transit issues with him. But his aerial tram idea for Kansas City is, well, pie in the sky. Yet I’m giving Chastain’s plan a “C” for creativity...Among other things, Chastain’s proposal would create a light-rail system that would provide a north-south spine beginning at the Kansas City Zoo in Swope Park and ending at Kansas City International Airport. Stops would include UMKC, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Country Club Plaza, Westport, Union Station and others. His plan also would implement a “green fleet” of 60 electric shuttles to provide connecting transit service to all light-rail stops. And last but not least, his plan would include an aerial gondola tram that would provide passenger service between Union Station, the Liberty Memorial, and Penn Valley Park...Chastain believes the Smart Moves plan relies too heavily on buses, machines that spew fumes. “My idea is to provide rail-to-rail connections, not rail-to-diesel bus connections,” Chastain said. Most of all, Chastain doesn’t like the more cautious approach to light rail the Smart Moves plan takes. “If they know light rail is a good idea eventually, then why not do it now?” Chastain asked. “It’s only going to be that much more expensive later.” Full Story Back to Top
7-16-06 Morris Chestang's White Replacement Serves Black Constituency (The Ledger - Lakeland, FL) Kevin Roberts became the first white chairman in the 27year history of the Polk County Opportunity Council. Roberts, 56, is the director of human services in Highlands County (which is included in PCOC's service area). He was the board's vice chairman under Morris Chestang, who resigned abruptly in late June citing family health matters. While blacks comprise only 15 percent of the county's population, the PCOC board has been predominately black during its existence. Of the board members voting for Roberts in the unanimous 7-0 ballot last week, only Roberts is white. But when it comes to the constituency served -- the poor, the elderly and Head Start children -the majority of PCOC clients are black. Thus, while some might argue that PCOC's board membership should reflect the makeup of the community, others can just as correctly say that the membership should be apportioned according to the community it will serve. Full Story Back to Top
7-5-06 Commission President Juan Chastang Takes a Hit For Aggressive Stance Against County Administrator (Lagniappe - Mobile, ) County Commission President Juan Chastang took a hit with the political capital he invested into going after the long-time county administrator, John Pafenbach, for knowingly employing an illegal Filipino immigrant. District Attorney John Tyson, Jr. cleared Pafenbach’s good name, indicating that the act of keeping Roberto Concepcion employed was urged at the discretion of federal investigators. Chastang was left behind eating crow and with probably a new sense of awkwardness between him and Commissioners Stephen Nodine and Mike Dean...Gov. Bob Riley and the local Republican Party took a lot of heat when Chastang was appointed last year. This dissention is an indicator that Chastang isn’t going to be a puppet of Dean or Nodine, as some suggested early on and that should be comforting in some regard. But before calling for heads to roll, Chanstang should have waited until Tyson made his statement concerning the matter. Full Story Back to Top
7-5-06 David Chastain Wants to Eliminate Voted Position He is Running For (San Jose Mercury News - CA) David Chastain of Acworth doesn't think state superintendent of schools should be an elected office. But that won't stop him from running. If he wins in November, the 49-year-old father of three plans to push for a constitutional amendment to change the way the state's top education official is chosen. A Libertarian, Chastain says he doesn't believe the office should be politicized. Under the current system, voters elect the superintendent and the governor appoints the 13 state school board members...Chastain, a logistics analyst for Lockheed Martin, says members of the board should be elected and that they should hire a "highly qualified professional" to run the Department of Education...Chastain said that none of the candidates, including himself, is qualified to be superintendent...The Georgia School Boards Association has long lobbied for an elected board and appointed superintendent. Full Story Back to Top
7-3-06 Libertarian David Chastain Runs for Georgia State School Superintendent (Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription) - GA) David Chastain, a 49-year-old father of three who lives in Acworth, is running for state school superintendent as a Libertarian candidate in his first political campaign. Chastain, a logistics analyst for Lockheed Martin, said he signed on as the Libertarian candidate to draw attention to the problems he sees in Georgia's third party system, Chastain also is campaigning on an unusual educational platform. "I want to be the last elected state school superintendent in the history of Georgia," he said. "There's no reason for politicizing this office. It's stupid." Full Story Back to Top
6-27-06 Polk County Opportunity Council Chairman Morris Chestang Resigns (Lakeland Ledger - Lakeland, FL) Morris Chestang, the chairman of the board of the Polk County Opportunity Council, resigned suddenly from that job. "Personal and family matters are consuming me at this time, and I am not able to devote the time needed for PCOC," Chestang wrote...The resignation was dated the day before PCOC was given a blistering letter from the Mid Iowa Community Action Agency...Chestang, 63, did not attend a PCOC meeting Wednesday, and his resignation, dated the previous day, wasn't discussed by the board at the meeting. Although Chestang and Executive Director Gary Hartfield could not recall when Chestang brought the letter to PCOC, both men said the MICA letter had absolutely nothing to do with the resignation...Chestang also said he'd had "enough of the intense media coverage" of PCOC. Chestang, a former teacher, began his tenure on the board in January 2002. His one-year term as board chairman was due to expire at the end of this year. "He was an excellent member of the board and he added a lot of value to the agency," Hartfield said. In Chestang's absence, Kevin Roberts will serve as interim chairman...If Roberts were to be named chairman, he'd be the first white board chairman in PCOC's history, which dates to 1979. Full Story Back to Top
6-21-06 Robert Castagna Resigns from Oregon Catholic Conference After 21 Years (Willamette Week - Portland, OR) Local Catholic leaders may need to pick their legislative battles more carefully next year. The Archdiocese of Portland has decided, as part of $1.9 million in budget cuts, not to fill the vacancy left by Robert Castagna's departure. Castagna is moving to Chicago for personal reasons after 21 years as executive director of the Oregon Catholic Conference, a position that made him a fixture during legislative sessions on everything from assisted suicide to consumer protection. Archdiocese spokesman Bud Bunce says private lobbyists may instead be hired on an issue-by-issue basis. Full Story Back to Top
6-13-06 Juan Chastang Continues at Odds With Other Commissioners ( - Birmingham, AL) Mobile County commissioners sparred over giving a positive performance rating to County Administrator John Pafenbach on Monday, continuing a verbal snit that has lasted more than two weeks...The ongoing dispute has exposed fissures within the Republican commission mostly between Chastang, who is eager to push for change in the way the county governs, and Dean and Nodine, who want to continue steadily on the course they have charted over the past few years. On Monday, the commissioners had to vote on Pafenbach's job performance rating for the 2005 calendar year. Dean and Nodine spoke at length, extolling Pafenbach's virtues and voted to give him a "high quality" rating. Chastang, who has been unsuccessfully demanding Pafenbach's resignation for nearly three weeks, voted against the rating, the second-highest possible. Full Story Back to Top
6-12-06 Clay Chastain Returns to Kansas City a New Man (Kansas City Star - MO) “I’m heading back to Kansas City to try to change the direction of the city,” Chastain says. “I want to help create the greatest light rail system in the country in Kansas City next March. I’ll be back in a few weeks.” Chastain will be petitioning to get an initiative before voters in March for a rail system...“But I’m much more of a spiritual person and have gotten closer to God, and I’ve asked God to guide me. So there’s no arrogance, no ego. That has gotten in my way in the past. I was always right and everybody else was wrong. “I’m much more humble now, but I still have an honest passion to help Kansas City. I’m not going to be calling people names, and I’m not going to feel that I (am) a celebrity. I’m ashamed of the fact that I ever got caught up in that and acted that way.”...Chastain knows there are those who will roll their eyes at his return, given past squabbles and pledges not to come back. Full Story Back to Top
6-10-06 PCOC Chairman Morris Chestang Responds on Citizens Advisory Committee Dissolution (The Ledger - Lakeland, FL) The Polk County Opportunity Council had an ally in eliminating its prominent Citizens Advisory Committee...Adam Sohn, the communications director for the state Department of Community Affairs, said Friday that the advisory committee was unnecessary, "a redundancy, a mirror image" of PCOC's board of directors. Thursday night, PCOC's board voted to dissolve the advisory committee and to replace it with what it described as an "ad hoc" board, which would dissolve every 90 days. PCOC Chairman Morris Chestang said Friday that the intent is not to chase away the advisory committee...The committee is a who's-who list of some of Polk's most influential residents...Chestang said the decision to disband the committee came with advice from the DCA, "but it was entirely our decision." PCOC's board and the advisory committee clashed in March this year over whether PCOC should use a search firm to hire a permanent director. The PCOC board changed its mind and agreed to hire a search firm, but the confrontation left a bad first impression with some PCOC board members, who felt the advisory committee had overstepped its bounds...Chestang said the fate of the advisory committee has been overblown. "It's not a big deal," he said. "It's a non-story." Full Story Back to Top
6-4-06 Commission President Juan Chastang Supports Large Increase to Sheriff's Office Budget (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Mobile County Sheriff David A. Evans Sr. has presented an ambitious budget to the County Commission that calls for a nearly $8 million increase, 34 new correction officers, seven new deputies and a crime analyst. Evans, who holds the sheriff's post on an interim basis, called for a nearly 23 percent increase over the current budget of $33.8 million that the sheriff receives to operate law enforcement in the county and the jail...County Commission President Juan Chastang, who is on the commission's public safety task force, said that even though the request is large, he wants the office to receive most of what it wants. "That department has been shorted so long, we really need to increase the budget in terms of staffing and technology," Chastang said. "With the sheriff's department, we've been playing catch up. We've got to get ahead of the growth of the county." Full Story Back to Top
6-2-06 Greg Chastine Runs for Alderman Seat (Arkansas Leader - Jacksonville, AR) Charlie Harmon and Greg Chastine will face off for the Ward 1 Position 1 seat being vacated by Stedman, the mayoral candidate. Harmon is the son of the current mayor, and Chastine cut his teeth as an organizer of the grassroots movement that stopped the North Belt Freeway from plowing through several subdivisions...Chastine, 44, owns GFW Computer Services, a company that repairs computers, sets up and services networks and does Webpage design and development. He lost his first race for alderman two years ago. He is vice president of the Arkansas Better Business Bureau. Trained by IBM and NCR, Chastine is pursuing a degree in business at Pulaski Tech. He’s lived 18 years in central Arkansas, the last 12 of them in Sherwood. Full Story Back to Top
6-1-06 Forsyth County Elections Office Still Suffering from Kathie Chastain Cooper's Departure (Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) The office made several mistakes as it broke in new machines during the May 2 primary. There was an error in the distribution of ballots, with a few precincts initially receiving ballots that listed candidates not running in those precincts. Elections officials say no wrong votes were cast. Most seriously, test votes made by the office staff were inadvertently counted until the mistake was discovered a week after the election...The office has been in a dangerous state of flux since its longtime director, Kathie Chastain Cooper, retired from the county to take a job with the State Board of Elections several months ago. Full Story Back to Top
5-26-06 Commission President Juan Chastang Calls on County Administrator to Resign (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Mobile County Commission President Juan Chastang on Thursday called for County Administrator John Pafenbach to resign because an illegal immigrant worked for the county for four years. Chastang said Pafenbach told him he would not resign. Pafenbach declined to comment Thursday. Both of Chastang's fellow commissioners said it was too soon to ask for anyone's resignation over the issue. The problems began two days ago when Roberto Manalang Concepcion was sentenced in federal court to three years probation for staying in America after his tourist visa from the Philippines expired in 2000. Since February 2002, Concepcion had worked for Mobile County as an accountant. Full Story Back to Top
4-26-06 Anne Chastaine Unhappy with Road Project Prospects (WCNC (subscription) - Charlotte, NC) Add two schools, growth along a proposed commuter rail line, 1,000 new homes here and town leader said Catawba Avenue won't cut it. They want to ask the state to widen Westmoreland and widen Washam-Potts Road. "It would take away the character of the area," said Anne Chastaine. It would also cut into her yard...They also said they might have to raise property taxes next year to pay for ongoing projects and a lack of state funding for state roads. To Chastaine, that could mean paying more to live on Washam-Potts Road, with more traffic and maybe less land. "(I) would not be very happy," she said. Full Story Back to Top
