I have known Andy Berke for many years, and know him to be honest and sincere. He is a family man with fine ethics, morals and integrity, and he will be a wonderful example and person to look up to for our city.
Andy is very smart and is an excellent attorney. He cares about the people of Chattanooga. He wants our city to grow and be a better place, as he has chosen to stay here and raise his family and educate his children in public schools.
He has been state senator for five years and has done so many wonderful things for the people of our state. Andy has my vote, and I hope that he will have yours, also.
Residents and taxpayers of this city are tired of hearing about rich people and their giving large sums of money to the Berke campaign. I think it is very sad when a candidate has to go outside our city to raise funds. If Mr. Berke was interested in being our mayor, his time should be spent discussing issues and solutions for Chattanooga. When speaking, he fails to deliver "specific" goals while saturating the city with TV commercials and signs. His signs are just as generic as his speech in that they do not even indicate that he is seeking the office of mayor. Perhaps he plans on using the same signs in his future campaign for the governor's office.
Meanwhile, Mr. Satterfield has used his own money with help from local supporters while giving many hours to speaking at clubs, groups, churches and community functions discussing serious issues that affect Chattanooga. Mr. Satterfield has worked many years with the people of Chattanooga and knows the needs of our city. Votes should be cast for the person that demonstrates a sincere interest in Chattanooga's future. Vote for Guy Satterfield for mayor.
DR. and MRS. CHARLES KNIGHT, Hixson
A picture on the front page recently promoted a bad gardening practice -- pruning Crepe Myrtles. Gardeners call it crepe murder. The waterspouts that result from topping them off eventually get bigger and heavier and break down the supporting limb, eventually killing the tree. If the tree is too tall for the spot it's in, you have the wrong tree planted there. Just leave it alone and it will flourish.
JULIE HALSEY, Cleveland, Tenn.
The campaigns being run by the District 2 City Council candidates reflect the values of those candidates and are an indication of what we can expect from them if elected. What have we learned so far? Jerry Mitchell has run a straightforward campaign, focused on the great community in North Chattanooga and his plans to make it even better.
It is unfortunate that many people in, or aspiring to be in, elected office are strictly political which, often results in them being evasive or in them telling one group a version of their position and another group another version. I have known councilmember Manny Rico for many years as a citizen and as a councilman. I have found him to be a refreshing individual and elected official in many aspects.
One of his traits I admire most is his commitment of being honest in his positions regardless of the politics of a particular issue. This is true regardless of the individual or group to which he may be stating his positions. Considering the current politics this day and time, that in itself is refreshing. I hope the voters of District 7 will join me in returning Manny Rico to the Chattanooga City Council in the upcoming elections and keep an honest elected official working for us.
Andy Berke's mayoral campaign to ruin Chattanooga is a Hobson's choice that should leave any citizen with a sober mind sick at the thought of him becoming mayor.
When I say Berke's election is a Hobson's choice, I mean it's a free choice in that only one option is really offered. I know very little about Guy Satterfield as a choice for mayor, but I do know his raising only $1,800 is no match to Berke's $665,000. On the other hand, I do know Chester Heathington who has run for every office on the books.
However, the choice is between taking Berke as an option or not; it's like take it or leave it!
This mayoral election is one of the biggest tricks I have seen in my life played on the citizens of Chattanooga, and I put myself at peril to write these words knowing how vengeful politicians can be if you crossed them.
What's the solution? Boycott the March 5 elections. Then, we can recall Berke if he turns out to be jerk.
My friend Jerry Mitchell is going to be the best District 2 Chattanooga City Council representative.
Jerry and I met 12 years ago when he was in charge of Parks and Recreation during the Jon Kinsey administration. On a gloomy fall day in 2000, my husband and I met Jerry to work out the details of dedicating the Riverview Park to the memory of our son. We went from total strangers to friends. Jerry continued as head of Parks and Recreation during the Corker administration and helped implement the public's vision of Chattanooga as a destination city for outdoor recreation.
Jerry is a hard-working, compassionate citizen dedicated to Chattanooga. He is a visionary, a problem solver and a collaborator. He is what Chattanooga needs to further our city's future. Jerry knows what makes a city great -- public safety, public education, entrepreneurship and a more responsive and efficient city government.
Please join me in voting for Jerry Mitchell District 2 City Council representative.
Finally, District 7 has a candidate for City Council who cares for the people. That candidate is Karl Epperson. Only his loyalty to God ranks higher in his commitment than his concern for the people.
Epperson is a Vietnam War veteran, and a retired truck driver living on the Social Security benefits he earned by hard work. Nevertheless, he will give all of his councilman's salary to support community based groups in District 7. Now that's what I call compassion.
