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The following is one in a series of survey responses provided to the Times Free Press by candidates for public office in advance of the Nov. 3 general election. Today we highlight the candidates for seats on the Collegedale board of city commissioners. There is a pool of seven candidates for three at-large seats on the board. The candidates' answers are presented in alphabetical order. All candidates were offered an opportunity to submit a photograph, and four did so.

City of Collegedale Board of Commissioners, Commissioner (choose three, non-partisan)

 

* Name: Debbie Baker (no response)

 

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Courtesy photo /Alexander Brown

* Name: Alexander Brown

* Affiliation: Non-partisan race

* Previous public office experience: None

* Why should voters choose you? I will work to make transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility at the forefront of the city's priorities. We need to create an economic future through a 20-year responsible and controlled growth plan that will create the environment for small and new businesses to thrive thus keeping taxes low.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? Uncertainty about the budget, figuring out a plan to deal with the much-needed road paving, building relationships with private and other governmental entities, fixing the problems plaguing the city administration and the police department.

* How will you address this challenge? I believe that new city administration leadership is needed first. We need a thorough budget to show where the city is financially to get rid of bad debt and to address needed areas like road construction. A handbook needs to be created for future commissioners that will inform them of their role as stated by the city charter and what the rules are for this office as said by the city municipal code. A thorough look at the city municipal code should also be done to figure if certain codes should be removed, replaced, or edited a bit to be more consistent. An economic growth plan should be created with the input of businesses, citizens and government officials to give a roadmap to 2040.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I believe that the city of Collegedale should seriously consider changing its form of government a bit to allow the elected officials to directly engage and take appropriate action with city employees if a problem arises.

* Campaign website: www.votealexanderbrown.com

* Age on Election Day: 37

* Occupation: Realtor

* Employer: Heritage Homes & Lands, LLC

* Education: A.A.S. Paralegal Studies

* Family: Married with five children

* City of residence: Collegedale

* Church/civic involvement: Collegedale SDA Church - Deacon/Pathfinder leader; city of Collegedale - Planning Commission, Design and Review Committee and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Tennessee Young Republican Federation - chief of staff; Latinos for Tennessee - board member; Nightside Pachyderm Club - former president.

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-708-0101

 

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Courtesy photo /Johnnie Hoskins

*Name: Johnnie Hoskins

* Affiliation: Non-partisan race

* Why should voters choose you? I have served my community for over 20 years in several capacities including as a volunteer firefighter in my 13th year currently. If elected I would love the opportunity to represent those same people I've been helping and be a voice for the citizens of our great city of Collegedale.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? I would like to work with the community, city leaders and donors to bring smaller "pocket" parks outside the neighborhoods in our community. Also work to extend the greenway to connect more areas to our city's center of The Commons. A bike-share program may also be a nice addition.

* How will you address this challenge? Explore areas that the city already owns through our sewer easements along Tallent Rd to connect up to eight communities off of the Edgmon Road and Tucker Road area. Work with TDOT along Ooltewah Ringgold Road to connect neighborhoods off of Bill Reed Road and our newest neighborhood of homes being build right now in Barnsley Park across from Bill Reed Road. We could work with donors and grants to make the smaller pocket parks a reality so families don't have to load up in a car to spend time at a park.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? While I look forward to a positive future with all our current leadership, I believe there is always opportunity to get the citizens more involved and lead with transparency.

* Age on Election Day: 39

* Occupation: Load planner

* Employer: U.S. Xpress

* Education: Chattanooga State - studied fire science/EMT

* Family: My beautiful wife Ashley Hoskins and our two pups, Titan and Tacoma

* City of residence: Collegedale, TN

* Neighborhood of residence: Homewood

* Church/civic involvement: Collegedale Church

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-309-8032

 

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Courtesy photo / Tim Johnson

*Name: Tim Johnson

* Affiliation: Republican

* Previous public office experience: I have served as a Collegedale city commissioner for 19 years. I have served as president of the Ooltewah/Collegedale Lions Club.

* Why should voters choose you? I have strong and proven business experience. My background includes project and people management experience along with managing budgets. I continue to support outdoor projects that our citizens ask for. I'm not afraid to vote against the majority and stand up for what I believe is right. I believe in serving and volunteering in our community such as with the last three tornados and as an advanced EMT.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? The challenge is economic development with the downturn of the economy. We know that with Collegedale not having a dedicated ZIP code, retail research firms cannot truly see our demographic and population size needed. Our population numbers are diluted in the 68 square miles in ZIP code 37363. Also, getting citizens to come and participate in our commission meetings and providing their input.