4-26-06 Lisa Chastain Runs for Cherokee County, North Carolina Register of Deeds (Cherokee Sentinel - Murphy, NC) After a lot of consideration from myself and encouragement from my friends and family, I decided to run for the Register of Deeds Office...I will work diligently, seeking the proper funding for the Register of Deeds office, updating and enhancing the equipment necessary to provide the best services for our growing county. I feel really blessed to have lived my entire life in Cherokee County. Full Story Back to Top
4-13-06 Commission President Juan Chastang Delivers State of the County Address (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) County Commission President Juan Chastang delivered the State of the County Address at the Mobile Chamber of Commerce-organized luncheon at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Chastang, also in his first term, outlined three ambitious proposals for the county to undertake: creating an economic development office overseas to lure businesses to Mobile County, earmarking money to give incentives to companies and working with a private developer to build a high-rise condominium at the site of the former downtown county courthouse. Full Story Back to Top
4-09-06 Mayor Judy Chastain Ambivalent Regarding Airport Plans (Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY) A couple of years ago, city government was on board with another version of airport expansion. The city would have to chip in something like $320,000 to $360,000, Schamel said. But the airport seems to have become a political hot potato. Not just those personally affected raise flags. "I'm mixed," Chastain said. "I hear from both sides." A full-fledged airport is an asset -- economic development experts repeat that, Chastain said. Not being near an interstate, Salem finds it otherwise a struggle to compete for jobs. But Chastain also feels for the homeowners who would be displaced. From a back seat, she hopes for a solution broadly tolerated if not embraced. "I'm not sure it can be," she said. Full Story Back to Top
3-31-06 Kathie Chastain Cooper Leaves County Election Leadership Job Followed by Assistant (Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) With just a month to go before primary elections, the Forsyth County elections office is lacking in leadership in more ways than one...Kathie Chastain Cooper, the director of elections for almost 32 years, retired from the county in January and took a job with the state elections board. That move came after Chastain Cooper and her staff had recommended touch-screen voting machines, but the board decided to go with optical-scan machines for most voting purposes. Chastain Cooper said the board's decision was a factor in her decision to leave. She recommended that she be replaced by her deputy director, Laura Gerardi-Dell. But Gerardi-Dell recently told the Journal's James Romoser that "It just seemed clear that I wasn't in the running." She, too, took a job with the state board of elections. Full Story Back to Top
3-28-06 Mayor Judy Chastain Concerned about Dangerous Railroad Conditions (Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY) Their strategy in the last 18 months has been to pressure CSX and Indiana Department of Transportation officials for safety features at intersections with Elizabeth Street and South High Street, both east of Main Street. They also believe the railroad could do a better job maintaining the lines that run through the city. "We have discussed this many, many times," Chastain said. "We have a lot of concern."... Salem officials worry most about the Elizabeth Street intersection, a popular cut-through to the county fairgrounds and a race track. The intersection has no stop arms or flashing lights to warn of an approaching train. The sight distance is short, so many motorists are within 30 feet of the tracks before they can see an oncoming train, Clark said...Chastain and Jackson said they've tried calling CSX at its Florida offices, to little avail. "You really can't talk to anyone," Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
3-11-06 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Says Minimum Wage for Librarians Makes No Sense (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) The Athens-Clarke County Library is asking for big raises for employees that its director says will reduce turnover and improve customer service, but county budget constraints make the wage increases unlikely. The library is asking for an additional $321,000 from Athens-Clarke County next year, a 22 percent increase over this year's $1.4 million. Most the money would go to raising the entry-level pay for non-student library workers from $8 an hour to the county government's minimum wage of $10.50 an hour, and other raises for veteran employees....the Athens-Clarke Commission has been denying similar requests from the library for years, and probably will do so again this year, Commissioner Tom Chasteen said. Paying cashiers and clerks at the library the same wages as physical laborers like ditch-diggers doesn't make sense, Chasteen said. "It's totally unrealistic," he said. Full Story Back to Top
3-11-06 Alex Castano Represents Future of Republican Party (World Magazine - USA) The official, Texas railroad commissioner Victor Carrillo, son of an immigrant from Mexico, was introducing candidate Alex Castano, son of an immigrant from Argentina, and calling him "the future" of the Republican Party. The future? Mr. Castano has all the makings of a great Republican politician: He is a personable conservative with strong Christian faith, entrepreneurial acumen, and seven children. But he's the future because the number of Hispanics, who at 40 million comprise the largest minority group in the United States, has increased by more than 50 percent every decade since the middle of the 20th century. Full Story Back to Top
3-09-06 Catholic Spokesman Bob Castagna Comments on Parental Notification Abortion Measure (Catholic Sentinel - Portland, OR) Oregon’s Catholic bishops are endorsing a drive to put a parental notification abortion measure on the November ballot. Signature gatherers will be allowed to circulate petitions at Catholic parishes statewide. Oregon is one of 16 states where a 15-, 16- or 17-year-old girl can get an abortion without parents’ knowledge. The ballot measure would change that. “I think the public is supportive of parents being involved in the children’s lives, especially when their children are in crisis,” says Bob Castagna, executive director of the Oregon Catholic Conference. “This is a most sacred parent-daughter relationship issue and should be protected by law.” Full Story Back to Top
3-08-06 Alex Castano Survives Primary But Faces Runoff Election (Austin American-Statesman (subscription) - Austin, TX) In House District 47 in southwestern Travis County, two Democrats and two Republicans survived crowded primary races Tuesday to make it to runoff elections. Republican businessmen Bill Welch, 50, and Alex Castano, 34, secured spots on the April 11 runoff ballot, as did Democrats Valinda Bolton, 57, a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and Jason Earle, 36, a health care executive. Welch finished first in the five-candidate GOP field, winning 39 percent of the vote to Castano's 28 percent. Bolton edged Earle 43 percent to 42 percent in the four-candidate Democratic primary. Five candidates were eliminated...Castano, a father of seven, has said he opposes toll roads and wants to end the so-called Robin Hood school finance system, which requires property-rich school districts to share tax revenue with property-poor districts. "People believed in my message about education and my commitment to family values," Castano said. Full Story Back to Top
3-07-06 Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain Introduces Prayer to Council Meeting (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain stood before the council members and a handful of onlookers to announce his decision to start the meeting with prayer. The mayor said he consulted with council members and members of the Mitchell Area Ministerial Association, and from that point on, local ministers would be providing prayer before the start of each meeting. “I'm not doing this for any other reason but to help us as a city,” Chastain said...He said he's considered the idea for quite some time, but never broached the council with the subject until he learned at a recent mayors' roundtable discussion that leaders in other cities across the state do the same thing. Full Story Back to Top
3-05-06 Mayor Butch Chastain Remembers Fellow Townsman Astronaut Gus Grissom (The (subscription) - Columbus, IN) Mayor Butch Chastain remembers, too. He was a boy when Grissom reached space, and Mitchell held a parade for the man along a crowd-packed street, now called Grissom Avenue. Chastain saw Grissom only from a distance, but the astronaut’s friends didn’t disappoint. “Two or three of his buddies flew over in jets and tipped their wings,” the mayor recalled. “It was an exciting time.” Almost 40 years have passed since the daring era of Grissom, which ended in tragedy when the astronaut perished in a fire during a capsule test. Full Story Back to Top
2-22-06 Harrison Chastang Opposes Hosting Political Conventions in San Francisco (Beyond Chron - San Francisco, CA) By Harrison Chastang...In a recent column San Francisco Examiner columnist Ken Garcia feels that The City could make big money by hosting the 2008 Republican convention. I think Ken's desire to have the GOP in town is overshadowing the 21st century economic realities of hosting big events like political conventions...Should city officials say "thanks but no thanks" to convention officials and concentrate on booking conventions of doctors, lawyers, union members, librarians, computer geeks and accountants in the summer of 2008? If these groups come, they'll probably spend more money than the Democrats or Republicans, you'll hardly know they're in town and their meetings should have little if any negative impact on The City's law enforcement and transportation intrastructure. Full Story Back to Top
2-17-06 Citizen Expresses Second Thoughts on Chestnut Hill Vote (Northborough-Southborough Villager - Marlboro, MA) It seemed a good idea at the time, but in hindsight, I have serious doubts about one of our votes at the recent Southborough Special Town Meeting. It's not that we passed it but the way that we did it. At the time, I thought the plan was "brilliant," as I told one of the proponents that night, but I spoke too soon. Perhaps we acted too soon as well...Here's my bottom line concern. Too many people have come to feel that they're being priced out by decisions made by others and losing their voice to those who don't have the same budget constraints. I find the town more divided than we might imagine and I am sorry to have contributed to something that may have increased that alienation. It seems we may have been just a little too clever for our own good. Full Story Back to Top
2-14-06 CPA Chip Chesteen Warns of Creeping Alternative Minimum Tax (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report - Baton Rouge, LA) Baton Rouge CPA Chip Chesteen says four red flags signal the likelihood you'll be an AMT victim: large itemized deductions, large capital gains, depletion adjustments for oil and gas exploration and depreciation on real estate holdings. "If you can get all the pieces together, you can kind of plan for it some," Chesteen says. "But it's like doing the tax return throughout the year to see if the AMT is going to kick in. It's a pain, no question about it." A decade ago, AMT liability was a rarity for Chesteen's clients, but he expects 15% to 20% of them to be affected this year. Full Story Back to Top
2-14-06 Commissioner Juan Chastang Fires County Attorney (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Mobile County Commissioners Mike Dean and Juan Chastang joined forces Monday morning to oust County Attorney Doug Anderson, with Dean citing Anderson's role in a closed-door meeting as the reason. The move incensed the commission's third member, Stephen Nodine, who said the firing "tarnished" Mobile County's image. Nodine in turn questioned whether Dean and Chastang met in secret to discuss removing Anderson. Both Dean and Chastang said they had not...Anderson said the decision "caught me completely off guard." After the meeting, he went to the 10th floor of Government Plaza, which includes his office and those of the three commissioners, and talked to Nodine and Chastang about his dismissal. A court police officer escorted Anderson out of the building before he could talk to Dean. Anderson said he has a number of clients in the real estate business. "I have plenty to do to keep me busy," he said. "I didn't ask for this job. They sought me out." Full Story Back to Top
2-13-06 Juan Chastang Named President of Mobile County Commission (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Juan Chastang , who has been a Mobile County commissioner for fewer than three months, will become commission president in April, he confirmed last week. The office of president is mainly a ceremonial position, commission spokeswoman Barbara Drummond said. Chastang will be responsible for signing all contracts and official documents, she said. He also will be the county's chief representative at various ceremonies, functions and boards. There is no additional monetary compensation for the position. Full Story Back to Top
2-12-06 Tom Chasteen Responds to Negative Editorial (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) During the meeting, I said I wasn't in favor of publicly chastising those who have control over Athens-Clarke County. When I made this statement, our discussion and my assertion specifically pertained to control over lines for state legislative districts. I was simply stating a legal fact. The state constitution places decisionmaking on legislative districts solely at the state level. I've observed in the past that unfortunately, the legislature makes decisions on this matter without a lot of feedback from our local government, no matter who is in power. Full Story Back to Top
2-11-06 Letter Predicts Voter Backlash Against Chestnut Hill Decision (MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA) The proponents relied on a 1998 warrant article which gave the selectmen the authority to spend $5,000,000 without having to hold a Town Meeting or election. The authority granted in 1998 was never intended to be used for such projects as Chestnut Hill. It was intended for rapid response to the "right of first refusal" opportunities. The result of the maneuver by the proponents of the purchase was to prevent voters of Southborough from indicating their preference, essentially disenfranchising them. I'm afraid that the $5,000,000 spent for Chestnut Hill Farm will form a backlash with the voters of Southborough. Full Story Back to Top
