published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

City of Red Bank interviews commission candidates

Red Bank's new commissioner will hold the office for only nine months before facing re-election, but those nine months will be packed with big tasks guaranteed to draw scrutiny: finding a new city manager and working out a city budget.

Despite the job's short time and the heavy-lifting, three men pledged commitment to the position during interviews with the Red Bank Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Vying for former Vice Mayor Greg Jones' seat are Erlanger nurse Ken Welch, Tennessee Valley Authority attorney Michael Tindle and Eddie Pierce, who is production manager for the Red Bank Athletic Shop.

Ed LeCompte -- a Chattanooga codes enforcement officer who ran for the commission seat in 2010 -- has withdrawn his name from the pool of candidates for personal reasons, according to City Hall.

As commissioners grilled the men about their goals and city savvy, each brought forward hopes of a renaissance for the town.

"Red Bank is at a crossroads," said Welch, citing the city's new push for economic incentives to lure businesses.

Welch emphasized intentional redevelopment of Red Bank, changing the cityscape from sprawling apartment complexes to more mixed-use buildings.

Pierce said he wanted to improve the city's "quality of life" to make more Red Bank neighborhoods a destination point for young families.

"We can nurture and protect neighborhoods so they're not encroached upon by developments," he said.

Tindle said his chief concern was hiring a city manager, a post that has been vacant since the commission fired Chris Dorsey in October.

"It's very important to hire someone who is not only an effective leader but also will be able to have a good working relationship with all the commissioners," Tindle said.

The commission will vote in its pick for commissioner during its meeting the first week of February.

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