I was officially sworn in almost one year ago to a 4 year term as a Ringgold City Councilman. There have been many eye opening moments in the past 12 months, and I have become very encouraged by the willingness of this council to take action and become involved in the direction of our city. Just recently, we approved $250,000 be put into our Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in order to begin projects associated with bringing our downtown to life. We have had quite a few buildings sit vacant and deteriorate.
We brought experts in from Rome Ga’s DDA, and they were able to provide us with a couple of good base plans that had proven results. We have hired a new point person who’s only responsibility is to effectively leverage the city’s initial investment and help rebuild our downtown.
One of my personal goals is to create a wider diversity of business and career opportunities. The more variety we have in what we offer, the more we can prosper locally. Of coarse we don’t have any real say (outside of city code) in what people owning commercial property do with it. What we can do is pay attention, and show them that we’re committed to making their business happen here.
Our monthly budget is tight. We currently have an emergency fund set aside. Our revenue stream needs to rebound to pre-tornado levels. There are too many businesses that have not returned, namely hotels, that generate much of the city’s tax base. Our goal is to be as business friendly as possible, but I would also like our city to remain unique. We are considering some ordinance modifications to maintain a small town feel while not overburdening potential entrepreneurs and businesses.
This council is very representative of our community. Our variety of personalities and experiences has served us well. The big difference I would like to see is for the city to elect a woman to serve on the council and better represent our population.
The gentlemen I serve with are truly devoted to what is best for the City of Ringgold. We have come together to accomplish some very positive things to grow our city. We’ve also had some strong disagreements. Each one of us are devoted to what we think is right for the city. Going head to head over things people feel passion for is always a challenge. We have been able to work through these times and will continue to in a way that’s civil and lends respect to the office we hold.
I am encouraged and happy with the first year of my term and I am even more excited about the next three. Thank you for reading and I will keep the updates coming.