We are so fortunate to live on Signal Mountain, waking each morning to its beauty. Our town is a special place and it has been graced with people who are involved in our schools, churches, community organizations and town council.
One of our shining leaders is Annette Allen. Born and raised on the mountain, Annette has raised her own family here. She has served on our town council and helped steer the growth and development of the town in a respectful and thoughtful way. Annette is the kind of public servant we all we would like to have. She is smart, humble, intellectually curious, a hard worker, and a great listener.
As her friends, we have seen her approach and handle decisions about land use, preservation, development, annexation, water treatment, taxes and the town’s budget. She has spent countless hours trying to do the right thing on behalf of the residents of this town. We could not be prouder than to call her our friend and our councilwoman.
In an era where government and politics can seem so estranged from hearing and responding to the wants and needs of the people, we have a woman who truly endeavors to represent our interests. Let’s keep her.
Gregg and Jann Sullivan
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Annette Allen has served as a council member on the Signal Mountain Town Council for six years. She has served the town selflessly on the Library Board, the Parks Board and on the Municipal Planning Commission. Annette understands the word “team.” Working with other council members, she has steered our community through difficult economic times, which have resulted in a balanced budget and a healthy fund balance.
I have served with Annette Allen on the Signal Mountain Planning Commission since January of 2010 and have personally observed her tireless energy, incredible work ethic and dedication to improving the town of Signal Mountain. She understands the importance of land use planning. It was Annette who spearheaded the citizen-driven land use plan, which resulted in the town’s commitment to conservation subdivision.
I recommend the re-election of Annette Allen to the Signal Mountain Town Council.
Charles W. Poss
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During the campaign season, even in small towns dedicated elected officials can be victimized by rumor. Annette Allen has served on the Signal Mountain town council for six years. I have worked closely with Ms. Allen who has served as the Park Board liaison. That’s why I was astounded to hear a rumor suggesting that Ms. Allen had “kicked” Dr. Jeff Duncan off the board. It is important to set the record straight.
The Parks Board is a seven-member working board. We build and maintain trails and bridges and, by example, teach others good stewardship. Expertise and interest are important qualities for membership, but so is time—hours to spend in the woods cutting, clearing and building. Dr. Duncan travels as a senior executive at the National Park Service and has a young family.
In 2011 the Parks Board recommended the appointment of a new member instead of re-appointing Dr. Jeff Duncan, whose term was expiring, because the new applicant had not only the expertise and the interest, but also the time. The town council approved the new appointment unanimously.
As citizens, we must appreciate the volunteer service that Ms. Allen and Dr. Duncan have given to our community and not allow rumor to replace fact.
Bill Fronk, Secretary
Signal Mountain Parks Board
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Recently there was a letter from Bill Fronk of the Signal Mountain Parks Board stating that "In 2011 the Parks Board recommended the appointment of a new member instead of re-appointing Dr. Jeff Duncan". This was in response to the fact that Dr. Duncan, a National Parks Service employee, professional ecologist, Scout leader and long time member of the Signal Mountain Parks Board was refused reappointment to the Parks Board after publicly disagreeing with a position taken by Signal Mountain Town Councilmember Annette Allen.
I asked for a copy of the minutes for all the Parks Board meetings for 2011. There were two meetings in April and May and there is no mention in either of these minutes of Dr. Duncan or other appointments. Honna Rogers, Signal Mountain town manager, told me, "I believe there was a third ([meeting) (going off memory), but I do not have minutes for it. I don't think the Parks Board had a vote regarding Jeff. It's not customary for the Board to discuss or vote on member reappointments. The Council makes that decision, often with input from the Board Chair."
Mr. Fronk seems to imply (and Ms. Allen has also claimed) that Dr. Duncan was removed for missing these two meetings. Of interest is that Tish Gailmard, another member of the Parks Board, also missed both meetings yet remains on the Board. Also, Mr. Fronk himself spends summers in Michigan and, from what I understand the Parks Board essentially shuts down in the summer since he is not here (they apparently didn't meet again the rest of that year and there are no minutes for any meetings after March of this year except for some trail maintenance activities). I believe this subterfuge of creating political cover after the fact is self-evident.
Paul M. Hendricks, MD
Former Mayor of Signal Mountain