2-07-06 Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain Responds to Major Facility Closing (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Dana Corp. will close its Mitchell facility. The company plans to phase out its manufacturing in Mitchell during the next 18 months with some jobs being cut from the payroll as early as April. Dana is currently Mitchell's largest employer..."We are saddened by the news that Dana will be shutting down its Mitchell operation," said Mitchell Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain. "We feel pretty bad for our people." The Mitchell plant currently employs 325 workers, which is down from the more than 700 people it employed in 2000..."My staff and I were in meetings with Dana officials most of the day (Monday)," Chastain said. "They were real receptive to us putting on a job fair for the employees inside the plant, like we did when Regal-Beloit closed down."">Full Story Back to Top
2-05-06 Ana Castano Becomes an American Citizen (Union City Reporter - Union City, NJ) "I am very happy; I have been waiting for this for a long time," said Ana Castano, who is from Colombia and resides in West New York. Castano passed her citizenship exam a year ago after being a resident for 17 years, but had not been called to take the oath until today. Despite the small setback, Castano is excited and anticipates her new role as a citizen. "Lets see how my life changes now that I can vote, which is the most important thing for me," said Castano. Full Story Back to Top
2-05-06 Professor Richard Chesteen Comments on Don McLeary Changing from Democrat to Republican (Jackson Sun - Jackson, TN) That Don McLeary is changing political labels from Democrat to Republican doesn't surprise University of Tennessee Martin political science professor Richard Chesteen. "Philosophically, he was already there," Chesteen said Friday as area political science scholars started to measure the effect of McLeary's announcement on the region's political landscape. "I always had the impression that, especially on tax and other issues, he was pretty conservative."...Chesteen isn't sure just how doctrinal a Republican Don McLeary might be. "There's a lot of human characteristics about him that will soften him on some of the issues involving the common man," Chesteen said. "He'll have his share of votes where he'll agonize over voting with the Republican line." Full Story Back to Top
1-29-06 Libertarian Chair David Chastain Speaks at State-wide Meeting (Duluth Weekly - Duluth, GA) On February 4th, Cobb Libertarian Chair David Chastain will be one of a number of speakers in Port Wentworth, outside Savannah, speaking to a gathering of activists from across Georgia at the first-ever statewide Tax summit...Says Chastain, "I am looking forward to networking with other Georgia activists in hope of providing a defense to the coordinated assault on private property and personal wealth coming from the combined lobbying of the Georgia Municipal Association and Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Full Story Back to Top
1-27-06 Vote on State Senate Bill 386 May Hurt Tom Chasteen's Run for Mayor (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Chasteen, a candidate for mayor in local elections later this year, cast the lone vote against a resolution opposing state Senate Bill 386. The bill was engineered by state Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Comer, to split Athens-Clarke County between two state Senate districts...The resolution, from an all-Democrat commission, will almost certainly not sway the Republican-dominated Georgia General Assembly from approving the proposed redistricting. But it does create a problem for Chasteen. The problem is not Chasteen's actual vote. There are defensible arguments on both sides of the issue of whether Athens-Clarke County would be better served by one, or two, senators. The problem is Chasteen's explanation of his vote. "It does (voters) a disservice if we strain our relationship, if it's not a working relationship with people who have control over Athens-Clarke County," Chasteen said at Wednesday's commission meeting. In other words, Chasteen voted against the resolution simply because he didn't want to risk making state legislators angry with the community. Full Story Back to Top
1-22-06 Citizens Overwhelmingly Support Purchasing Conservation Restriction on Chestnut Hill Farm (MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA) Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported purchasing a conservation restriction on the Chestnut Hill Farm, after amending a warrant article and alleviating need for voter approval at the poles. At yesterday’s four-hour long Special Town Meeting, 584 registered voters packed the Trottier Middle School auditorium to vote on 14 warrant articles, including the Chestnut Hill Farm. Town Meeting members erupted into applause and cheered after a two-third’s majority voted to pass an amended article -- giving the town authorization to spend $4.5 million to buy the conservation restriction on 109-acres of land on Chestnut Hill Road. Full Story Back to Top
1-22-06 Kathie Chastain Cooper's Retirement Leaves Critical Opening (Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) For the almost 32 years that she has held the job as elections director, through eight presidential elections and many state and local elections, Chastain Cooper has instilled...confidence through her competent work. She has kept Forsyth elections free of the major problems that have plagued other elections elsewhere. She retires from the county this week, but she'll still be working, having taken a job as a regional elections technician with the State Board of Elections that will allow her to serve Forsyth and eleven other area counties. As she leaves the job as director, the Forsyth elections staff faces considerable challenges...The Forsyth elections board, despite objections from Chastain Cooper and her staff, chose new voting machines last month that are less than state of the art. Chastain Cooper, whose years of service entitle her to a full pension, says she had already been considering retiring from her job before that disagreement. The disagreement was one thing she considered, she said, but it wasn't the major thing. Full Story Back to Top
1-20-06 Green Party Candidate Will Run for Tom Chasteen's Super District (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens Green Party member Edwin Vaughan announced his intention this week to run for the District 9 seat on the Athens-Clarke County Commission. Vaughan ran for the District 7 seat in 2002 as the first Green Party candidate to make the ballot in Georgia, but came in far behind two other candidates...District 9 is one of two super-districts and spans the eastern half of Clarke County and encompasses commission districts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Tom Chasteen, who recently announced his candidacy for mayor, has held the commission seat since 1991. Vaughan will run against Alvin Sheats, a former District 3 commissioner who announced his intention last week to run for District 9. Sheats, who served two terms on the commission as a Democrat until he lost to George Maxwell in 2002, is a customs inspector in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Full Story Back to Top
1-20-06 Residents Will Vote on Offer to Buy Conservation Restriction on Chestnut Hill Farm (MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA) The town has made a $4.5 million offer to purchase a conservation restriction on Chestnut Hill Farm, and residents will vote on whether to approve the funding at tomorrow’s special Town Meeting. "We’re going to ask the town to purchase a conservation restriction on approximately 110 acres of real estate for $4.5 million in town funds from various sources," selectmen Chairman William Christensen said yesterday. Under the restriction, the land would be owned by the Beals Family Trust, which owns the land on Chestnut Hill Road, but the town would own the development rights. Full Story Back to Top
1-19-06 Bob Castagna Promotes Payday Loan Law (Catholic Sentinel - Portland, OR) Oregon is among a minority of states that have no cap on payday loan interest rates. There were about 300,000 such loans processed in Oregon in 1999. By 2003, the number rose to 700,000. “Oregon’s public policy lends itself to permitting predatory lending practices and to consumers being charged usurious interest rates above 500 percent,” Oregon Catholic Conference director Bob Castagna told a subcommittee of the Oregon Legislature earlier this month...“The issue of Oregon’s payday loan law presents a public policy issue with a moral component that the Oregon Catholic Conference suggests needs to be addressed and amended for the common good,” Castagna said in testimony in Salem. Full Story Back to Top
1-15-06 Future of Historic Chestnut Hill Farm to be Decided (Boston Globe - United States) Depending on whom you ask, the 100-acre-plus tract of rolling fields and meadow in the center of Southborough presents a rare chance to preserve a slice of the town's agricultural past, or holds the potential to boost the town's tax base through development. On Saturday, Chestnut Hill Farm goes before Special Town Meeting, where voters will be asked to approve spending $3 million to $5 million to pay its owners to give up their right to develop the property. Full Story Back to Top
1-14-06 Former Commissioner May Run for Tom Chasteen's Seat (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Alvin Sheats is looking to return to the Athens-Clarke County Commission next year. The former commissioner is forming an exploratory committee to decide whether to run for Commissioner Tom Chasteen's seat, Sheats said Friday. The seat is one of two super-districts, areas that encompass half of the county and take in four smaller districts...Chasteen has held District 9, which encompasses the eastern half of Clarke County, since the city and county governments unified in 1991. He is not running for re-election this year because he is running for mayor. Full Story Back to Top
1-12-06 Robert J. Castagna Calls Payday Lenders Predatory and Usurious ( - Portland, OR) Church leaders and consumer advocates urged legislators Wednesday to crack down on Oregon's booming payday lending industry, which charges soaring interests rates on short-term loans. "Oregon's public policy lends itself to permitting predatory lending practices and to consumers being charged usurious interest rates," Robert J. Castagna, executive director for the Oregon Catholic Conference, said during a daylong hearing before an interim House subcommittee. Full Story Back to Top
1-11-06 Tom Chasteen and Charlie Maddox Fundraising for Mayor's Race Disclosed (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Tom Chasteen and Charlie Maddox are far ahead of other candidates for Athens-Clarke County mayor in fundraising. Maddox, the state Department of Labor district tax director in Athens, raised more money than Chasteen but also spent more, leaving him with less money in the bank. Most candidates running in state or local elections this November filed their first campaign disclosure forms last week and Monday, giving voters a first look at who has an early financial advantage. Chasteen raised $3,150, according to documents filed with the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections, and spent $235.25, leaving him with $2,914.75. Maddox raised $5,435, but has only $1,670.53 left. He spent $3,764.47, about two-thirds of it on a campaign Web site. Full Story Back to Top
1-10-06 Commissioner Chuck Chestnut Needs More Information Before Supporting Keg Restrictions (Gainesville Sun - Gainesville, FL) Marketing of alcohol specials such as "bladder busters" would be restricted and kegs of beer would be registered to buyers under two proposals supported Monday by the Gainesville City Commission as ways to curb alcohol abuse. Commissioners voted to add the proposals to their agenda for the coming session of the Florida Legislature, but acknowledged the chance of such laws being passed statewide is slim...The vote on keg registration was 4-2 with Rick Bryant and Chuck Chestnut dissenting. The vote on marketing of drink specials was unanimous. Commissioner Ed Braddy was absent...Bryant and Chestnut said they have not been given any information showing that keg registration is effective in cutting underage or inappropriate drinking. Full Story Back to Top
1-09-06 Jane Chastain Joins in Message to Mayor--Balance the Budget or Resign (Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson, SC) If the town needs to cut services to stay afloat they should do it, and if the mayor can't get the job done he should resign, resident Jane Chastain said. "We are a working people, not the rich and famous," Ms. Chastain said. "We expect the council to do a better job managing our money. This is not money to throw a party on." Full Story Back to Top
1-06-06 Juan Chastang Scores Early Victory as Mobile County Commissioner (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Mobile County will give Prichard $100,000 to hire an economic development expert, commissioners said at a Thursday morning meeting. The decision gives new Commissioner Juan Chastang a victory for his first initiative and marks a reversal for Commissioner Stephen Nodine, who had opposed the plan at a meeting two weeks ago. Chastang, Nodine and Commission President Mike Dean all said they supported the proposal at the county's Thursday morning conference meeting. Full Story Back to Top
1-05-06 President Kelly Chastain Defends Salary for New Executive Director (Victorville Daily Press - Victorville, CA) SANBAG President Kelly Chastain explained that keeping the salary competitive was necessary to attract top candidates during the selection process. "We wanted to make sure we would have the caliber of people we need to take the next step," Chastain said. "Tony brings many connections we can use as we look to take SANBAG in the same front with transportation agencies in Los Angeles and Orange counties." Full Story Back to Top
1-05-06 Resident Concerned about Habitat Destruction at John Chesnut Park (St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, FL) Lately, under new management, they seem to think that stripping the park of the ground cover is a good thing. Not only are they removing the hiding places for animals, but they are removing the sound barrier for the cars on East Lake Road...The animals will suffer from this habitat destruction. This park was once a place for animals with humans as guests, but slowly it is being changed to a place for humans with wide open spaces and eventually no more wildlife. Please, leave the park alone. Let it return to a tranquil oasis absolutely teeming with life. Full Story Back to Top
