My Commitment To Action On The City Council

Monday, February 25, 2013 - by Roger Tuder

My campaign has now knocked on over 6,000 doors in Stuart Heights, Hixson, Lupton City and the North River neighborhoods.  I've sent out surveys and read each response and spent time with hundreds of concerned folks.  I have presented the issues and focus of my campaign only after personal contact with thousands of my neighbors throughout District 2; I have no personal agenda nor serve as a political puppet.

While the City Council is tasked to work as a board with the mayor, each member certainly wants to see Chattanooga grow in jobs, in tourism, and see our institutions such as our schools flourish and compete. My campaign has not restated the obvious.

However, the only person who will serve as the voice for the residents and business owners in the Hixson, North River, and Riverview areas is the elected member on the City Council.  While the glamour of job creation, education and entrepreneurship make wonderful talking points, the residents of District 2 have some specific concerns that are unmet, despite the taxes they pay for services. 

After listening to the citizens of District 2, I want to commit to first actions as a city council member:

While some acknowledge the need to return the Department of Education, Arts, and Culture back to Parks and Recreation, I know it's essential to eliminate Director Crutchfield's $109,000 position due to gross mismanagement immediately. 

Each department must be run with oversight, integrity, and consistency.  The news stories and current documentation around this specific department shows the tolerance of waste and questionable actions.                            

I will work immediately with the Public Works Department to go through the entire district to address downed trees, debris and other issues that contribute to flooding problems.  

Countless examples have been noted and some already addressed where calls have been unanswered and services have been denied.  Property and home values are a priority and keep our neighborhoods intact and growing.   

According to the city's own "2012 Community Survey Results" published by the Office of Internal Audit, compared to other districts and to the entire city the greatest percentage of residents in District 2 expressed the need for "improvement to your neighborhood as a place to live."  

I will work with our Chattanooga City Police Department to foster a visible and welcomed presence in District 2.  I will immediately introduce language to the appropriate committee to allow Chattanooga City Police men and women to drive their patrol cars home as an extension and enhanced presence in our neighborhoods.  This will be coupled with my personal involvement to arrange neighborhood watch and personal safety instruction programs.

The same survey from the Office of Internal Audit showed that residents of District 2 reported more break-ins into their home or vehicles than the average of the entire city. Crime in Chattanooga is not limited to tourist destinations and must be addressed.

The specifics I have presented to District 2 residents and to the organizations that represent our local heroes, our first responders, have resulted in the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association, and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.  I am humbled by this support and understand that these men and women have endured the political promises made during campaigns. My word is no mere campaign promise.

I will work immediately on the list of code violations noted as we canvassed the streets of District 2 that destroy personal property values. The existing codes must be enforced and done so on a timely basis to assure home and property owners that their property will maintain their value.

Obvious examples of dumping, abandoned property, and neglected street maintenance exist throughout the neighborhoods of District 2.  City code enforcement is the tool property owners depend upon but are seeing unused.

Meeting neighbors and hearing their concerns has been a sincere honor over the last five months of my campaign.  My commitment is simple:  I will serve as the voice of residents in District 2 to make our community a great place for families to live, for small businesses to thrive and to be sought as a neighborhood of choice for future residents.  Without doubt, I will work and collaborate with other council members and our Mayor on large projects, but my priority will always be my neighbors throughout District 2. 

Roger Tuder


Families In Public Schools Fight Common Core, But Won't Get Out

The alarm among Christians who patronize government-run schools has a clear cause. Common Core, the name of the latest spate of reform, promises further control by Washington. What are moms and dads to make of the opposition to Common Core, particularly if they are Christian or home educators? How worked up should we get?  We’ll let Tony Perkins of a Washington G Street ... (click for more)

Questions About Bus Stops

The attack of the young man at a bus stop brings to mind something that I have been wondering for some time now.  Why do we have bus stops all over town that are often just a sign on the side of the road, no pull off area, no shelter and often no sidewalk?   I have also noticed that on Brainerd Road there will often be a stop at almost every block or street, so it seems, ... (click for more)

School Board Delays Decision On Big-Ticket Health Insurance Item For 1 Week

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to delay a vote on a new insurance plan for employees until next Thursday. Sandy Hughes, president of the Hamilton County Education Association, said, "I have a difficult time trying to think of what priority in spending is more important than the well-being of your employees and their children...You've not given us enough ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

East Ridge's JoJo Tillery Relies Heavily On His Football MoJo

(This is the 15th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area) The numbers don’t lie. East Ridge quarterback JoJo Tillery can be a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Do they make him run? Or do they want him throw the football? Pick your poison, fellas. ... (click for more)

UTC's Jay Hay Has Found a Football Home

“Without a doubt, I cannot think of a place I would rather be than here at UTC playing football. The veteran players welcomed me this summer as a junior college transfer with open arms.” UTC defensive back Jay Hay It’s been a crazy, at times frustrating and difficult, four-year football journey for Dade County, Fla. native Jeremiah “Jay” ... (click for more)