* How will you address this challenge? We will continue to work with developers on opportunities. Revitalize our recruitment strategy and make ongoing outreaches to developers. Work with small business association on any opportunities. Evaluate and see how successful cities are attracting business. See if we can springboard off their success. Look to direct mail to developers and business for opportunities. Remind developers we have the infrastructure in place and taxes remain low. We are rated fifth out of 10 cities, tax-wise. Continue to press our Congressman and representatives for the need of our own ZIP code.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I'm not afraid to stand up for the citizens, do what's right. I often vote against the majority at Collegedale. I was the only commissioner that questioned if we should revise the tax increase. I strongly believe politicians should be out in the community volunteering. As an example, I spent every weekend working in the tornado area thru the end of July with my chainsaws.

* Age on Election Day: 61

* Occupation: National account manager

* Employer: Cigna

* Education: A bachelor of science degree in organization management from Covenant College. A license as an Advanced EMT from Chattanooga State.

* Family: I've been married to my wife Cindy over 27 years. Cindy teaches nursing at Southern Adventist University, and we have raised two great daughters. Jessica, our oldest, graduated from SAU with a nursing degree and now working for Erlanger ER. Last year, she married a fine young man, Nathan, who served in the Tennessee National Guard. Ashley, our youngest, is currently attending SAU and is pursuing a nursing degree. Our family strongly supports volunteering in our community. This including the last three tornados, feeding the hungry and volunteering for Tri-Community Fire Department.

* City of residence: Collegedale

* Neighborhood of residence: Sweetbriar

* Church/civic involvement: Member of Concord Baptist Church and visits Collegedale Connect too.

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-322-7991

 

*Name: Katie A. Lamb (no response)

 

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Courtesy photo /Matthew Sadler

*Name: Matthew Sadler

* Affiliation: Non-partisan race

* Previous public office experience: None

* Why should voters choose you? I believe that transparent, open government is the one true solution to the issues Collegedale faces. Without a government that welcomes and embraces citizen participation, our city will grow stagnant, instead of becoming a thriving, vibrant place to call home.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? Our budget growth is unsustainable. Additional spending approved throughout the year has been covered by Hall income tax proceeds, which are coming to an end, and we face a serious deficit in road maintenance. We must find solutions that don't increase our tax or debt burdens.

* How will you address this challenge? I will work to ensure we have a five-year capital improvements plan, such that capital projects can be budgeted and planned well in advance. I will demand that our city administration clamp down on wasteful spending. I will also push to change the city's annual budget process such that department heads present their needs directly to the commission so that those needs can be explained and evaluated before the commissioners and the public. Finally, I will work hard to make sure that our residents are heard and their opinions are counted.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? Even though I've worked in municipal government for over a decade, I don't believe that higher taxes are the answer. With the proper leadership, government can pinch pennies and deliver the services its citizens need while minimizing their tax burden.

* Campaign website: http://sadlerforcollegedale.com/

* Age on Election Day: 40

* Occupation: Radio network analyst

* Employer: City of Chattanooga

* Education: B.S. information technology, Western Governors University

* Family: Wife, Tonya Sadler. No children.

* City of residence: Collegedale

 

*Name: Christopher Twombley

* Affiliation: Republican

* Why should voters choose you? I am a proud resident and a product of the town that is my home. I have grown alongside Collegedale and witnessed many moments of triumph, growth, and change. I am the director of IT at Girls Preparatory School and a volunteer AEMT and CPR instructor. I have long-term planning, project leadership and finance management experience.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? We the people need elected city officials that work for the people. We deserve accountability for our tax dollars and effective communication. I will work with people and for the people to ensure a safe, resilient community for generations.

* How will you address this challenge? We lack revenue streams beyond property taxes and exhausting donations from constituents. We need to address our challenges and opportunities by creating a strategic plan based on the citizens' input that will outline tools and practices that will shape a more coherent long-term future. We will then use this strategic plan to increase business development with growth that aligns with the plan. We can retain our identity and values while bringing tax dollars in and small businesses back. I will bring transparency by leveraging technology where available to make data more accessible. The citizens or "shareholders" deserve access to a comprehensive annual report in a digital or a published hard copy. Our elected offices work for the people and should be transparent with their actions and information. Transparency does not lie in the shadows, for it has nothing to hide.

* Campaign Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ChrisforCollegedale

* Age on Election Day: 33

* Occupation: Director of IT

* Employer: Girls Preparatory School

* City of residence: Collegedale

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-290-0096

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