12-28-05 Commissioner Juan Chastang Proposes $100,000 for Prichard (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Newly appointed Mobile County Commissioner Juan Chastang said he wants to give $100,000 to the city of Prichard to help fund its own economic development agency. The proposal has been put on hold after fellow Republican Commissioner Stephen Nodine criticized the idea...Chastang, whose district includes Prichard, said Mobile's neighboring city needs help. "What affects Prichard affects Mobile," Chastang said. Prichard's history of economic struggles culminated in 1999 when the city filed for bankruptcy. Full Story Back to Top
12-27-05 Tom Chasteen Will Use Internet in His Bid for Mayor (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) More experienced politicians are also using the Internet to reach out to younger voters. Chasteen, in his fourth term as county commissioner, said he also is planning to put up a campaign Web site. He hasn't yet because he wasn't happy with a preliminary version, but has reserved several domain names, he said. "Frankly, we feel like it's going to be very important in this election cycle that we do a fair amount of communicating on the Web site," Chasteen said. "We'll still be doing the airwaves and the mailings and that kind of thing, but this is going to be a centerpiece of my campaign." Full Story Back to Top
12-20-05 Board of Elections Will Reconsider Recommendation Which Angered Kathie Chastain Cooper (Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) The Forsyth County Board of Elections will reconsider Thursday its recommendation that the county buy voting machines that scan paper ballots to replace the current punch-card system at the request of Forsyth County commissioners...Last week, Kathie Chastain Cooper, the county's director of elections, was visibly angered when the board of elections recommended optical-scan machines from Elections Systems & Software Co. Full Story Back to Top
12-15-05 Director of Elections Kathie Chastain Cooper Unhappy with Voting Machine Decision (Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) The move went against the advice of the county's top elections officials. They favored the electronic touch-screen machines, which are easier to work with than paper ballots...Kathie Chastain Cooper, the county's director of elections, was visibly angered by the board's move. "I strongly object to this decision," Chastain Cooper told the board. After the meeting, she said that elections officials had rejected using optical scanners at least twice before. "We looked at optical scanners years ago and rejected them in favor of punch cards because punch cards were more accurate," Chastain Cooper said. "Although improvements were made, we looked at them again a few years ago and decided they were just not the way to go." Full Story Back to Top
12-08-05 Board Member Morris Chestang Says They Were Not Told the Truth (Lakeland Ledger - Lakeland, FL) PCOC, with its $12.4 million budget to help the area's poor, has been the subject of federal scrutiny in recent months and is on a one-year state probation. Hartfield, who took over last week for Carolyn Speed, the ousted executive director, took strides toward establishing himself as a leader...Board member Morris Chestang said he was sorry for some of the trouble PCOC has been in. He said he read newspaper accounts of problems and got defensive. "I believed what I heard from the staff," he said. Eventually, Chestang said, he learned that "we were not being told the truth" by the staff. Chestang never mentioned Speed's name, but the one staff person board members communicate the most with is the executive director. Full Story Back to Top
12-07-05 Maggie Chesnutt Organizes Opposition to Development (Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA) "The more we know about it, it's like living in California and building on an earthquake fault line. At what point does recent knowledge figure in?" says Maggie Chesnutt. A retired elementary-school teacher from Southern California, she lives in Topsail Beach and is leading local opposition to construction on the Boryk partners' land. This year, town planners attempted to declare the property a permanent preserve....Word of the survey traveled quickly through the 500 year-round residents of Topsail Beach. Mrs. Chesnutt, who lives in the last parcel of land sold by the original owners, has an unobstructed view from her deck of Serenity Point. She saw the surveyors tramping over the land and called a neighborhood meeting. Mrs. Chesnutt passes out "Conserve the Point" buttons festooned with blue ribbons and brings detailed flip-charts and petitions to government meetings. Full Story Back to Top
12-07-05 Morris Chestang Among Board Members Charged for Violating Sunshine Law (The Ledger - Lakeland, FL) 10 board members of the Polk County Opportunity Council were charged last week with violating Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which requires the public's business to be conducted in public. During a regular meeting in mid-September, board members retreated into a conference room with attorney Warren Hope Dawson. After an hour, the board emerged, went back into public session and passed a letter of admonishment for Carolyn Speed, the executive director who recently resigned. Speed was admonished for purchasing a Canon color copier with a no-bid contract, then taking a Canon-paid trip to Las Vegas six weeks after making the purchase. Full Story Back to Top
12-02-05? Alderman C. Scott Shasteen Publicly Opposes Firing of Long-Term City Attorney (Tullahoma News and Guardian - Tullahoma, TN) No one in the audience spoke in favor of Worsham’s termination. In a surprise move at the Nov. 14 meeting, Alderman Lane Curlee moved to terminate Worsham’s contract...Shasteen had said Curlee’s motion was purely a reaction to something he didn’t like in a ruling by Worsham. "I hope the citizens have long memories," Shasteen had said, referring to an upcoming election in August 2006. "The citizens have the option to change the direction of the board at that time."...On Monday, former Mayor George Orr came to defend Worsham who had been the city attorney for 38 years. "As a former mayor of Tullahoma, I was extremely embarrassed by the actions of our aldermen at the last city board meeting," he said...Shasteen aired his thoughts. "I’d like to say I was embarrassed," he said, adding that publicly firing Worsham after his 38 years of service while a television audience watched was a grievous error. Shasteen said that if a majority on the board thought it necessary to fire Worsham, they could have done so in a different way. Full Story Back to Top
11-28-05 County Clerk Jo Ann Chastain Unhappy with Fee Increases (Lufkin Daily News - Lufkin, TX) "I think it is awful, but there is not a thing in the world I can do about it," said Jo Ann Chastain, Angelina's county clerk of 22 years. "What are people who can't afford it now going to do? I think it is ridiculous."...The Texas Department of State Health Services amended Texas Administrative Code Title 25 Chapter 181, changing the fee Texas Vital Statistics charges for the search and issuance of vital records as of Dec. 1, 2005...This means a search and certificate for a birth record will cost $23. The heirloom birth certificate printed on bank note paper, which now costs $30, will cost $60, Chastain said. Marriage and divorce search and verification fees will cost $21, and the new commemorative wedding certificate will cost $60. "I wish you could have been at the state clerk's association conference when they announced the increase — the room went quiet and we all said, 'What?'" Chastain said. "I'm a widow. If I wasn't working and on a fixed income and needed a copy of Owen's death certificate, that $21 would be hard on me." Full Story Back to Top
11-21-05 Black Commissioner Juan Chastang Gives Hope to Republican Party (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) For the first time since Mobile County was divided into three commission districts 25 years ago, District 1, which is predominantly black, has a Republican commissioner -- appointed by the state's Republican governor. And one state Republican official said because that new commissioner, Juan Chastang, is black, the Republican party has a chance of keeping that seat, representing the northeastern and far northern parts of the county, when it comes up for election in about three years..."There's no reason why a significant number of African-Americans shouldn't be comfortable in the Republican Party," Lathan said. "I think Juan gives us a chance to have a new presentation in the African-American community." Full Story Back to Top
11-21-05 Former Mayor Supports Controversial Juan Chastang Appointment (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Juan Chastang, appointed to the Mobile County Commission last week by Gov. Bob Riley, got off to a shaky start...But Chastang has a supporter in retired Major Gen. J. Gary Cooper of Mobile. "I believe the young man deserves an opportunity," Cooper said before a recent meeting of the Industrial Development Authority of Mobile County. Cooper is an IDA board member. "He served his country as a Marine. He served his community as a police officer. "We've certainly elected a lot less-qualified people," continued Cooper. "And we've certainly elected a lot more-qualified idiots." Full Story Back to Top
11-20-05 Could Conservative Tom Chasteen's Run for Mayor Produce a Liberal Outcome? (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) The biggest effect of the Athens-Clarke mayor's race next year might not be who is the mayor. It might be what position the mayor left. Mayoral candidate Tom Chasteen is generally the leader of the more conservative faction of the commission - Charles Carter, States McCarter, Harry Sims and usually Kathy Hoard and George Maxwell. Whether he is elected mayor or not probably will make very little difference, because the mayor has very little power. What will make more of a difference is who is elected in Chasteen's super-district. A liberal or progressive in that seat would drastically change the makeup of the commission, and with two majority-black districts and Alice Kinman's Five Points area included, it's very possible. The six-vote (or occasionally seven, when David Lynn's libertarian streak comes out) coalition that decides most controversial issues would fall apart, especially if a liberal also wins Charles Carter's seat. Full Story Back to Top
11-17-05 Commission Appointee Juan Chastang Says Allegations are Untrue ( - Birmingham, AL) Gov. Bob Riley's appointee to the Mobile County Commission said he has apologized to Riley for failing to disclose his suspension from the Mobile Police Department based on a bribery allegation. Republican Juan Chastang told reporters Wednesday that he didn't tell Riley that the county Personnel Board in 1991 suspended him from his job as a police officer for 15 days after determining that he tried to bribe another officer. Chastang, who now teaches at Blount High School, said the allegation wasn't true...The commission seat in the mostly black Democratic district came open when Commissioner Sam Jones became Mobile's first black mayor. After winning a court case giving him appointment power, Riley picked Chastang, who is also black. Full Story Back to Top
11-16-05 Governor's Appointment of Juan Chastang To Mobile Mayor's Old Seat May Be Problematic (Mobile Register - Mobile, AL) Gov. Bob Riley filled the vacant District 1 seat on the Mobile County Commission on Tuesday with Juan Chastang, 43, a fellow Republican and a Blount High School basketball coach and teacher. The governor's office touted Chastang's credentials as a teacher, coach, U.S. Marine and Mobile police officer. But a Riley spokesman said the governor was unaware that Chastang was suspended for 15 days without pay in 1993 after the Mobile County Personnel Board determined that he tried to bribe a fellow police officer into letting someone go after a traffic stop. Chastang told the Mobile Register late Tuesday afternoon that the allegation was untrue. There also is some uncertainty as to whether Chastang lives in the district he represents. Full Story Back to Top
11-14-05 Terry Chastain Supports Fast-Rail Development (South Carolina Headlines - Greenville, SC) Terry Chastain, executive director of the Southeastern Economic Alliance, said, "I-85 has been a tremendous economic development tool for this region and Atlanta and North Carolina. High-speed rail will increase the profitability of existing business and attract new business."...Chastain, who said an economic impact analysis of fast rail is expected to be undertaken soon, said a 600-mile system of tracks could be built at a cost of about $5 billion. Much of the corridor would follow existing tracks. Full Story Back to Top
11-04-05 Candidate Tom Chasteen Finds Rusk's Statements Confusing (Red and Black - USA) “I don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning,” said candidate Andy Rusk. Rusk, a carpenter and construction worker in Athens, graduated from the University in 2003 and is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk...Rusk’s campaign has confused some, among them is commissioner and fellow candidate Tom Chasteen. “I was shocked he said he had no chance of winning,” Chasteen said. “I would think that would hurt his credibility on some of the issues.” Full Story Back to Top
11-01-05 Judy Chastain Pleased with Commission Zoning Decision (The - Fayetteville, GA) Fayette County Commissioners Oct. 27 denied a rezoning request that would create 31 homes on 38.92 acres on New Hope Road, approving instead an R-70 zoning that would restrict the development to 15 homes..."We are not against growth or change, but are pleading for a quality of growth that will not adversely affect property owners and the quality of life for our community.” Chastain said a reduced number of lots would lessen the number of septic tanks and the concern for storm-water runoff and would reduce traffic volume over what an R-45 zoning would have allowed. Chastain said a fewer number of homes would also mean she would have four, rather than eight, backyards adjacent to her home. Full Story Back to Top
10-24?-05 A. L. Shasteen Votes Against Cumberland Plateau National Heritage Corridor Initiative (Tullahoma News and Guardian - Tullahoma, TN) The Franklin County Commission has endorsed the National Heritage Corridor Initiative for the Cumberland Plateau. The only dissenting vote was by A. L. Shasteen. The initiative is a move to give national status to the region, promoting and preserving its historic and geological significance and attractions..."I believe in protecting private property rights, and I think this is an infringement on that," Shasteen said. "This could also cost the county money down the road." Full Story Back to Top
