In District 2, where I live, we have a runoff between two candidates who I found qualified, but distinctively different. For me, the choice is clear and for one simple reason: I want my city council representative to be fully committed to serving District 2 without compromise.
Thomas Lee is the only candidate who can fulfill such a commitment. His opponent already holds an elected position on our local school board. While I can only speak for myself, I wish for my city council representative to be 100 percent focused on the job of serving on the city council, which is a seven day a week job as any current member of city council will attest to. I’ve had neighbors express this same concern which isn’t to say that Mrs. Hill isn’t a good candidate, she’s just already chosen her priority - the school board.
I believe District 2 residents deserve a representative that has sufficient time to listen to their needs and handle District 2 business. Having sat in the audience many times, I can assure you that when you need your representative by your side, you want their full attention. From STVR applications to zoning permits, the city’s business waits on no one.
Granted, many of us are wonderful multi-taskers, but the stakes here are just too high given the challenges that we face from the pandemic’s effect on our daily lives and with our city facing enormous housing, development and infrastructure issues that undoubtedly require great diligence and extensive analysis by those in leadership.
I feel certain that the voters who elected Mrs. Hill to the position of school board would appreciate her staying on task without distraction. I would also not be pleased if and when a city council member had to recuse himself or herself because of conflicts arising from holding two elected positions. This would mean District 2 residents would not have a voice on occasion and I find this to be unacceptable. We elect a person in order to have a voice.
When asked, Thomas Lee shared that his business will continue to operate in the capable hands of his business partner and employees leaving him available to serve his community unencumbered. As a resident of District 2 for over 23 years, Thomas has the firsthand knowledge and experience to tackle the issues that need a representative’s full attention. I also want a representative who will ensure that local government puts me, the customer/taxpayer, first as Thomas has amply demonstrated as an entrepreneur and small business owner meeting the daily needs of his customers and employees.
I’m not the only person who believes Thomas Lee is the best choice for District 2. He’s been endorsed by the Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association, Chattanooga Pastors for Good Government and many notable citizens who know Thomas Lee personally. Along with hearing his vision and plans I’ve also watched moving testimonials on his website and I personally know him to be a conscientious person who goes above and beyond.
Without hesitation, I will cast my vote for Thomas Lee on April 13 and I encourage my neighbors to weigh their decision carefully and vote for the candidate who has the bandwidth to serve without worry of conflict or compromise. Every vote is needed to ensure we have capable, engaged representatives to serve our underserved and help our city thrive.
Becky Cope English
District 2 Resident