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

Friday, March 07, 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.


W Road Closed Tuesday

The Hamilton County Highway Department announced the W Road will be closed Tuesday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for general  maintenance and clean up.   (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Celebrates Brad Jones’ Retirement

The Dalton Police Department said goodbye to one of its own Friday as longtime employee Brad Jones celebrated his retirement from the agency. Mr. Jones served the department as a civilian employee. He joined the DPD in 1988 as a dispatcher.  Mr. Jones served as a dispatcher until 1994 when he moved into the property and evidence room as a P&E custodian.  He retired ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)