10-06-05 Todd Castagno Loses Out in Bid for Mayor (Tooele Transcript-Bulletin - Tooele, ) Three candidates competing to be elected mayor of Grantsville were neck-and-neck in the local race throughout most of Tuesday evening as voting results were being tallied at the Tooele County Clerk's office...But when votes from the last of Grantsville's five precincts were tallied, incumbent Mayor Byron Anderson was at the top of the three-man race by a mere five votes...Todd Castagno, 38, collected 277 votes for a 28 percent. Castagno, who is currently completing his second year as a city council member, is now out of the race for mayor. But he will continue to serve as a city councilman until January 2008. Full Story Back to Top
10-03-05 Vicente Castaño Wants to Increase Supporters in Congress (Colombia Journal - Colombia) Following the August approval of the Justice and Peace Law by the Colombian Congress, several demobilized right-wing paramilitary leaders made clear their desire to enter the country’s political fray. The paramilitaries already maintain a substantial influence in Congress, as paramilitary leader Vicente Castaño recently told Colombia’s Semana magazine:: “I think that we can affirm that we have more than 35 percent of Congress as friends, and for the next elections, we’re going to increase that percentage of friends.” Full Story Back to Top
9-28-05 Mike Castano Loses Vote to Andy Dulin (Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC) In south Charlotte, Andy Dulin appeared to defeat Mike Castano by a 2-to-1 margin. The candidates agreed largely on the issues, and both are conservative Republicans. Dulin will replace two-term incumbent John Tabor, who is running at-large this year. Full Story Back to Top
9-25-05 Mike Castano Hits the Campaign Trail (Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC) Mike Castano, has been walking neighborhoods, too, spending up to four hours a day talking to voters and leaving literature. Unlike Dulin, he'll knock on every door he sees. "I'd rather go with quantity, because with that you pick up more," he said. But Castano picks his neighborhoods carefully. On Friday, he walked through Madison Park, off Park Road and Seneca Place, a neighborhood with a mix of senior citizens and young couples. "This is the kind of neighborhood (where) people will vote for me, if we can get them to vote," he said. "The average guy lives in a neighborhood like this. They're worried that tax rates are going up. They're worried that roads aren't being repaired. (They wonder) who's minding the store." Castano also sent about 500 letters, mostly to voters in retirement homes. Full Story Back to Top
9-19-05 Anti-Light Rail Mike Castano Runs for Return to City Council (Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC) Castano, 69, represented the district from 1999 to 2001, when he was defeated by Tabor. During his term, Castano opposed any tax increases, so-called "smart growth" proposals and the light-rail system for which voters had approved a half-cent sales tax hike in 1998. After his defeat, he continued to fight light rail. He helped form a group called Charlotteans for Affordable and Sensible Transit, which argues that the system is a waste of money. Full Story Back to Top
9-14?-05 C. Scott Shasteen Opposes Sale of City Property (Tullahoma News and Guardian - Tullahoma, TN) Shasteen motioned Monday to abandon memorandum of understanding and conduct a study about what to do with the parking lot property and another area, just west of the Police Department adjacent to City Hall. Shasteen said Marcum Capital’s entire project was centered around the newly formed Vision Bank. However, he said the bank recently announced it would not be locating its headquarters on the property...Shasteen said that since the bank had decided not to locate there, the project’s entire scope has changed and nothing in the memorandum of understanding would pertain to the lot’s future development. He referred to how controversial the land sale issue has been and said it was the main reason Bisby defeated Cope in the Aug. 4 election. He added that sends a message that the city board needs to consider other options regarding the property. Full Story Back to Top
9-13-05 McCarter's Withdrawal from Mayor's Race Helps Tom Chasteen (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens-Clarke Commissioner States McCarter quietly dropped out of the mayor's race Tuesday...McCarter's withdrawal likely improves the chances of fellow Commissioner Tom Chasteen, who both men say shares many of the same views and much of the same constituency as McCarter. Chasteen was happy to hear the news, but said, "I still have a tough road ahead of me." Full Story Back to Top
9-10-05 Erin Chastain-Harris Reports Successful Water Conservation Program (Dallas Morning News (subscription) - TX) "It's actually going very well," said Erin Chastain-Harris, education specialist for Allen's Community Services Department. Ms. Chastain-Harris did the research and clerical work for the program. "Residents are very excited about the program, especially because it can save them money, even though there is still some financial investment for them," she said. Ms. Chastain-Harris said 76 percent of all H2Ome Improvement rebates stem from rain and freeze sensors, with 20 percent of the money going to residents who install water-efficient washing machines. Full Story Back to Top
9-9-05 Tommy Chastain Defeats Incumbent for District Seat (Bradford County Telegraph - Starke, FL) Starke voters returned City Clerk Linda Johns to her seat for another four years on Tuesday, but two-term District 4 Commissioner Carolyn Wimpy lost her seat to Tommy Chastain...Chastain will take over the District 4 seat. He beat Wimpy's 74 votes with 103 of his own and said he is very excited about the win. "I can't wait to go to work for the people of Starke, and I thank them for coming out to vote on such a yucky day," Chastain said. Full Story Back to Top
9-9-05 Mike Castano and Andy Dulin Face Off for District Seat (Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC) He is Mike Castano. And he is Andy Dulin...Castano, who held the district seat from 1999 to 2001, said his experience makes him more qualified. But Dulin pointed out that after two years, Castano lost his job. Full Story Back to Top
9-9-05 Richmond Municipal Building Not on Fire Says City Clerk Karen Chasteen (Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN) the flame that attracted the attention of passersby Wednesday night is the electric Richmond Celebrates Bicentennial Torch. Richmond City Clerk Karen Chasteen wanted to reassure community members -- 200 of whom made calls of concern to the police and fire departments -- that there is no fire...It was fortunate that on Wednesday, as the day came to a close, Chasteen realized how realistic the flame might look at night and called the Richmond Fire Department to alert them about it. Full Story Back to Top
9-7-05 Mike Castano Runs to Return to Office (Charlotte Observer - Charlotte, NC) District 6 includes the southern portions of Charlotte, including the booming SouthPark area. Statistically, it is more affluent than other areas of Charlotte. It has large numbers of retirees on comfortable, yet fixed incomes. Traffic congestion, crime, livability and well-planned growth remain urgent concerns. This is an open seat vacated by John Tabor, who is running at-large. Republicans will choose between two candidates: retired insurance agent Mike Castano and Realtor Andy Dulin. Because no Democrat is running, the primary will determine the winner. Mr. Castano represented District 6 for two years and was voted out in 2001. He is a frequent speaker at council meetings, objecting strenuously to Charlotte's critical light rail project, user fees and tax increases. Full Story Back to Top
8-24-05 Nicholas Castagna Wants Council to Hear Results of Road Project Meeting (Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence, RI) Some residents noted the absence of town officials. Reached by phone last night, Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna said the meeting was not officially posted and he does not remember being invited...Castagna said he does not want the project delayed, but would like a recap of yesterday's meeting presented before the full council before making his decision. Full Story
8-24-05 Rob Castagna and Neighbors Want Action on Flooding Problem (Lambertville Beacon - Lambertville, NJ) The task force is scheduled to draft a report of recommendations that could lessen flooding in the region, which was flooded twice in the past year, most recently in April...A large stretch of riverbank washed away from Rob Castagna's property. "I've been told it's my property, and it's my problem to fix," said Mr. Castagna, who owns a bed and breakfast inn. He said repair estimates range between $100,000 and $200,000. Full Story
8-23-05 School Board Incumbent John Castagna Faces Field of Competition (The Signal - Santa Clarita, CA) Newhall School District board member incumbent John Castagna is running for re-election against four challengers: Robert Jensen, Jr., a Valencia CPA, Steve Lunetta, a self-described scientist from Valencia, Michael McGrath, an investment advisor from Valencia, and Wendy Zinn, a CPA and publisher from Newhall. Full Story
8-21-05 Tom Chasteen Not Optimistic about Affordable Housing for Everyone (Athens Banner-Herald - Athens, GA) The lack of good-paying jobs is the main reason for the housing crisis, and the best solution is to bring in more industry, Athens-Clarke Commissioner Tom Chasteen said. But Chasteen also said he believes that, for some people, wages will never catch up with explosive rises in property values spurred on by growth and the lack of land in Georgia's smallest county. "The Bible says there will always be people struggling financially," he said. Full Story
8-11-05 Tommy Chastain Announces for Commissioner of Starke, Florida (Bradford County Telegraph - Starke, FL) To the citizens of Starke, I, Tommy Chastain, would like to be your city commissioner for district four. With your help and support, I believe we can make a difference in our city government. Full Story
8-8-05 Mayor Judy Chastain Fights for Share in Indiana' New Road-Building Plan (Indianapolis Star - United States) In Salem, Mayor Judy Chastain continues to press officials to build a bypass around downtown, which is clogged with trucks hauling goods and cargo from southwestern Indiana to nearby I-65. The bypass, Chastain said, has been debated ever since she graduated from the local high school in 1960. A shake-up of the road budget might, at last, put the project in the mix. Or push it back even further. "We have a lot of traffic congestion for a small town," said Chastain, 62. Full Story
8-5?-05 Scott Shasteen Wins Spot As One of Three New Alderman (Tullahoma News and Guardian - Tullahoma, TN) Mrs. Bowling...recorded 1,952 unofficial votes while C. Scott Shasteen finished second with 1,767 and incumbent Richard Darden finished third with 1,322 votes to remain at his position. Also in the race were Mark Houston with 1,071 votes, John Berry with 817, Derick Mann with 582 and Bobby Wines 326...Shasteen, who had run unsuccessfully two years ago, losing his alderman bid by fewer than 100 votes, said he’s glad the experience he’s gained about campaigning in the meantime has paid off. "It’s so different than the first time," he said, referring to his campaign effort. "You just learn so much through your first campaign." Full Story
8-4-05 Tom Chasteen Votes With Commissioners Against Mass Grading (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Subdivision developers will no longer be able to flatten tracts of land into fields of red earth after Athens-Clarke commissioners passed a law Tuesday night banning the practice, known as mass grading...You have total agreement around the community," Chasteen said. "The general public wants to see mass grading stopped." The ordinance requires developers to grade land for roads and utilities first, then for each lot individually. Full Story
8-2-05 Commission Moves New Equestrian Center Forward (North County Times - Escondido, CA) A new equestrian center and road improvements at the intersection of Twin Oaks Valley and Deer Springs roads cleared the last major hurdle Monday with the hotly debated annexation of about 25 acres into the city...The commission denied the original project plans, submitted in 2003, to allow up to 197 horses and 95 dogs at the site because of concerns about noise, traffic and pollution. But developer Gabriel Castano decided to abandon his plans for a doggy day-care facility on the site and reduce the number of horses by 20 percent to 158. The horse facility will be located on 19 acres of the property, which means there will be about 8.3 horses per acre, and the average for such facilities around the county is about 9.7. Full Story
7-14-05 Bob Castagna Says Religious Institution Amendment to Gay Bill is Inadequate (Catholic Sentinel - Portland, OR) A last-minute amendment meant to placate churches over the hiring and firing of homosexuals is “constitutionally suspect,” says conference director Bob Castagna. According to the amendment, “bona fide churches and sectarian religious institutions” would be exempted from provisions in the bill barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Included are religious schools, shops, shelters and radio stations. Hospitals would not get the exemption under the bill. But precisely what institutions and what activities are covered is not clear and that will cause problems, say Castagna and some lawmakers. Full Story
7-6-05 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Says Road Project is Good First Step (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) Colton City Councilwoman Kelly Chastain also believes the project is only a first step. As a member of the San Bernardino Associated Governments board of directors, Chastain said she will continue to push for a large-scale upgrade of the I-10 interchange in Colton to allow for wider intersections and larger onramps and offramps. "This would help the freeways," Chastain said. "But we need to go further." Full Story
7-5-05 Chattanooga Bullying Alienates Russell Chastain and His Neighbors (WDEF - Chattanooga, TN) Igou Gap neighbors say it's also been one insult after another. Russell Chastain laughed at what the city was willing to pay for his property. "We need fair money for our property, fair market price. That's what the whole squabble is about. It's not them widening the road. It's a dangerous road and it needs done. No one's standing in the way of that." Full Story
7-5-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Votes for Total Smoking Ban (Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Seven commissioners - Charles Carter, Tom Chasteen, Elton Dodson, Kathy Hoard, Carl Jordan, Alice Kinman and States McCarter - voted in favor of the ban, while David Lynn, George Maxwell and Harry Sims voted against it. Full Story
