published Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Davis elected to head development agency for 2010-11

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis will serve as chairman of the board for the 10-county Southeast Tennessee Development District for 2010-11.

The district, which includes more than 60 elected officials, recently held its annual meeting in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield was elected vice chairman of the district board.

The district's staff, based in Chattanooga, provides assistance for the region's small communities that cannot pay for economic and community development, infrastructure needs, tourism promotion, housing and transportation.

What is good for one community is good for the region, Davis said. "The district works for the region as a whole," Davis said.

The development district has "been invaluable in some of our recent successes," Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said.

Both Davis and Rowland recalled how officials of Cleveland and Chattanooga met with representatives of two German companies on the same night, at the same time and at the same hotel in downtown Chattanooga.

Afterward, Volkswagen announced it had picked Chattanooga for its North American auto assembly plant, while Wacker Chemical later announced Bradley County was the site for its new factory.

Both are $1 billion projects.

Davis said the district complements a personal goal that he's had for years -- regionalism.

"There have been three recent $1 billion projects in Tennessee," he said. "Two of them have been in our district. We have demonstrated we can work together as a district."

Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., which makes materials used in solar power technology, is building a plant in Clarksville.

Contact staff writer Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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