The District 2 Forum

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We women are all mothers and daughters.  We worry about those we love and we are very good at compartmentalizing.  It goes with the territory.  We are used to cutting through the talk, identifying what needs to be done, and taking care of the issue. 

Last night I attended a candidate forum at Alexian Village.  I want to write, here, about one particular candidate for District 2 County Commission, Elizabeth Baker.

Elizabeth’s opponent, Chip Baker was recovering from surgery and was not able to attend.  We all wish him a speedy recovery.  But here’s what most in the audience didn’t know – yesterday morning Elizabeth’s mother had major surgery and is dealing with serious health issues.  She lives out of state.  Elizabeth faced a dilemma most of us have faced, how to handle both aspects of her life.  Her family held a conference and decided that Elizabeth needed to speak to the community. 

I saw Elizabeth outside the meeting hall in discussion with Chip Baker’s campaign manager, Arch Trimble and the director of Alexian Village.  You have to understand that Elizabeth is five foot three, maybe, and was dwarfed by both men.  She had a resolute look on her face.  After the forum I found out why.  Arch Trimble had insisted that he could answer questions for Chip Baker – he said that that was customary when a candidate could not attend.  I don’t buy that and neither did Elizabeth.  The point she made to me was that there was no way for a candidate to be held accountable for the words of someone else.  She also made the very good point that it wasn’t fair to the attendees.  She held her ground, and it was decided that she would give a five-minute statement and that the campaign manager could give a five-minute statement for Mr. Baker.  That is so very Elizabeth, she held her ground.

When she started her five-minute statement, I was a little worried.  I knew that her mother’s surgery was weighing on her.  But then she started speaking from the heart and the hesitancy was gone.  She spoke passionately about how she felt about running for office – about how she didn’t want to just talk about how things could be better, she wanted to do something about it. 

I doubt a candidate in Hamilton County has ever run for office without placing a hand over heart and pledging transparency and accountability to all citizens.  Few have ever done much to promote transparency once in office.  But transparency is part of Elizabeth’s core.  I’ve watched her fight for it here on Signal Mountain, and she would fight for it as our commissioner.  This is not an empty talking point for her. She’s walked the walk.

 Elizabeth doesn’t drop names as validation – her volunteerism in support of public education (at all levels of government - here and in Pennsylvania) and private sector experience validate her. Her character, practicality and trouble-shooting skills validate her.   

Elizabeth, last night, proved that she was one of us.  She proved that she can stand up for what is right, and push through the challenges that most of us face at one time or another.  We can relate to that, and Elizabeth can relate to us.  She would be an admirable and supremely capable District 2 commissioner.

Melissa Cantrell
Signal Mountain


Roy Exum: Our Pets’ Tails Wag

HES Needs A New Shelter

Embarrassed By Boyd Comments


As one who has tended to a dog since the age of four, and has slept beside at least one four-legged critter almost every night since, it was with unabashed joy I learned a new $13 million animal ... (click for more)

RE: County Putting $10 Million Toward New Shelter For Humane Education Society When I saw this article my heart jumped. Over my lifetime I have provided a forever home to many shelter pets. ... (click for more)

Once again, my county commissioner, Tim Boyd, has shown his ignorance, lack of understanding of reality, and blatant lack of compassion. I am embarrassed by his words and his behavior. I applaud ... (click for more)


Opinion

Roy Exum: Our Pets’ Tails Wag

As one who has tended to a dog since the age of four, and has slept beside at least one four-legged critter almost every night since, it was with unabashed joy I learned a new $13 million animal shelter for the Humane Education Society will be built in Hamilton County. The current facility on North Highland Park Avenue hasn’t been “humane” since my grandfather was an infant and, ... (click for more)

HES Needs A New Shelter

RE: County Putting $10 Million Toward New Shelter For Humane Education Society When I saw this article my heart jumped. Over my lifetime I have provided a forever home to many shelter pets. The pet we have now is from the HES. The facility in some areas looks almost like what you would expect in a third world country. The HES seems to have done everything possible over the ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Putting $10 Million Toward New Shelter For Humane Educational Society

County officials are committing $10 million toward a new shelter for the Humane Educational Society (HES). Only Commissioner Tim Boyd spoke against the allocation at a commission meeting on Wednesday. He said a more urgent need was a $5 million training center for police, fire and emergency workers. County Finance Director Albert Kiser said the county came up with a total ... (click for more)

Grundy County Deputy Charged With Voluntary Manslaughter In Chase Shooting Death

An officer-involved shooting investigation in Grundy County by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment of a deputy, charged with voluntary manslaughter. At the request of 12 th District Attorney General Michael Taylor, on Dec. 24, 2017, TBI special agents responded to an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 10:30 p.m. ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga's Jordan Leen Hall Of Fame Inductee

Bethlehem, PA – The Hall of Fame Committee of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), college wrestling’s oldest conference, is proud to announce that four new members have been elected for membership into the EIWA Hall of Fame. Members of the Class of 2019 include James Bennett of Yale University, Mark Kerr of Syracuse University, Jordan Leen of Cornell University ... (click for more)

Eight CCS Athletes Sign On National Signing Day

Eight student athletes from Chattanooga Christian School were joined by family, friends and coaches on Wednesday to celebrate signing to play college athletics. John Rhodes signed with play baseball at Kentucky. Four soccer players signed with area colleges. Katie Dirkse signed with Lee University andAddie Henry with Carson-Newman. Lucy Sandhoff and Lillie Cate both signed ... (click for more)