7-3-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Says Smoking Ban Incompatible With State Law (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) A proposal for a stronger 24-hour ban on indoor public smoking, which commissioners will vote on Tuesday, has reignited last summer's battle over property rights, health and public safety. This time, though, county officials have little choice - the current partial ban is simply incompatible with a new 24-hour statewide ban, they say..."We've got to scrap the current ordinance because we've got to come into compliance with the state law," Commissioner Tom Chasteen said. Full Story
6-29-05 Tom Chasteen Announces Run for Mayor (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens-Clarke Commissioner Tom Chasteen said Wednesday he will run for mayor, which potentially sets two commissioners against each other and leaves two lame-duck seats on the commission for more than a year...Chasteen's announcement means two official candidates are vying for mayor more than a year before the election. Charlie Maddox, a state Department of Labor official who also serves on several local government boards, said two weeks ago that he would run. Full Story
6-16-05 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Submits Priority Projects for Next Year (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) Third District Councilwoman Kelly Chastain's priorities include completing a bike path along Colton Avenue; adding trees, lights and monument signs on Mount Vernon Avenue; and creating a pocket park with parking and a walkway next to Lincoln Elementary School..."These projects will help enrich the lives of our citizens and their quality of life,' Chastain said. Full Story
6-13-05 Roger Chastain Opposes CAFTA (Carolina - Greenville, SC) "This bill is one of the worst I've seen come down the pipe and I've only been in this business for 42 years," Mount Vernon Mills CEO Roger Chastain said. Under current trade law, fabric is often made in the United States, then sent overseas to be made into clothing and apparel. If the clothing made from U.S. fabric is reimported to the U.S., it can return tariff-free. Under CAFTA, any nation in the agreement could avoid tariffs on their clothing sent to the U.S., even if the fabric isn't made in the U.S..."Every yard of fabric that comes out of those countries under the exceptions to the rules of origin will take away yards that we run," he said. Full Story
6-10-05 Jason Chastain Leads Effort Against Construction in Neighborhood (Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, MO) Boone County resident Jason Chastain is leading a petition effort against the construction of 10 two-family rental homes on the south side of the road within Columbia’s city limits...Chastain has submitted a petition with 31 signatures, now awaiting validation by the Columbia Planning and Development Department. A valid petition would require two-thirds of the council to approve the plan, instead of half. If the petition contains signatures by owners of 30 percent of the land within 185 feet of the proposed development, the council cannot approve the plan with fewer than five votes. Neighbors spoke last night against the development proposal at a Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, citing concerns of increased traffic on narrow roads. The commission voted to recommend denial of the plan to the council. Full Story
6-8-05 Robert Castagna Says Catholic Leaders Oppose Oregon Civil Union Bill (Salem Statesman Journal - Salem, OR) Oregon Catholic leaders also oppose civil unions, on the grounds that they will weaken the family structure and set a bad example for children, said Robert Castagna, the executive director of the Oregon Catholic Conference. "Marriage between one man and one woman will no longer be held up as society's preferred institution to conceive and raise children," he said, reading from a letter issued by Catholic bishops. Full Story
6-8-05 Saro Castagna Wary of Islington Council Efforts (Islington Gazette - London, England, UK) The panel charged with helping local businesses will investigate what the council can do to support local shops and how 24-hour licensing may create problems for shopkeepers. But chairman of the Essex Road Traders' Association Saro Castagna said: "I'm confused as to how they think they can help us after slaughtering us for four years with their parking policy. "But I'll be happy to work with them to see how small independent businesses can be helped. Full Story
6-5-05 Kelly Chastain Supports Colton Bike Path (San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino, CA) Councilwoman Kelly Chastain said the bike path will provide multiple benefits for residents. Chastain hopes the city can secure additional funds to provide amenities such as playground equipment, benches and drinking fountains along the path. Chastain said her goal is to eventually link the path to the Santa Ana River Trail that is anticipated to run from the mountains to the ocean. "We're in the home stretch,' Chastain said. "I think we've finally overcome all the hurdles. I'm really excited about it. It's been a long time coming.' Full Story
6-2-05 Cobb Libertarian Party Chairman David Chastain Opposes Sales Tax Increase (Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription) - GA) Facing pockets of voter resistance, Cobb County commissioners are moving toward a fall vote on a six-year, $826 million sales tax increase for transportation and safety improvements...Cobb Libertarian Party Chairman David Chastain also opposes the sales tax increase because, he said, the projects could drain general fund dollars. County officials have been unable to tell him how much the new facilities will cost to operate once they're completed, Chastain said. And he's concerned that officials will have to raise property taxes in order to operate and maintain the new facilities. Full Story
5-29-05 Clay Chastain Leaves Kansas City Again (Kansas City Star - MO) "I've never said what I'm saying now," Chastain says. "I'm saying that I'm going to be bowing out as a community activist in Kansas City. Without anybody coming to support me, I'm sounding like the Lone Ranger again. "To be sure, though, Chastain's critics have been vocal and many, but his supporters have numbered in the 40 percent range on ballot initiatives. Past Chastain efforts have resulted in preserving parts of Union Station and backed even by The Star's editorial board..."You look at St. Louis with their light-rail system, and they're eating our lunch," Chastain says. "And nobody (here) seems to care." Full Story
5-20-05 Clay Chastain Convinced to Dump Independent Plan to Join Another Team (Kansas City Star - MO) Speaking of my fellow civic activist, Mr. Chastain. He called to say he’s abandoning his latest light-rail petition drive, which he announced only last week in an “As I See It” piece on the editorial page of this newspaper. Why’d he cave so quickly? Chastain says that former Kansas City mayor and now state Sen. Charles Wheeler convinced him that a metro-wide transit plan made more sense than a light rail limited to KayceeMo, as Chastain had proposed. True, it does make more sense. And you can also be sure that those working toward a transit-specific bistate tax plan are ecstatic to learn of their new ally. Full Story
5-19-05 Clay Chastain Returns to Kansas City With Familiar Agenda (Kansas City Star - MO) Clay Chastain is challenging the Kansas City area to fight rising oil costs by building a $2.75 billion light-rail system. Chastain said Wednesday he was dropping the petition drive he announced earlier this month and pushing instead for a quarter-cent, bistate tax for 20 years to be supplemented by federal and state funds. Full Story
5-17-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Opposes Bike Lane Plan (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens-Clarke commissioners are ready to nix plans for bicycle lanes on South Milledge Avenue that could cost the county millions of dollars for land or maintenance...At least five commissioners - McCarter, Kathy Hoard, Tom Chasteen, Charles Carter and Harry Sims - suggested last week they oppose taking the avenues from the state...The money would be better spent on buses, sidewalks or less-expensive bike lanes on other streets, such as College Station Road, Chasteen and Hoard said. Full Story
5-15-05 Tom Chasteen Considers Three Political Options for Office (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Chasteen is considering throwing his hat in the ring for state senate, after incumbent state Sen. Brian Kemp, R-Athens, announced Thursday he would run for state agriculture commissioner. "I'm considering three things right now," Chasteen said. "Running for my current seat, which I've held for a long time (14 years), running for mayor, or running for Senate." Local elections will be non-partisan beginning in 2006, but Chasteen said if he ran for state office it would be as a Democrat. Full Story
5-10-05 Dick Chastain Replaces Deceased Councilman (Crawfordsville Journal Review - Crawfordsville, IN) A retired Indiana National Guard Major General is Montgomery County’s newest councilman. Richard “Dick” Chastain replaces Charles Bunnell, who died in April after a battle with cancer. The remaining term runs through 2006. Full Story
5-7-05 Mayor and Commissioner Tom Chasteen Unhappy with Independent Judge (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Giese's Thursday ruling declared unconstitutional a portion of the "definition of family" ordinance that allows no more than four unrelated people to live together in areas zoned for multi-family residential use. Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Tom Chasteen pronounced himself "very surprised" at the ruling, adding that Giese is "fully aware of the dynamics surrounding her appointment." That last comment is a decidedly less than artful way of suggesting Giese should know she was appointed to the bench because commissioners and county government staff had come to believe her predecessor, Ethelyn Simpson, had not been sufficiently tough on some local ordinance violations. Full Story
5-6-05 Judge's Ruling Surprises Commissioner Tom Chasteen (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) Athens-Clarke Municipal Court Judge Kay Giese struck down a portion of a local law Thursday that allows no more than four unrelated people to live together...The judge's decision came as a surprise to Athens-Clarke Commissioner Tom Chasteen, who said he expected Giese to uphold county ordinances. "I'm very surprised that our new judge has ruled in that way," Chasteen said. "Certainly, the judge is fully aware of the dynamics surrounding her appointment." Athens-Clarke Mayor Heidi Davison and commissioners appointed Giese for a three-month term in March to replace former Municipal Court Judge Ethelyn Simpson after county officials said Simpson required too much proof for convictions and handed down lenient sentences. Full Story
5-2-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Thinks Total Smoking Ban Will Pass (Red and Black) ACC commissioners Carl Jordan and Tom Chasteen said Sunday they believe the commission will pass an all-out ban on indoor smoking over the summer that would be in place by the start of fall semester...Chasteen said if the commission voted on the ban today, he believes it would pass seven to three votes..."Virtually everywhere I go, individuals are indicating they want that to happen," Chasteen said...Chasteen also dismissed the idea that businesses in ACC would lose clientele to nearby counties if the county enacted a comprehensive ban. "People won't drive any distance at all to go to a place where they can smoke," Chasteen said. Full Story
5-2-05 Board President Jim Chastain Involved in Bandera County River Authority Fight (San Antonio Express (subscription) - San Antonio, TX) Hannah said Board President Jim Chastain threatened him after learning that Hannah had independently sought an opinion on whether members who are drillers, contractors or developers have potential conflicts. "He said, 'If what you have written in this letter affects my business, you won't live long in this county,'" Hannah recalled Chastain, a contractor, saying. Chastain didn't dispute the account, but said: "I don't think I threatened him. I was so mad I don't remember what I said." County Attorney Kerry Schneider declined to prosecute Chastain because the alleged remark lacked the prospect of imminent harm needed to constitute a terroristic threat. Full Story
4-23-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen May Run Against Mayor in 2006 (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) The name most often mentioned is Commissioner Tom Chasteen's. Chasteen, a "super district" representative in the middle of his fourth term, says he has been approached about running, but hasn't decided if he will. "I've definitely not decided what I'm going to do," he said. Full Story
4-8-05 Jennifer Chasteen Still Has Concerns Over Ichetucknee Springs (Gainesville Sun - Gainesville, FL) One year after Columbia County commissioners rejected a proposal to open a former limerock mine near Ichetucknee Springs to off-road vehicle use, officials in Tallahassee are now looking to convert the 657-acre property into a multi-use recreation facility. Jennifer Chasteen, a Kirby family descendant who represented area residents opposed to the original ATV park plan, said the new proposal addresses some, though not all, of the group's original concerns. The state's mandate "is to protect the water source that runs under there," Chasteen said of the site's proximity to the springs. "We're pleased with the non-motorized approach that (Greenways and Trails) is taking. It's a softer, gentler approach. We feel like they are heading in the right direction. Full Story
4-1-05 Jennifer Chasteen Concerned Over Kirby Mine Pit Plans (Lake City Reporter - Lake City, FL) State officials plan to turn the 659-acre site, formerly known as the Kirby Pit area, into a recreation area where off-road bicycling, fishing, hiking, picnicking, dive training and environmental education opportunities will be available. Officials have also suggested having BMX motocross racing in the area, which has drawn some concern...Jennifer Chasteen, chairwoman of Friends of Kirby Pit, expressed concerns with some of the proposed uses of the planned recreation area. "Our top concerns are acceptable access points, water protection and waste disposal," she said. "Adjoining residents have also expressed opposition to the BMX motocross and camping and are concerned with how those activities will affect the surrounding residents and community." Chasteen said she didn't believe all the concerns have been adequately addressed at this point in the planning process. Full Story
