Wow, East Ridge Council election has turned controversial with a lot of accusations flying. Candidates’ signs are missing; I call it the "sign war." Focus is put on people being "good," "nice" or "lived here all their life." News releases of support have drawn attention to the fringes of East Ridge city government and away from actual people running for the offices. I would like to get back to those who are actually running for the positions.
Elections should not be about signs, personalities or how much you like someone. Elected officials make decisions that affect all citizens, today and into the future.
Your votes should go to the people that can step into the office and move to make the best decisions for the city of East Ridge and the citizens.
While Patricia Cassidy and Scooter King, seem like very nice people, their answers and reactions at the candidate forum left me wanting more. It was apparent they were we not as informed on current issues as I want a candidate to be.
Mrs. Pruett also seems to be a very nice person with a history with the city. However she said at the forum she had been attending meeting the last three or four months and did not seem to be able to discuss current issues effectively.
Lack of consistent involvement and limited understanding of current issues causes me to not be able to support any of these three candidates. We need a five person council that can hit the ground running in the right direction.
You will see the name of John Clemmer on the ballot. Mr. Clemmer did not attend the candidate forum and seems to have lost interest in the race. Therefore, I cannot even consider him as an option.
A look at the other three:
Denny Manning has been on the Council for eight years and I would challenge you to find anyone in East Ridge with a bigger heart than Denny. I just would like to see some new aggressive ideas. If Denny has a fault, it is that he is too kind. While that is admirable in a person, sometimes elected officials have to be tougher than Denny's loving heart can allow.
Marc Gravitt ran for Council in 2010 when two seats were up for a vote. Councilmember Lambert ran for mayor and at his election that left a third Council seat up for an appointment. Marc Gravitt was the third highest vote getter and should have been appointed to that seat. Even with many, many citizens asking the Council to do the right thing, listen to the voters and appoint the third choice, Council appointed someone else. I hope others, like myself, vote for Marc and make a strong statement that cannot ignored and by vote put Marc Gravitt into the Council seat that he should have been occupying the last two years. Even though the Council did not listen to citizens and appoint Marc two years ago, Marc has stayed involved and informed. He understands the issues and needs of the city and looks at them from the eyes of a successful businessman.
Mimi Lowrey is known by many citizens for her unwavering commitment for over 20 years to our city. She has not only been involved in community projects and civic clubs, but she has stood firm trying to hold government accountable to the citizens. We can talk about transparent government and citizens' right to know and how important that is, but how do you guarantee it? You put Mimi Lowrey on Council. I know Mimi Lowrey has an undying dedication to those principals and with her on Council; citizens will never be left in the dark. Mimi, has stayed on top of issues and finances in East Ridge for years and she will have no lag time in being an effective vote for the citizens. I will tell you, Mimi has an agenda. That agenda is to be the voice of the citizens to bring the most effective, responsible government to East Ridge that we have ever had. Along with her commitment to the citizens, Mimi has other strengths. She is a retired successful business owner. You could say she is the total package; supporter of transparent government, voice of the citizens, business friendly, business minded, retired with time available to serve and she will offer a female perspective to the currently all male council.
If you want two councilmembers that can and will hit the ground running, are up on current issues, can and will make responsible, informed, tough decisions for the city of East Ridge and the citizens, then you want to vote for Mimi Lowrey and Marc Gravitt. That is exactly what I want for our city.
I took advantage of early voting and I am already on the books with votes going to Mimi Lowrey and Marc Gravitt for East Ridge Council. I encourage my fellow citizens to follow me in that decision when they go to the polls on Tuesday.