This story was updated Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at 3:01 p.m. to correct Hollie Berry's current profession.
East Ridge residents can soon buy liquor in the town after voters on Tuesday approved a referendum to allow package liquor sales. Meanwhile, other races in Hamilton County municipalities appeared to draw the most interest when they involved issues surrounding development.
In Red Bank, newcomer Hollie Berry, 33, had a landslide victory against incumbent Tyler Howell, 34, for the District 1 seat. With 106 of 135 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Berry had received 3,416 votes to Howell's 1,736.
Howell, an employee benefits broker for Haren Insurance, cited his voting record as a commissioner as evidence of his support of issues including promoting residential and commercial development and improving the city's parks and infrastructure.
Berry, a professional artist, ran on a platform of increasing transparency and accessibility of the city commission and protecting access to public lands. Howell raised $6,470, nearly three times the $2,125 raised by Berry.
"When I began running I had nothing but a hope that my city was ready for a change," Berry wrote in an email in response to a request for comment. "As I listened to and learned from hundreds of my neighbors and dove deeper into the workings of our city I realized that the need for a fresh, community-focused perspective was far more urgent than I could have known.
"The more people I met, the more I was buoyed by their enthusiasm for our ideas and for their hunger to be heard. As I stumbled across the disingenuous dealings of some of our former leaders, I realized that it was my solemn duty to do everything in my power to make it right. Now, with a landslide victory, I have a mandate to carry out the plans and ideas I shared with my many wonderful neighbors; fulfilling our promise for a park at the old Red Bank Middle School property, no-cost library cards, safer pedestrian and bicycle routes through our city and supporting independent, locally-owned businesses."
Three candidates hoped to fill the seat of former Red Bank District 2 Commissioner Carol Rose, who did not seek re-election.
Stay-at-home mom, social worker and political newcomer Stefanie Dalton, 37, had about twice as many votes as opponent Mitchell Meek, an engineer for Mars Wrigley Inc., who is also new to politics. Dalton focused her campaign on similar issues to those of District 1 candidate Hollie Berry, including government transparency and accessibility, as well as increasing awareness of development projects such as the former Red Bank Middle School property.
"With this definitive victory, I feel confident I have the support of Red Bank citizens to bring our city into the future we all know is possible with parks, green space, support of local businesses and partnerships with our zoned schools," Dalton said in an email. "My first priority will be addressing our city's failure to comply with the federal agreement to include a 3-acre park in our 11.12-acre old Red Bank Middle School property.
"With transparency, accountability, and proactive communication between our city government and its citizens, I know we can restore trust in our representatives once again."
In third place was Bill Cannon, an engineer and city planner who ran against Rose for the same seat in 2016. At that time he said he supported smart development of the city's few remaining sites for commercial development and sticking to the city's 2035 development plan passed by the commission in 2014.
Meek said his goals were to promote development while maintaining a small-town atmosphere in Red Bank. Dalton raised $5,485 to Meek's $6,917, and Cannon did not raise enough to require disclosure.
At press time incumbent Walden Mayor William Trohanis, 67, was trailing his opponent, former Alderman Lee Davis, in the Walden mayoral race, which boiled down to whether voters approved of the candidates' stances on the development of a village center to include a Food City grocery store on the former Lines Orchids property.
Davis raised $24,941, nearly five times Trohanis' $5,100. Contributions to Davis included $1,600 from Charles Pruett, owner of Pruett's Market; $500 from developer and Signal Mountain Planning Commissioner Jason Farmer and $100 from Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Austin Garrett.
Candidates for the alderman seat left open by Davis, whose four-year term just expired, included attorney Lizzy Schmidt, 57, who ran on a similar platform to Davis of preventing aggressive development. Also in the running were civil engineer Colin Johnson, 36, who ran on a platform of responsible growth, and Kristin Allen, a program manager at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee who vowed to come up with innovative solutions to replace Hall Tax revenue.
Contact Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @emcrisman.
We may not know results on election night
Election night usually ends with results. This year will probably be different due to record-breaking early voting and the deluge of voting by mail-in ballots. Read more on how the Times Free Press plans to handle this and where we get information on election results.