3-31-05 Kelly Chastain's Bicycle Path Becomes Reality (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) "It's kind of been an upward struggle to get this thing to come to fruition," said Colton Councilwoman Kelly Chastain, who has lobbied for grants for the path since being elected to her first term in 1996. After San Bernardino Associated Governments, the county's transportation authority, rejected a funding request for the project, it was expanded to include San Bernardino. It was rejected again, but Chastain and San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles, both SANBAG board members, kept pushing. Full Story
3-31-05 OCC Director Bob Castagna Addresses Abortion (Catholic Sentinel - Portland, OR) At the Oregon Capitol on Holy Thursday, the Oregon Catholic Conference spoke up for the unborn. “The conference advocates for a consistent ethic of life,” executive director Bob Castagna wrote for the hearing that took up four abortion-related bills. “The inviolability of human life from conception until natural death is the central value around which Catholic social teaching is constructed.”...“Parents have a moral responsibility for their children and an essential part of that responsibility is to assist them in critical life decisions, especially one as important and as irreversible as having an abortion,” Castagna wrote. “There are spiritual, physical, emotional and family consequences to an abortion. Denying parents the right to know about an abortion about to be performed on their daughter is to interfere in the most sacred of family relationships.” Full Story
3-20-05 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Opposes Restrictions on Endangered Fly (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) "Stupefying" is how columnist Michael Crowley put the Fish and Wildlife's efforts to protect the fly, which was added to the endangered species list in 1993 and is known to appear for only a few days of breeding every summer before dying. All the focus on the issue can only help the city finally build on some of the 500 acres of land protected for the fly, officials said...The city's annual lobbying trip to Washington next month will have an extra focus on the fly, according to Councilwoman Kelly Chastain. Chastain said officials will try to appeal to the Fish and Wildlife Service's supervising department, the Department of the Interior, since the last few years of negotiations to strike a balance between development and preservation have stalled. Destruction of the fly's habitat could start a chain reaction, wiping out many more species that rely on it, said Greg Ballmer, a UC Riverside research associate and entomologist who helped get the fly endangered status. Full Story
3-16-05 Karen Chasteen Selected as County Democratic Party Co-chair (Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN) Wayne County Democrats last week selected Sally Hutton and Karen Chasteen as party co-chairwomen for 2005. Hutton has been party chairwoman for eight years. She served for 18 years on the Richmond Common Council before being elected mayor in 2003. Chasteen was elected Richmond City Clerk in 2003. Full Story
3-15-05 Nicholas M. Castagna Promotes Sewer Hook Up Rate Change (Westerly Sun - Westerly, RI) Robert Mandes called the ordinance unfair and in conflict with the town charter. Councilor Christopher A. Duhamel called for continuing the matter. But Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna called upon his fellow councilors to pass the ordinance. And they did, with the exception of Duhamel and Councilor Caswell Cooke Jr. Full Story
3-11-05 Nicholas M. Castagna Announces New Building Committee Openings (Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence, RI) The council is seeking five people for each committee, but if there are many qualified applicants, the numbers could go up to seven, Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna said. Each committee will have a council member, Hartford said. Police Chief Edward Mello will sit on one committee and Public Works Supt. Peter A. Chiaradio will sit on the other, he said. Members from the public will occupy the remaining seats...Castagna said the council is looking for people with experience in construction and finances. Full Story
2-23-05 Director Files Complaint Against President Jim Chastain for Threatening His Life (The Bandera Bulletin - Bandera, TX) Director Jim Hannah has filed a complaint against Board President Jim Chastain for threatening his life. After the meeting, Chastain said, "If you continue to do things like this, you won't live long in this county."..."I'm taking this threat seriously and I'm tired of seeing people intimidated," Hannah said. "We need people to get involved in local government and they're not going to as long as we have this sort of bully-boy thing going on." Full Story
2-7-05 Clay Chastain Frustrated in Athens (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) The “former” Kansas City community activist and his wife, Valerie, have lived in Athens for three-plus years. How much longer, though, is hard telling. “You want to know if I'm as frustrated here as I was in Kansas City,” Chastain said the other day. “Yes, I am. It's Phase II of my frustration saga.” Full Story
2-4-05 Marsha Chastain Appointed Democratic Committee Chairman (Huntington Herald Dispatch - Huntington, WV) Council unanimously accepted the resignation of Democratic Committee member Betty Testerman, due to a recent illness. They appointed committee member Marsha Chastain to Testerman’s chairman post... Council unanimously approved appointing Chastain and Republican Pat Townsend as ballot commissioners for the upcoming municipal election. Council also unanimously approved Democrats Chastain, Ellerbrock and Alternate Clinton Ray, along with Republicans Townsend, Mary Ellen Jordan and Alternate Larry Townsend to serve on a committee to check petitions for the election. Full Story
2-1-05 Council VP Nicholas Castagna Favors Demolition Over Housing (Westerly Sun - Westerly, RI) "I think (converting the administration building into affordable housing) could have been a good idea but it's come too late," Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna said, adding that he would not support placing residential development in the middle of "a campus plan." Councilor Christopher A. Duhamel, a member of the committee that is overseeing the school construction projects, agreed with Castagna. But perhaps the building could be moved to another town-owned site, he suggested. Full Story
1-31-05 Tennessee Historical Commission Coordinator Kevin Chastine Assists Tullahoma ( - Tullahoma, TN) Kevin Chastine, Tennessee Historical Commission certified local government coordinator, previously said the historic commission is on the right track with its effort, and it needs to let the public know about its plans through public meetings, the media and the local school system. He said students in such events as drawing contests could serve as a strong advocate to promote Tullahoma's past through the designated districts. "It's the whole community working toward it," Chastine said, referring to designating and promoting the districts. He said grant money may also be available to help promote Tullahoma's historic offerings. Full Story
1-30-05 City Council President Chris Castagno Praises Harley-Davidson Concept (TheDay - New London, CT) “It's one of the most unique retailing concepts that I've seen in America,” said Chris Castagno, president of the New Castle City Council... “I see nothing but positive for New Castle and our area,” said Castagno, the city council president. “The (property) has been completely remade over the last five years, and the image is very high-end and probably one of the world's most respected brands.” Full Story
1-26-05 Councilwoman Kelly Chastain Determined to Save Land for Park (Press-Enterprise (subscription) - Riverside, CA) Colton City Councilwoman Kelly Chastain said she was appalled and saddened that the county's plans for a regional park in Colton fell through. "If we have to," she said, "we will go the eminent-domain route." Eminent domain, if granted, would allow the city to buy this property for public use. Full Story
1-23-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Pessimistic on Clear-cutting (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) As Georgia's smallest land-mass county, Athens-Clarke cannot afford to endure much more clear-cutting development. Travel practically anywhere in Athens-Clarke, and large swaths of red clay cleared of all vegetation bear the marks of mass grading, uninhibited by current ordinances... We respectfully disagree with Commissioner Tom Chasteen's recent comments to the effect that there doesn't seem to be much the county can do to prevent clear-cutting, and suggest commissioners look to places like Fulton and Gwinnett counties, which have adopted progressive tree protection laws. Full Story
1-21-05 Kathy Castania Protests at President's Inaugural (The NewStandard - Syracuse, NY) Rochester, NY residents Kathy Castania and Peter Debes both said they were generally happy with the day’s events. Additionally, Castania said it was important for people to be in the streets protesting consistently. Both said they have attended demonstrations regularly since Bush took office, and they hope the anti-war movement grows as strong as it became during the US invasion and bombing of Vietnam. "It feels like we need to be doing things like this," Castania said. "It keeps the momentum up. We need to create chaos in the streets, just like we did during the Vietnam War." Full Story
1-20-05 Bud Chasteen Outspent Almost 300% by Rival in Sheriff's Race (Port Clinton News Herald - Port Clinton, OH) Sheriff's winner Bob Bratton spent $7,956 more than opponent Rocky Ridge Police Chief Bud Chasteen, according to campaign finance reports. Bratton spent $11,233...Bratton paid $4,900 of his own money into his campaign, and received a $1,000 donation from Mark Putnam, a former Ottawa County Sheriff's chief deputy. The biggest campaign costs were $2,829 for signs and $1,290 for advertisements in the News Herald, reports show... Bratton said he is already planning for his re-election campaign in 2008 because Chasteen has said he plans to run again. Chasteen, an independent, spent $3,277 for his campaign, with chicken dinners for a fund-raiser being among his biggest expense at $820, reports show. Chasteen's in-kind donations included rent for his election headquarters, a $1,400 cost, and $975 for signs and billboards, reports show. Full Story
1-19-04 Clay Chastain Abandons Theater for New Plan (Daily Post Athenian - Athens, TN) After abandoning his idea for a taxpayer-funded theater in Downtown Athens, Clay Chastain has a new, three-part plan that involves creating a farmer's market and concert park, a new aquatic center at the city's Regional Park and developing a green belt area along Ingleside Avenue. Chastain, who said he's a “community activist” and not a developer, pitched his proposal to the Athens City Council Tuesday evening. Full Story
1-15-05 Morris Chestang Defends Polk County Opportunity Council (The Ledger - Lakeland, FL) Morris Chestang, the board treasurer, said he could not recall approving the contracts. "At some meetings we are presented with a stack of contracts," said Chestang, who defended Speed. "She is doing a wonderful job and hasn't done anything wrong," Chestang said. "I don't see any problems." Chestang said there is a concerted effort in the county to shut down the agency. "The hardest thing on the planet right now is to find someone to say something good about PCOC," Chestang said. Full Story
1-9-05 Wendy Castagno Collects Petitions to Kill Annexation (Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, MO) As Wendy Castagno dropped the words "your tax dollars going," Kathy Jones was reaching for a pen to sign a petition that opposes developer Billy Sapp’s annexation request to Columbia... Sapp is trying to annex into the city 965 acres, where he wants to build 1,859 homes, a golf course and commercial buildings... The neighborhood group Harg Area for Responsible Growth, or HARG, has been circulating the petition. The group needs 2 percent of "qualified" Columbia voters to kill a voluntary annexation. Full Story
1-8-05 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Willing to Consider Change in Commission (Athens Banner-Herald (subscription) - Athens, GA) McCarter asked the commission to reconsider the structure put in place at unification - eight zoned commission districts, each with a slice of the former county and city, along with two super districts that each encompass four smaller districts... "I am open to looking into that situation," said super district Commissioner Tom Chasteen, admitting that he thinks the current make up is best. "I know why the writers of the charter fixed on this system, but I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to validate that." Full Story
1-7-05 Board Delays Demolition Permit for Chasteen Street Home Damaged by Charley (Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Sarasota, FL) The city's Historic Preservation Advisory Board, which can temporarily delay demolition permits for houses 50 years or older, also unanimously approved permit requests for three other buildings. Board member James "Mickey" Bobo said the extensive damage to the buildings made the decision easy...But the board wavered on two additional requests: a 1940 home at 351 Chasteen Street and the Herald building, a concrete brick structure at 216 Taylor Street that was built in 1913. Ultimately, the board recommended delaying their demolition until it could review structural engineering reports. The permit request can be put on hold up to 45 days, as the board investigates ways to save the structure. The Chasteen Street home, a pale yellow house with green shutters, seemed to hold sentimental value for the board members. Full Story
1-3-05 Republican Chris Castagno Defeated in County Executive Race (The News Journal - Wilmington, DE) More than two months after winning the election for New Castle County executive, Chris Coons will be sworn in on Tuesday...Coons is succeeding County Executive Tom Gordon, who could not run for re-election because of a two-term limit. Coons, a Democrat, defeated Republican Chris Castagno to win the $115,468-a-year job. Full Story
12-29-04 Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna Favors Separate Board (Westerly Sun - Westerly, RI) The council voted 5-0 in favor of placing the licensing question before voters at a March 1 special election in hopes of letting the public settle the issue that has divided councilors and stirred political debate for more than five years. The referendum will ask whether voters wish to revise the town charter to create a separate board. "I feel strongly that we should have a separate Licensing Board," Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna said, "and this issue won't be resolved until we let the people decide." Full Story