Epperson drives his motorized chair all over town, with the help of CARTA and his service dog, Rocky, to hear the concerns and cares of the people and to push the city government to act on their behalf. He does it for the people, not for special interests or for political self-promotion.
While Chris Anderson may talk politics and represent liberal aristocrats and while politico Manny Rico may do the same and represent the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Epperson listens and represents the people of District 7 and will continue to do so.
Karl Epperson supports citizen participation in all city planning.
I have been involved in local politics at some level for over 40 years. It has been evident that only the elected visionaries have moved Chattanooga forward. Dr. Thomas McCullough is such a man. He is a critical thinker and one who is deliberate in his decision making.
Am I biased? You bet I am! I have known him for over 35 years. I worked closely with him at Hixson High school for eight years as assistant principal. We have been close. We attend the same Sunday school class at First Baptist Church.
I have seen Tom deal with tough situations, one of which was guns in the school.
He corrected that incident in a courageous manner. He has always supported excellence in education and worked for years to eliminate teachers who were nonproductive and hurting students.
Tom has been involved in local affairs all his adult life and understands community needs. He does not seek election to the District 1 council seat because he needs money or wants another retirement. He sincerely wants to serve his community.
He is a person who listens, is compassionate, has unimpeachable integrity, cares about his fellow man, understands fiscal responsibility and is ready to serve. From my perspective, Thomas McCullough is without question the best man for this seat.
WILBOURNE C. MARKHAM SR.
I recently had the privilege of chatting with Chris Anderson at the JFK Club luncheon. Mr. Anderson is obviously very well-informed, and although he works long hours in the Art District, he has managed to stay on top of not only past issues, but issues the city will face while he is the council representative for District 7.
A comment he made resonated with me: His recognition of the importance of being a representative, not only a leader. Anderson sees representation of constituents, when they are dealing with government agency-related issues, as essential to quality of life. Unaware of how important I find constituent representation, Anderson stated that "a councilman is much more likely to get a return call that leads to reasonable solutions." Perhaps Anderson appreciated this with Andy Berke, who even helped those who live outside his Senate district.
I hope that your readers will make contact with the candidates for the March 5 elections and ask them how they will represent their constituents. Where there are people there are problems, and accessible officials can make a huge difference family-by-family, with a response and a simple referral call, as Anderson and Berke will.
ANGELIA STINNETT, Red Bank
Tom McCullough has devoted much of his life to serving others. As a high school principal, he was always dependable, reasonable and approachable. He could always be counted on to do the right thing.
He will demonstrate those same qualities as a member of the Chattanooga City Council. I urge those in District 1 to vote for him.
Several years ago, my husband and I moved into Hixson for a new employment opportunity. Over time, it has been my pleasure to see Pam Ladd in action as my representative on City Council and more importantly, as chairwoman of the City Council.
Pam's leadership is evident. She keeps meetings in order and progresses through agendas in a timely and orderly manner. It's obvious that she reads everything that comes across her desk in preparation for meetings. She is organized, prepared and thoughtful.
But for me, her leadership comes in a much more simple way: Pam is accessible. She returns calls, attends meetings and in a recent instance of a very controversial issue, called a meeting to hear from all parties on a matter. She conducted that meeting in a professional manner and while some from the opposing campaign may take issue, she did exactly what she should have done and kept a very controversial meeting running in a thoughtful manner.
My husband and I believe that Pam Ladd was right for District 3 four years ago, and she is right for District 3 now. She has our enthusiastic support, and we hope others in Hixson will support the dedication of this public servant.
SANDY CORBETT, Hixson
The letter to the editor titled "Gays do not belong in the Boy Scouts" seems very out of touch with reality. What does the writer expect will happen in a Scout troop with a gay Scout or leader? Are they confusing homosexuality with pedophilia? The average homosexual does not exhibit his or her sexuality in public any more than you do.
The letter states: "Gays comprise only about 2 percent of the population ... so why do we allow them to dictate what we do?" In fact, most gay rights advocates are heterosexuals who recognize the injustice of discrimination against any group. In a 2008 Gallup poll survey, 89 percent of Americans supported equal rights in employment opportunities for homosexuals, and 64 percent supported gay marriage. A national poll conducted just this month by Quinnipiac University found 55 percent of respondents favored lifting the ban on gay participation in Boy Scouts, while only 33 percent opposed.
The author's ignorance of humanity and active instigation of discrimination is far scarier than a gay Boy Scout any day.
MEG BRASEL, Signal Mountain