CORRECTION: This story was updated at 4:13 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, to state that Meg Gorman ran for Congress, not Senate.
Chemical engineer Tim Gorman is running for Chattanooga City Council District 2 to help families and small businesses.
Gorman, a 23-year resident of Chattanooga and father to Tennessee Congressional candidate Meg Gorman, said he decided to run for the seat being vacated by Councilman Jerry Mitchell after watching the COVID-19 pandemic develop.
"What we've seen this last year with COVID is all the tears in the fabric of society are readily visible. And it took COVID to make it very obvious to a lot of folks, and I'll be honest, it made it much more obvious to me," Gorman said Tuesday. "It made the shortcomings that we have in taking care of each other very evident, and I thought it was time to do something. So I figured this would be my best opportunity to help Chattanooga out."
To do so, Gorman says he would focus on making the most of social programs and ensuring that residents have access to resources available to them.
"The top priority is that there are so many families and small businesses that have been struggling right now because of COVID, but there has been other struggles that they've had too, and we just have not responded quickly enough," Gorman said. "So the city's top priority should be putting every resource available to helping these families and small businesses, while getting these folks together with existing services and agencies, and expanding services where we can."
"I know funding is tight, but that ties us to the third priority, which is being creative on what we can do with what we have."
Gorman moved from Chattanooga briefly in 2016 to help Bayer manage a manufacturing plant in Quebec, which he said sharpened his skills at navigating transitions.
"I have that experience with driving budgets, with driving projects and taking care of the day to day," he says of his 25 years in management. "We have been sold three times in the last 15 years. And part of that is I've led these people through the transition into new companies."
"I think it's going to put everyone at the same advantage and disadvantage because you're going to have a lot of new people in there, so it's going to be a lot of learning the new people [and] learning the new mayor," he said of the March election in which the city will have a new mayor and up to seven new council members. "But the key thing that I think works for me is I have had to be a person that drove collaboration between different groups in the past. And I think that could be a great benefit I could offer the council in working with a new mayor and other council members."
Gorman also has some long-term goals for District 2, including some "soft" infrastructure plans to build community.
"One of the things I'm looking at is trying to come up with some common areas for the citizens of District 2 and these could be small pocket parks, or things as simple as sidewalks," he said. "There's a lot of areas that don't have sidewalks and sidewalks invite people to walk [to] meet their neighbors, they share the conversations, and those little interactions are what builds strong communities."
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.