Even if you do not live in her district, you should support Pam Ladd. Chattanooga/Hamilton County is coming out of the recession, but District 4 is not. Its residents need help from all of us. Four of the five ZIP codes with the highest levels of poverty are in District 4, the most impoverished of the nine commission districts. Reading scores for third-grade competency are low in most of the district's schools. Without a basic education, these children have a bleak future. While this is a race for county government, District 4 is entirely within the city of Chattanooga. There are many abandoned buildings and former toxic waste sites. Pam will work with economic development leaders to repurpose buildings and entice businesses to invest in redevelopment of toxic fields. Pam believes in bringing living-wage jobs to her district. She served on the City Council and knows how to get things done. We who live in other districts should support Pam Ladd by volunteering and contributing to her campaign. She is a dedicated public servant and gets results. An investment in Pam Ladd's campaign is an investment in the future of District 4, Hamilton County and the city of Chattanooga.
I disagree with the April 20 Life section article that asserts "individualism" is a cause for increased divorce rates among older people. "Individualism" is a nonsensical word that means nothing in this context. Regrettably, divorce rates are higher because we live in an era of narcissism and selfishness. JOE STEVENSON, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
If you think the Rails to Trails is important to our community, then please join me in voting for Randy Fairbanks for the County Commission seat in District 1. Randy is committed to revitalizing this important project and plans to make it a priority if elected.
JAMIE LeMAY, Soddy-Daisy
I have known Pam McNutt Fleenor and her family for over 25 years -- at Central High School, UT-Chattanooga and as a lawyer. Pam is a leader, a working mother and a community servant who accepted Chancery Court appointments to represent vulnerable children and the elderly. All of those roles provide her with unique experiences and a valuable perspective she can rely upon as a judge. I was very fortunate to practice law with Pam and learned first hand about the work ethic she exercises, integrity she exhibits, her even-handed temperament and her keen knowledge of the law. I have witnessed and been the beneficiary of Pam Fleenor's patience and fairness, as well as her abilities to navigate complex issues and solve them. I urge you to vote, on or before May 6, for Pam McNutt Fleenor as chancellor.
DAVID C. HIGNEY
As a District 4 resident and a physician living in Highland Park, I support Pam Ladd because she believes in strong financial support for Erlanger hospital and the Hamilton County Health Department. Pam recognizes the importance of community programs that address health issues for women and children. She is also aware of the impact of indigent care costs for the underfunded Erlanger Hospital. Pam cares about nutrition in our schools and is concerned that children in her district have adequate meals outside of school. She acknowledges the benefits of exercise for children. Pam will work for the development of parks and green space, and work to give children safe access to recreation and alternatives to crime and gangs. I believe Pam will bring a focused vision and leadership to important issues in our district and in Chattanooga. She will work hard to bring the results we need. I encourage my neighbors to join me in voting to elect Pam Ladd to the County Commission in District 4.
MELISSA HAMP, M.D.
I'd like to provide first-hand insight regarding candidate Sabrena Turner, who is running for the District 7 County Commission seat in Hamilton County. Sabrena is my sister and was also my real estate business partner for five years from 2005 to 2010. Sabrena is an extrovert who has never met a stranger. She could befriend a billionaire or a pauper and treat them the same. Sabrena has a compassionate heart and the will to see things through. As a real estate agent and business owner, she has been an active leader with the Chattanooga Association of Realtors. I have seen her dogged determination and steadfastness on full display as she closed waning real estate transactions that most would have considered lost causes. Sabrena truly cares for people. I have seen her counsel and hug clients who were going through tough times personally and financially. Sabrena has a way of comforting people by finding the silver lining and reassuring them things will turn out OK. She has a magnetic personality, just like many other candidates. The difference is Sabrena always follows through on her promises. She is motivated to serve the people and not herself.
BRENDON SEVERS, Ringgold, Ga.