Sabrena Turner Tells Civitan She Will Be On The Front Lines If Chosen For County Commission

Friday, March 7, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
Sabrena Turner
Sabrena Turner
- photo by Hollie Webb

Candidate for District 7 of the County Commission Sabrena Turner spoke to the Civitan Club Friday afternoon, saying, "It's imperative that we get leadership that will not only be a voice for the people but will get on the front lines for the people."

Mrs. Turner said in her community, she has done just that and would be proud to do it again.

She told the audience that when the issue of annexation first came to her area, she had not planned on getting involved. However, she said when clients continued to come into her office detailing all kinds of problems it caused, she decided to do research.

She said, "I got involved because I really cared about the citizens in my district." After a community wide meeting, she and seven other people started the organization Hamilton County Residents Against Annexation.

Through fundraising events and going door-to-door, educating people about how they could help work against the annexation of their communities, HCRAA raised approximately $200,000. They used this money to hire a Knoxville attorney with experience fighting annexation and filed 12 lawsuits against the city.

 She said, "I am an avid supporter of property rights. When someone buys a home that's usually their greatest investment."

She told the club that if elected, education would be one of her primary areas of concern, along with public safety, economic development in the county, and infrastructure.

She said, "I will advocate for a strong working relationship between the School Board and the County Commission." She said one of her frustrations now was finding out that the Board and the Commission do not have a stronger relationship than they do.

Mrs. Turner said, "The two bodies owe it to the taxpayer to get in there and solve these problems." One of those problems the county currently faces is updating schools. Many schools in various districts are already over capacity and some of the older buildings have unsafe health conditions such as mold.

From her own district, she said there was a great need for a middle school. She said she had spoken individually with the principal of each school there, and another common need was technology upgrades.

However, Mrs. Turner said she did not support accomplishing these goals with a tax increase, saying, "I am a fiscal conservative. I'm not going to be in favor of a tax increase when I think there are others ways to address this issue."

She continued, "Hamilton county is very fortunate because they have an AAA bond rating." She said every year, as the county pays off more debt, it can issue more bonds. Because of high bond rating, the county can also borrow at a lower interest rate. She also suggested that because the fund balance is healthy, a small percentage of it could be used for the education budget without harming the bond rating.

 She pointed out that even for residents who do not have children, schools have a large effect on property value.

In terms of public safety, she said, "I'm going to be very supportive of strong neighborhood watch programs."

As a small business owner, she also said, "Not only do I want us to be very competitive and attract new businesses to Hamilton County, but I want to take care of the businesses we already have here."

She said, "Growth has already surpassed us keeping up with infrastructure. To keep growing, to bring other businesses in, we have to keep up with our infrastructure."

Answering a question from the audience, Mrs. Turner told the club what she would promise to do as a commissioner. She said, "Before making a decision I want to do my research thoroughly. I don't want to go in there without all the facts. I want to know what I'm voting on, what I'm making a decision on."

 During the meeting, the Civitan Club also presented a donation of $2,000 to the Orange Grove Center, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with developmental disabilities.


Book Review: The Biggest Story Book

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden by Kevin DeYoung and Don Clark. It is available from Crossway in August. I’ve read a lot of children’s books about the Bible, but this one has been my favorite. My entire family enjoyed this book, and I will be reading it to them (and by myself!) often. As DeYoung moves through the story of redemption, ... (click for more)

East Ridge Announces Hours For Holiday Weekend

The city of East Ridge will observe Friday for the Fourth of July holiday. There will be no garbage collection and all offices will be closed; however, recycling services will pick up on Friday. The library will be closed on Friday and Saturday.  (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Commissioner Haynes Calls For Public Meetings On Discretionary Funds; Says Public Against Keeping Them

County Commissioner Marty Haynes on Thursday called for public meetings on the subject of the commissioners continuing to have $100,000 each in discretionary money. He said he had already been meeting with Hixson leaders on the topic. Commissioner Haynes was one of three commissioners who supported a move by County Mayor Jim Coppinger to remove $900,000 in discretionary funds ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)