Veterans vie in Fort Oglethorpe Ward 4 race

Veterans vie in Fort Oglethorpe Ward 4 race

September 14th, 2011 by Mike O'Neal in Catoosa

An incumbent and two challengers, all with experience on the Fort Oglethorpe City Council, will be on the Nov. 8 ballot to represent Ward 4 on that council.

Incumbent Charles Sharrock, 65, is seeking re-election to the position he has held for the last four years.

"I am running again because I care about the city and the citizens as a whole," he said. "I want to do everything I can do that is in their interest."

A graduate of Ringgold High School, Sharrock was trained as a machinist and worked at U.S. Pipe for 40 years.

"Right now I'm trying to focus on some areas that need fine tuning," he said. "We need to work to upgrade the old section of Fort Oglethorpe along U.S. Highway 27. There are too many empty businesses in that area, one that could be a calling card for the city and the entire area."

Sharrock said that while serving as a councilman he has supported the city's employees, its overall betterment and its merchants.

As an example, he cited that all his campaign material is being prepared and printed locally; he is spending his own money within Fort Oglethorpe.

"It is amazing what we can accomplish if we don't care who gets the credit," Sharrock said. "It's all about what is right and what is wrong."

Both challengers say they have no complaints with the incumbent and are running because they want to continue work begun when they served on the council.

"Nothing is going bad, I'd just like to offer my expertise to move the city forward," Steve Brandon said. "I just want to come back and offer my expertise to move the city forward and accomplish some things Fort Oglethorpe needs to have done."

Brandon, 61, is a graduate of Ringgold High School and served a four-year term representing Ward 5 until losing that seat by 11 votes to Eddie Stinnett in 2009.

"I would like to be there when we finish the West Chickamauga Creek sewer interceptor since I was on the council when we started it," he said. "We got rid of the open sewer pond at Mitchell Acres. Nobody got any sewerage in their yards after the recent floods, so I think that was money well spent."

Brandon sees construction of a maintenance facility for the city's vehicles as an ongoing concern.

"I tried for two years to get something other than a one-bay lean-to garage," he said. "I'd still like to see it done.

"I pretty much want to continue what was in the works when I was on the council and move forward with current plans," he said.

Harold Silcox, 70, has served a total of 13 years as a member of the city council and this year is running for the same reason he first did in 1993, "because I see things that can be improved."

A graduate of Chattanooga High School who studied industrial engineering at Murray State University, Silcox retired from the U.S. Marines in 1976 and moved to Fort Oglethorpe in 1984.

"I love it here," he said. "I've been part of the growth of the 'new Fort Oglethorpe' and can see that growth continue."

Silcox recalls being on the council when installation of a new sewer system and stormwater drains began, when the city's charter was rewritten and its personnel policy guidelines were drawn, building a new public pool was approved and when the walking trail network was begun.

"As the city grows, we must be really careful due to the downturn in the economy," he said. "I've never voted to increase taxes or fees and I want to keep it like that. We must operate within our means.

If we have the money, we can spend it. If we don't, we shouldn't borrow it or rely on reserves."

Fort Oglethorpe has "at large" elections, meaning registered voters, regardless of where they live, can cast ballots for a council candidate in each ward. The last day to register to vote in the elections is Tuesday, Oct. 11.