Bill Wallace, a real estate agent, has said "growing the town's tax base" is his top priority. He supports encouraging growth and development. He doesn't mention the infrastructure needs and the expense to support such growth or that our schools have reached capacity.
Joe Dumas has said "limited town government and low taxes" are his top priorities. He supports privatizing basic town services and reducing taxes by divesting the town of ownership and support of such amenities as our athletic fields, tennis courts, parks, playgrounds, the gym, the pool, and the Mountain Arts Community Center.
For six years, Mayor Bill Lusk and Councilwoman Annette Allen have proven that their first, second and third priorities are listening to the community and acting on its behalf. They worked to address 30 years of deferred maintenance, gave us a land use plan based on citizen input and a commitment to smart growth. They voted to expedite the payment of our $6.3 million school debt, which will be paid off in 2016 when we can look forward to a reduction in our property taxes.
Vote for smart growth and for saving our town amenities. Vote for Annette Allen, Bill Lusk, and Frank Preston.
NANCY WOODSON CALDWELL, Signal Mountain
I ask support for Marc Gravitt and Denny Manning for the two available East Ridge City Council seats.
I am concerned about the future of our city. As we look to the future in an ever-evolving world, it is important that our leadership reflects our values and has a clear understanding of what it takes to truly build community and lead a city. It takes business knowledge and experience to understand how to help businesses succeed and to provide a core for community stability and growth. It takes strong values and a commitment to making the right decisions for the right reasons to help build a strong community.
We have all seen the tattoo parlors, cash-advance operations and fireworks vendors move in to storefronts once occupied by quality retail stores, banks and professional offices. We need a change in course to reverse the trends.
Marc Gravitt is businessman with deep family roots in East Ridge. He is a veteran of our military with the strength and discipline to lead. He represents the leadership our city needs for the future.
I would appreciate your support for Marc Gravitt and Denny Manning on Tuesday.
KEN MEYER, East Ridge
Since I retired 21 years ago, I have had no increase in my pension. I knew that in advance, planned for it, and have managed it satisfactorily.
Last spring, The Economist magazine carried an article about financial distress in Providence, R.I. It cited an example of a civil service employee who had retired the same year I did. That person had had his pension increased by more than 200 percent because of COLAs and apparent failure of city managers to adequately allow for such. The increase, by the way, was based on his full salary at retirement, not on a pension payment that was less than his working pay.
Because my company is still reasonably strong and financially solvent and Providence is on the verge of bankruptcy, this proves again that governments at all levels need more people with real business skills and fewer orators. I would only hope voters would keep that in mind as they vote this year and in the future.
BERNARD COOMBES, Hixson
Ann Pruett's dedication to the East Ridge community remains unmatched by any other opponent during this year's City Council election. Ann Pruett has taken an active role in the East Ridge community for years and displays an understanding of our city's potential for growth and success.
With East Ridge's close proximity to I-24 and I-75, we have witnessed the revitalization of neighboring cities, but now it is our turn. Pruett has identified the opportunity for growth and promises to complete her mission of revitalizing East Ridge and attracting jobs to the area. Considering her mission for revitalization, understanding of our city's politics and the display of teamwork showcased through her marriage with Fred, Ann's dedication to the city's success runs deep.
She wants us to have an East Ridge to be proud of. Please cast your vote for Ann Pruett on Tuesday.
SUE BOND, East Ridge
The condemnation by the DesJarlais campaign manager of recent disclosures regarding Scott DesJarlais as a "personal smear campaign that hurts families" with a "focus on a 14-year-old divorce" is a gross mischaracterization of the issue.
First, bad behavior hurts families. Mr. DesJarlais has only himself to blame for his bad behavior. Second, the focus is decidedly not the divorce. The focus is on unethical behavior as a physician and hypocrisy as a person. Viewed from this perspective the claim that these issues "have no place in politics" rings hollow unless unethical behavior and hypocrisy are now acceptable in politicians.
It is ironic that we set higher standards for athletes than politicians. Unethical athletes are often banned for life. Unethical politicians can be -- and all too often -- returned to office. Should we not set a higher standard for politicians?
Surely both Republicans and Democrats can agree that ethical behavior is beneficial to all and that all would benefit by electing politicians who adhere to the standards they would impose on others. When we fail to sanction unethical and hypocritical politicians we all share in and are accountable for their unethical and hypocritical behavior.
T. WILLIAM ALEXANDER
As a lifelong resident of East Ridge and a very close friend of the Gravitt family, I ask my friends in East Ridge to vote for the most capable person to be on the East Ridge council -- Marc Gravitt.
