Hixson Forum Exclusion- And Response

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The word "friend" is defined as: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection  and trust.  After the Friends of Hixson organization decided to exclude Hixson residents of District One (old District Three) from the Jan. 31 forum, it can safely be said it is time to reconsider the name of the organization.

The forum, organized by the Friends of Hixson, is set for Jan. 31 to take place at the North River Civic Center in Hixson.  The forum will include City Council candidates from both Districts Two and Three.  I have been advised by "a member of Friends of Hixson" that there were not enough funds available to include the candidates who are running for District One.   

This leaves many valuable Hixson residents wondering why they are not important enough to be included in the event.  As an equal part of the Hixson community, the residents of District One would like to be extended the same opportunity to hear from the candidates, one of which will represent the residents' interest in the near future.

While Friends of Hixson did not have money to fund a forum including candidates from all three districts, the funding was no issue when it came time to acquire a venue for the event.  The Civic Center is charging $35 per hour.  However, the issue goes far beyond the short-sided organization of one group.  Another option of venue would have been the Hixson Community Center, a central location.  If the city of Chattanooga would would put forth funding for restoration of the Hixson Community Center and its auditorium, events such as this could include all residents of the Hixson Community.   

Though they have been excluded, District One residents can look forward to the election and make decisions based on their own research.  However, they must now remind themselves that their opinions and residency is every bit as important as their District Two and Three neighbors.  If only, "Friends" of Hixson and the city of Chattanooga would see it the same.

Sue Mickel
President, North Hixson Neighborhood Association


* * * 

Mrs. Mickel,
 I am deeply sorry you feel left out, and even more sorry you feel unfriended by the "Friends of Hixson." I would urge you to please ask a much larger question, why is a small community such as Hixson or zip code 37343 now three different city districts? Why does the new District 3 reach all the way across the river to Highway 58? Why does District 2 now swallowing half of Big Ridge and the upper class subdivisions on Hixson Pike? Why has District 1 taken hold of Signal Mountain, Lookout Valley and part of Hixson? 

Let me help with my answer. This current City Council did an amazing job at political redistricting. Yes, the Council is a bipartisan seat and I have an ocean view to sell you on Big Ridge.  Dr. Tom, former Hixson educator and former Signal Mountain principal, will be forgiven and all that happened at Signal under his watch will be forgotten. His name recognition alone will take District 1.  

District 2 will have the task of dealing with whatever backroom, backhanded deal that is made on the land grab of Highway 153 and Boy Scout. So this position is unbelievable critical and the names in the hat are not that well known. As of now there is no lock on that seat. 

District 3 is the most important seat in this race. You have the incumbent and Council Chair Pam Ladd against the young up and coming Ken Smith. Why is this so important? We have a new rec center in Hixson that is way underfunded and nowhere near complete. This center is now stealing business from our local tax paying business.  

Free Dance has stolen from at least two local studios. Karate classes have stolen business from our local karate studios. But that is not the worst. They are offering free art classes. Did you know that Big Ridge PTA pays for the school to have an art teacher while the city gives it away for free? While they funnel all our tax dollars into that giant asbestos filled whole on School Street our children have no computers in their classrooms.  

Sue, I have a junior and a freshman at Hixson High School who are required to do homework on a computer. Do you know how many computer classes they have taken in their lives? None, that's right, not one class. It has been mandated that all our state testing is done on a computer by 2014 and this will fall on the county while the city raises their hands to proclaim, That's a county problem. 

Sue, I beg you if you are going to get mad about something make it something that is bigger than "Friends of Hixson." 

"Friends of Hixson" is a non-profit group of people who got together by chance because of a piece of art. They try and are very successful at helping a lot of people in the community. But they have little to no money. To be honest I am surprised they are able to do what they do. Because of their hard work I am going to make an effort to do more with and for them. I suggest, Mrs. Sue, you do the same. Don't complain, get out and help them. 

Jamie Goebel

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