There was a very interesting meeting last night in East Ridge; it was the candidates forum. The citizens had a chance to address the candidates who would be running for the two council seats this November with their questions via our moderator, Chris Carroll. Six of the candidates attended and one did not show.
I just read where a citizen said that Ann Pruett is caring, concerned and committed. From what I heard last evening, all of the candidates are caring, concerned and committed, and they all want the city to go forward and do well.
The most important question we have as concerned citizens of this city is who is better qualified to fill these two council seats. Are they to be elected because they love children, care for the city, worked under 12 city managers (this is an incorrect number by the way), their husband was a mayor many years ago, unaware of the basic issues of the city and surprised at actual numbers, and encouraged by the present council to run? Or, do we want experienced citizens who have been very active in their community, attended the council meetings, are aware of the critical issues, good and bad, active business leaders, and are not afraid to speak up regarding the solutions to these issues?
It was very evident at the forum who I will be casting my votes for. They were the ones that gave clear and concise answers to the questions, did not have to be coached, did not skate around the actual questions, have no hidden agendas, and are not backed by the old regime.
This election will be very important to the future of this city. We need knowledgeable people to assume these seats. Please think very carefully when you vote as to who is better qualified for these positions and will perform with the energy and enthusiasm that will be needed to get the job done, and move forward for a better East Ridge.
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I agree with this assessment about the forum last night. I would go so far as to say that it was an embarrassment with some of the answers given by one candidate. This was concerning asking the American Legion for economic help to bringing business into East Ridge.
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My thoughts on the East Ridge candidates forum is that:
Marc Gravitt hit a homerun, very strong, stern and articulate in his directions to take East Ridge.
Mimi Lowery was as strong and is very knowledgeable of the budget as well as the overall operation of the city's departments. She has volunteered her time for the citizens for many years.
Patricia Cassidy has good intentions and a good direction. However, after living here 12+ years she should know that the cit
y attorney and the city manager a
re both not making the citizens happy with their arrogance, their excessive pay, and how they treat the citizens
. She gave them way too much credit.
Denny Manning, although
respected by myself and many others, has had eight years to make East Ridge better and I just feel it is time for some fresh new
Stephen King ,after saying in his opening statement that the city asked him to run, tells me that he is only in this election only to divide the votes and he never put
blame on anyone in this administration.
The citizens of East Ridge do not want candidates that have ties to the past or current administration. Period.
John Clemmer was a no show to a very important forum. That tells me if he can't attend this, then he won't be available on other important meetings in office.
Ann Pruett was the most difficult to watch and listen to because she flat out said she lives on a fixed income and can't handle a tax increase but she also documented on her financial contributions to the Election Commission that she received $500 from one contributor and the other $3,500 was funded out of her own pocket. Add to the fact that not one question asked was answered at all or so vague that anyone could see she has no clue how East Ridge operates and she thought that the city attorney was rated a 9 out of 10.