It is evident that he has done his homework as far as the city of East Ridge is concerned by attending council meetings and knowing what is right for our city. This was evident at the candidates meeting. He is a proven business person and would definitely help control wasteful spending in our city. Marc has proven that he's not afraid to answer tough questions. He's been an advocate for East Ridge for many years and has shown the type of leadership we need in East Ridge. Please join me in voting for Marc Gravitt for council for the city of East Ridge.
MYRA J. ROSSER, East Ridge
Signal Mountain Town Council: Move along folks, nothing to see here.
In a letter supporting the re-election of Annette Allen to Signal Mountain Town Council (Oct. 30), Bill Fronk suggests a rumor about Ms. Allen kicking me off the Parks Board is false, stating, we should "not allow rumor to replace fact."
Because something is rumored doesn't preclude it from being true. It's puzzling that Mr. Fronk would bring this to our attention. It seems akin to a cop standing in front of the murder scene telling passers-by "there's nothing to see here."
Whether I was "kicked off" by Ms. Allen is a matter of semantics. The bottom line is that I publicly disagreed with her proposal to relinquish control over town-owned public lands. She subsequently asked that I relinquish my seat. I respectfully declined. Within weeks, my term was allowed to expire without a vote or public vetting. You decide.
Openness and diversity of opinions are essential for sound governance. In this regard, I believe Ms. Allen is missing the mark, and I plan to vote accordingly. There is in fact something to see here -- a political practice lacking in principle -- and it's time for a change.
DR. JEFF DUNCAN, Former Signal Mountain, Parks Board Member
I am sick of hearing that Obamacare is bad. That is absolute baloney. That's all you get from the Republican Party; how Obamacare hurts Medicare, like they would care, and Romney and Ryan are going to save it. That's bull. If you believe that, you've been under a rock since the''60s.
Republicans hate Medicare, and they want to privatize Social Security. They tried hard to do that under Bush. They will try harder under Romney with the Ryan budget. Are you people blind? They told you what's in the Ryan budget, and it is not what Romney has told you. All he does is lie. All he cares about is the Mormon Church. If being a Morman and being a Christian were the same, why did Mormons write their own bible and decide not to believe in Jesus. They only believe in their founders.
Republicans don't believe in anything. They are Grover Norquist robots. The only true Romney you've seen was the one behind closed doors talking to his rich donors about the 47 percent. President Obama is a good man and wants to help people. He's had to fight hard to try to do that. So think about it! Stakes are high!
CAROL PROCTOR, East Brainerd
It is amazing to hear voters who are going to vote for Mitt Romney. They seldom if ever tell you they think Mitt Romney will be a better president than President Obama.
They will not brag on his accomplishments, especially when he was governor of Massachusetts. He took Massachusetts from 37th in job creation to 47th. Not too good for a man who touts himself as a job creator.
The poll in Sunday's paper (Oct. 28), explains it pretty well: 58 percent of white men have a negative attitude of blacks. If this is a national poll then the numbers are surely 70 percent negative of black people in the "Bible Belt."
The national polls show the election a "dead heat." If a poll was taken that did not include the "Bible Belt" the president would do quite well.
Some Republicans say flat-out they cannot vote for Barack Obama because he is black; some give other lame excuses, but it always comes back to because he is black.
I have yet to talk to a tea party member or supporter who is not going to vote for Mitt Romney.
DON MYERS, Hixson
Residents of the 3rd Congressional District face a crisis with a direct impact on the commercial and recreational boating industry on the Tennessee River. The rebuilding of the Chickamauga lock is at a standstill. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Democratic congressional nominee Mary Headrick realize the lock is vital to our economic well-being and must not fall victim to partisan gridlock. They both support a marine diesel fuel tax increase to help fund the lock replacement.
If the lock closes, Chattanooga will be cut off from 319 miles of navigable river upstream. A local operator told me his company moves on average 20 barges a week through the lock. Is it any wonder the barge industry supports a tax increase on diesel fuel to help fund the lock replacement? But it is not just commercial traffic that is in peril. If the lock closes, recreational boating as we know it on the Tennessee River will end. Marinas on Lake Chickamauga will lose navigable access to downtown Chattanooga.
Mary Headrick has made it clear she will work across party lines to keep the Chickamauga lock open. A vote for Mary Headrick is a vote for leadership and results.
JIM AND ANNIE HALL, Signal Mountain