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 Signal Mountain Town Council, which is a non-partisan race. The candidates' answers are presented in alphabetical order. All candidates were given an opportunity to provide a photo and two did so.
Signal Mountain Town Council
* Previous public office experience: None! I am a rookie!
* Why should voters choose you? I will be an effective and motivating influence for the town of Signal Mountain. I am a listener and then a doer. I have spent my career doing just that. I will be reachable, available, and I will listen to the community. I will listen, and then I will lead.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? Looking deeply at the town budget and finding alternate revenue streams to support that budget will be challenging. I do not want to raise property tax. We have to be creative and find a way to keep our town special without increasing our taxes.
* How will you address this challenge? Attracting and retaining small businesses in our town is a component of my goal to negate any potential property tax increases for our residents. We need to help lease the empty spaces that are available in empty storefronts. Rebranding our town will garner attention from small business and shoppers. Additionally, we can pursue grants and endowments to support different parts of our town. Lastly, we need to collaborate and be sure that the town budget is proper and is expedient in spending.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I am not interested in revisiting an independent school district even though I love our schools and am an educator. I believe that staying part of Hamilton County Schools is best for all students in our community.
* Campaign Facebook page: facebook.com/VickiforTC/
* Age on Election Day: 53
* Occupation: Educator
* Employer: Hamilton County Schools
* Education: Proud graduate of Tyner High School, bachelor of science in philosophy and religion at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, masters of education at University of Tennessee at Knoxville , and doctorate in education at Trevecca University.
* Family: 16-year old son, Luke Anderson; mother Mary Brown; and brother Larry Brown.
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-240-1170
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.
* Why should voters choose you? I seek to 1. Represent young families, 2. Increase representation of all citizens through active online surveying, 3. Decrease the power of council members, 4. Spend more efficiently and 5. Promote an environment of treating one another with respect.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? I believe we need to evolve our processes for making decisions as a town. Town council meetings and special committees are not convenient or impossible for most to attend. We need to go to the citizens where is convenient for them by using online and paper surveys.
* How will you address this challenge? By allowing more input to the council by sending out annual and one-time surveys on urgent issues, we can increase our representation of our residents. Using an online tool such as Survey Monkey, supplemented with paper copies available at town hall (or requested by mail), we can serve our citizens by going to them at a place of their convenience. From a spending standpoint, the council will need to structure these surveys so that they are focused on how much residents value elective expenditures, so we can be spending more wisely and in accordance with the desires of residents.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I will vote for things that I do not personally agree with, if a survey of citizens showed proof that the desires of our town were contrary to my belief. In addition, should other council members not agree with my passion for surveying, I will conduct this exercise myself.
* Campaign website: andrewgardnertowncouncil.com
* Age on Election Day: 36
* Occupation: Finance
* Education: Bachelor of science in commerce and bachelor of arts in religious studies, University of Virginia; CFA charter holder
* Family: Wife, Carolyn Rose; and two children: an 11-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl
* Church/civic involvement: Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423.667.8176
* Previous public office experience: I was a commissioner for the town prior to the change to a council form of government, and have served as a council member for the past year.
* Why should voters choose you? I have experience as a council member, as well as years serving on the Design Review Committee and the Planning Commission.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? How to maintain the current level of service provided to our citizens without raising taxes.
* How will you address this challenge? By working closely with town staff and looking for additional revenue sources.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I doubt I could surprise anyone with a policy position. I am typically an open book.
* Campaign office email: Cherylcg@gmail.com
* Occupation: Restoring the Mountain Arts Community Center
* Education: Years of public service!
* Family: I have been married for 45 years, have five kids, and seven grandkids
* Neighborhood of residence: Old Town
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: (423)309-7200
* Previous public office experience: Signal Mountain Planning Commission
* Why should voters choose you? Experience and investment in the community. I grew up in Signal Mountain, raised my two sons here and have served on the Planning Commission since 2010. I've been the volunteer mock trial coach for Signal Mountain Middle/High School since 2008. I am a practicing attorney, and I have served on several nonprofit Boards.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? Our town's biggest challenge is managing growth while maintaining the town's natural beauty and its small-town character.
* How will you address this challenge? We must listen to the citizens and make responsible decisions in keeping with our Land Use Plan. If the Town Council listens to its citizens, we can ensure future development is embraced by the community.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I have no hidden agenda, so my policy positions should not be a surprise to anyone. The citizens can rest assured that I will listen to them and work hard to make the most of their investment in the town.
* Campaign website: charlieposs.com
* Age on Election Day: 54
* Occupation: Attorney
* Employer: Environmental Research Center Inc.
* Education: University of Memphis, juris doctor; Indiana University, bachelor of arts; Red Bank High School
* Family: Married to Debbie Poss; two sons: Jack and Sam.
* Church/civic involvement: Signal Mountain Planning Commission; SMMHS Mock Trial Coach; Signal Mountain Administrative Hearing Officer; Past President of Association for Visual Arts; Past Board Member for Mark Making and Chattanooga Football Club Academy; Hearing Officer for Chattanooga Parking Authority.
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-400-8307
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