12-22-04 Athens Mayor and Council Members Oppose Clay Chastain's Tax Increase (Daily Post Athenian - Athens, TN) Chastain is aware of the city’s stance against a tax increase, but he staunchly stands by his plan for a referendum. Under his plan, the sales tax would increase from nine cents on the dollar to 9.25 cents for a five-year period...Chastain also fears City Council members are following the anti-tax sentiment of many city residents. “They are the leaders of this town,” Chastain said of the Council. “Leaders are supposed to lead, not follow. Leaders are supposed to decide what is best for the town. It’s not what the town thinks is best.” Full Story
12-20-04 Nicholas Castagna Urges Passage of Referendum to Build Police Station and Garage (Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence, RI) Council Vice President Nicholas M. Castagna said the figures came in a lot higher than he expected, but added that construction costs have skyrocketed. "It is important to pass it now," Castagna said. "If we wait five years, the cost would escalate even more." Full Story
12-18-04 No Florida Trash in Chastang ( - Birmingham, AL) Two Mobile County commissioners want to see if the Chastang landfill can accept storm waste from the Pensacola area, potentially bringing in tens of thousands of dollars to help offset local hurricane cleanup costs. But Commissioner Sam Jones remains opposed to the idea, saying allowing out-of-state garbage could result in Mobile County becoming "the dumping ground for the whole country, maybe even the whole world." Full Story
12-14-04 Controversy Surrounds Florida Garbage at Chastang Landfill ( - Mobile, AL) A request by Waste Management Inc. to take hurricane-related trash from Florida at its Chastang landfill was derided Monday by Mobile Commissioner Sam Jones. Full Story
12-8-04 Clay Chastain Plan Conflicts With Council for the Arts Plan (Daily Post Athenian - Athens, TN) Clay Chastain . . . recently launched a petition drive asking residents to support a sales tax hike to fund a $5 million project to rebuild the defunct Strand Theater. Meanwhile, the Athens Area Council for the Arts is in the midst of a $700,000 funding drive for a smaller theatrical venue to be located on Jackson Street. Full Story
12-7-04 Kansas City Activist Clay Chastain Emerges in Athens, Tennessee (Daily Post Athenian - Athens, TN) Clay Chastain has mounted a petition drive asking for a city sales tax increase to resurrect the defunct Strand theater on an existing parking lot in downtown Athens. Possible Dead Link Full Story
12-7-04 Dick Shasteen Retires from Beatrice City Council After Six Years (Beatrice Daily Sun - Beatrice, NE) Shasteen's tenure on the council began in 1998, when his friend John Bartels was elected mayor, leaving an empty seat. Shasteen said he decided to run for Bartels' seat because he wanted to give back to the community. Beatrice has been good to him and his wife since they moved here from Lincoln in 1969, he said. Full Story
11-24-04 Charlotte Shasteen Announces Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Funding (Arkansas Democrat Gazette - AR, USA) Charlotte Shasteen, legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., said the airport was listed in the bill but did not receive a specific amount. She said this puts the airport at the top of the priority list for discretionary money controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration. Full Story
11-5-04 Suit Filed Over Chairman Jim Chastain's Outrageous Action in Public Meeting (San Antonio Express (subscription) - San Antonio, TX, USA) A tape of the meeting shows water district Board Chairman Jim Chastain accused critics of "slamming us with lie after lie after lie." He then began critiquing ... Full Story
11-3-04 Maryland Constitution Party Vice Chairman Mike Chastain Hosts Celebration (U.S. Newswire (press release) - Washington, DC, USA) "Last night, we had a wonderful 'Victory Celebration' hosted by the Maryland Constitution Party vice chairman, Mike Chastain, and featuring presentations by ... Full Story
11-3-04 Chief Bud Chasteen Loses Race for Sheriff (Toledo Blade - Toledo, OH, USA) ... voted yesterday to replace longtime Sheriff Craig Emahiser with his chief deputy, giving Democrat Bob Bratton an easy victory over Independent Bud Chasteen. ... Full Story
10-27-04 Libertarian Bud Shasteen runs for Legislative District (Seattle Times - Seattle, WA, USA) Also running for Position 1 is Libertarian Bud Shasteen, a retired general contractor. Shasteen couldn't be reached for comment, but ... Full Story
10-25-04 Sheriff Candidate Bud Chasteen Outlines Plan of Action for Sheriff's Office (Port Clinton News Herald - Port Clinton, OH, USA) He is critical of his opponent, Rocky Ridge Police Chief Bud Chasteen, an independent, for suggesting numerous programs that would be funded through grants and ... Full Story
10-21-04 Dick Shasteen Retiring From Beatrice City Council Wards 1 and 3 see contested City Council races (Beatrice Daily Sun - Beatrice, NE) >>Alan Fetty, who served as Ward IV councilman for 16 years, is running uncontested for the 2nd Ward seat being vacated by Dick Shasteen, who is retiring. ... Full Story
10-21-04 Councilman Dick Shasteen Supports Humane Society Funds Beatrice Plus funds go to computers (Beatrice Daily Sun - Beatrice, NE) >>... Councilman Dick Shasteen said he thought the society did a lot of good for Beatrice, and he would like to see the council proceed with the approval of the funds ... Full Story
10-14-04 Sheriff Candidate Bud Chasteen Speaks at Campaign Fund Raiser Picnic Chasteen plans picnic fund-raiser (Port Clinton News Herald - Port Clinton, OH) >>The Elect Bud Chasteen for Ottawa County Sheriff committee will have a Halloween family picnic from 11 am to 2 pm Sunday, Oct. 17 ... Full Story
10-13?-04 Gantt Council Shenanigans Deter Betty Chastain From Clerk Job Meeting adjourned (Andalusia Star-News - Andalusia, AL) >>... Betty Chastain, the person Mayor Glidewell named as clerk Monday evening, says that all of this controversy has most likely deterred her from taking the job ... Full Story
10-7-04 Chairman Jim Chastain Thinks Study Money Could Be Better Spent Medina Lake study pondered (The Bandera Bulletin - Bandera, TX) >>... Though not opposed to a study, BCRAGD Chairman of the Board Jim Chastain questioned how the money could be generated and said whatever money could be generated ... Full Story
10-6-04 President Jim Chastain Wants Estimate Before Funding Water Study Water district approves budget (The Bandera Bulletin - Bandera, TX) >>... Board President Jim Chastain said the county should approve a resolution authorizing a study and cost estimate should be worked up before Certificates of ... Full Story
10-5-04 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Conflicted on Proposed Cruising Ordinance Cruising ordinance could be softened (Red and Black - USA) >>... out. "I'm basically 50-50 on whether to do it or not," said District 9 commissioner Tom Chasteen after learning of the new version. ... Full Story
10-5-04 Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain Wins Award at Conference Community gets award for work on playground (Times-Mail - Bedford, IN) >>Mitchell Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain, along with Bedford Mayor Joe Klumpp and others, attended the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns meeting last week ... Full Story
10-1-04 A. L. Shasteen Involved In Chicken House Controversy Chicken Houses Commission Topic (Winchester Herald Chronicle - Winchester, TN) >>The planning commission chairman, Tom Orr, requested that commissioners AL Shasteen and Sue Hill, who are members of the planning commission, take the request ... Full Story
10-1-04 Tara Shasteen Impressed With Kerry's Debating Democrats: Kerry won the debate 'hand-down' (Chillicothe Gazette - Chillicothe, OH) >>... President Bush.". Tara Shasteen, of Chillicothe, was impressed by Kerry's preparedness on the issues, especially the war in Iraq. Kerry's ... Full Story
9-30-04 Candidate Bud Chasteen Has Less Law Enforcement but More Business Candidates for sheriff emphasize experience Top deputy, police ... (Toledo Blade - Toledo, OH) >>... the sheriff's chief deputy, points to a 27-year law enforcement career as the reason voters should choose him over Independent Bud Chasteen, police chief of ... Possible Dead Link Full Story
9-30-04 Chataignier Involved in Recreation District Proposal Controversy Evangeline Parish officials create recreation district (Opelousas Daily World - Opelousas, LA) >>... Ville Platte be excluded. That area includes Point Blue, Belaire Cove, L'Anse Aux Pailles and Chataignier. Manuel said, "I have ... Possible Dead Link Full Story
9-16-04 Bud Chasteen Enters Sheriff's Race CHASTEEN opens campaign headquarters (Port Clinton News Herald - Port Clinton, OH) >>The Elect Bud Chasteen Ottawa County Sheriff Committee has announced the opening of its campaign headquarters at 107 N. Locust St., Oak Harbor. ... Full Story
8-11-04 Director of Elections Kathie Chastain Cooper Prepares for Runoff (Winston Salem Journal - Winston-Salem, NC) >>By Michael Hewlett. Kathie Chastain Cooper, the director of the Forsyth County Board of Elections, is running out of time in preparing for a runoff Tuesday. ... Full Story
8-10-04 Councilman Dick Shasteen Says Too Soon for Carnegie Bond Issue (Beatrice Daily Sun - Beatrice, NE) >>Councilman Dick Shasteen agreed that putting the issue on the November ballot would not give anyone enough time to organize. Full Story
8-8-04 Dinner Chairwoman Karen Chasteen Excited about Governor Kernan Visit (Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN) >>"We're all extremely excited," said Richmond City Clerk Karen Chasteen, the dinner's chairwoman. "I think it shows how important he thinks this election is. ... Full Story
7-29-04 Clay Chastain Says “Little Guy” Being Disenfranchised (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Republican congressional candidate Clay Chastain said Wednesday that the "little guy" is being disenfranchised in American politics. ... Full Story
7-28-04 Robert Chasteen Wins Race for Superior Court Judge (Macon Telegraph - Macon, GA) >>In the nonpartisan race for one of two Superior Court judge positions in the Cordele circuit, candidate Chris Hughes lost to attorney Robert Chasteen by 65 votes... Full Story
7-27-04 Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain Discusses Coming Business Boom (Times-Mail - Bedford, IN) >>And that, according to Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain, is what the city is banking on. "I think it's going to build up more," Chastain said. ... Full Story
7-22-04 A. E. Shasteen Weighs in at Cooke County Democratic Club (Gainesville Daily Register - Gainesville, TX) >>AE Shasteen, who also gave a brief report of the Texas Democratic Party Convention, said he believes Edwards will be a boon to the Kerry campaign. Full Story
7-22-04 Clay Chastain and Other Candidates Speak on Issues (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Six candidates - Democrats Jamie Metzl and Emanuel Cleaver, Libertarian Rick Bailie and Republicans Clay Chastain, Jeanne Patterson and Annalisa Zapien-Pina ... Full Story
7-20-04 Clay Chastain at 10% With 60% Undecided ( >>Patterson leads the field with 15 percent of the voters. Steve Dennis ... 11 percent, Clay Chastain has 10 percent ... 60 percent of voters in the survey are undecided. Full Story
7-20-04 Clay Chastain Represents Little Guy (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Clay Chastain, a Republican challenger in the 5th Congressional District race, appeared Monday near the City Hall statue of Abraham Lincoln to invoke Lincoln's ... Full Story
7-15-04 High Court Keeps Bud Chasteen on Fall Ballot (Port Clinton News Herald - Port Clinton, OH) >>The Ohio Supreme Court has dismissed an objection that would have stopped Rocky Ridge Police Chief Bud Chasteen from running for Ottawa County ... Full Story
7-11-04 Clay Chastain Has Plan for Union Station (Kansas City Star) CHASTAIN says he has a plan for Union Station >>Clay Chastain, perennial defender of Union Station, wants to add a hub for commuter rail and streetcars to Kansas City's restored train station. Full Story
7-9-04 Amy Chastain Opposes Nevada Brothels (Lahontan Valley News) Lawsuit filed against anti-brothel petition >>Earl, Venturacci and petition circulators Daniel Fitch, Mitchell Bryant, Carey R. Perazzo and Amy Chastain are named as defendants in the complaint. Full Story
7-8-04 More Views from Clay Chastain (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Emanuel Cleaver and Jamie Metzl joined Republican candidates Jeanne Patterson, Annalisa Zapien-Pina and Clay Chastain and Libertarian Rick Bailey in a forum ... Full Story
7-8-04 Clay Chastain Expresses Views at Forum (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Candidates Annalisa Zapien-Pina and Clay Chastain said they opposed the amendment, while Jeanne Patterson said she supported it. ... Full Story
7-3-04 Clay Chastain to Attend Forum (Kansas City Star (subscription) - Kansas City, MO) >>Hopefuls Jamie Metzl and Emanuel Cleaver will attend, along with Republicans Jeanne Patterson, Annalisa Zapien-Pina and Clay Chastain and Libertarian Rick ... Full Story
6-29-04 Getting Rid of Jackass Clay Chastain (Dispatch Tribune Newspapers) The Tapes published in The Wednesday >>Editor: I think I’ve finally found a way to get rid of Clay Chastain. There’s an old law on the books in Kansas City that states “he can not be a jackass riding a horse backwards on the streets of downtown Kansas City.” Possible Dead Link Full Story
6-29-04 Clay Chastain Runs for Congress (By MATT CAMPBELL The Kansas City Star) >>Clay Chastain, the man who crusaded unsuccessfully for transportation issues on numerous Kansas City ballots, . . . Full Story
6-24-04 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Heads Smoking Ban Committee (Red and Black) Ban could curb smoking in downtown >>total ban with some adjustments for encompassing the external areas and sidewalk café areas of businesses," said Commissioner Tom Chasteen Full Story
6-17-04 Commissioner Tom Chasteen Discusses Smoking Ban (Red and Black) Ban lights up controversy >>Commissioner Tom Chasteen, who chairs the smoking ban committee, said last April's public forum on the issue was only for the committee formulating the plan. Full Story
6-15-04 Incumbent Ricky Chastain Faces Democrat for Sheriff ( Several key contested races in Laurens this fall >>LAURENS There won't be any local candidates in Tuesday's primary runoff in Laurens County, but that has diminished interest in a number of key contests that will be decided. Full Story
6-15-04 Bud Chasteen Disqualified from Running for Sheriff? (Port Clinton News Herald) Elections board seeks dismissal of Chasteen case >>COLUMBUS -- The Ottawa County Board of Elections has asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss an objection to their April ruling that Bud Chasteen can run for sheriff in the November election. Full Story Back to Top

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