I am running for Mayor, but it would be foolish to hope for a low turnout and target a small constituency that would most likely vote only for me. REGARDLESS of who gets voted into office, the effect of a high percentage turning out would make our requests and needs as a city begin to float to the top of our elected official’s agendas. Our representatives at the capitol in Atlanta and at the county level already pay attention to and care about our city, but they would give our elected body in the city more consideration and weight if our voter base turned out in a big way. The power of voting locally is real. Elected officials are more responsive and engaged with a public that votes. When I was elected in November of 2011 to Ringgold’s city council, I received 135 votes out of roughly 1,850 registered voters. That is under 14% of eligible voters. If that number were closer to 50%, and we had nearly 1,000 voters come out during our next election, that would turn some serious heads.
We need all groups and ages to get to the polls and send a message to the larger elected community that our citizenry is engaged and active. I truly believe that you could vote for a person that may not be best for the job, but still have a net positive impact on our community because of the stronger voice we would be speaking with through our collective votes.
Breaking turnout records is not only achievable, but also something we should strive for as a community in order to ensure our city is taken as seriously as possible at the county and state level. Voting means so much more than one candidate or one office. Our voice is only as loud as it is large. We won’t always vote for the same people or the same political party, but voting locally in large numbers makes our community stronger and more viable in the larger political landscape.
One of my biggest goals in being elected was utilizing the internet to better inform and interconnect our community to City Hall. A big step in making that happen is coming to fruition. We are now posting our meetings online at this address:
We are in the process of working out some bugs since this is our first attempt at posting our meetings. There is some background noise that we are going to get eliminated, and the sound can be tweaked to be a little bit more clear, but this is a huge step in the right direction. The functionality of the software seems easy to navigate. You can actually look at our agenda and pick the specific agenda items that you want to hear from the meeting so you don’t have to listen to parts that do not interest you. Each meeting will remain accessible from the site so they can be viewed on demand at a time that is good for you.
You can currently click on our July 13th meeting and access the video from the meeting. I had one thing on the agenda (concreting the nature trail), but our engineer was unable to attend the meeting and we had to table it until our July the 27th meeting.
I encourage everyone to bookmark the link above and periodically look at our agenda items and meetings not only to keep up with current events in our city, but also to provide feedback and expertise in specific areas about which the city is conducting business.
On June the 29th, our Mayor of 40 years received the honor of being inducted into the Municipal Hall of Fame. All of our councilman were able to attend the event in Savannah, Georgia along with some of the Mayor’s family to honor what has become an impressive and enduring legacy. In 1976, he was elected Mayor after serving as Vice Mayor the previous six years. Serving with someone that has shaped our community through such momentous transitions has been an honor and a learning experience that will serve me the rest of my life. I feel that in serving with the Mayor, there is an opportunity to bridge future generations with those of the past in a unique and special way.
I’m so honored to have been the Vice Mayor during our Mayor’s last years in office. This is a good man.
Even into his 80’s, the Mayor’s dedication to fighting for what is right for the city is strong. He is quite the bulldog when he believes he has found the right course for the city, and his passion has led to some vey exciting interactions during my time on the council. Though we are not always on the same side of each issue, I have never questioned the Mayor’s motivation and genuine love for the city from which so many of his citizens have benefited. He fights hard to do what is best for us all, and that has had the biggest impact on me during our time together.
There was a recent issue the Mayor brought before the council regarding cleaning up the creek and clearing out undergrowth to ensure less flooding. Initially a majority of the council were against doing what the Mayor asked, but as I spoke with him and began to understand all he had done to reduce flooding in and around the city, I began to question the council’s position (and my own position initially) and more fully considered the Mayor’s wisdom and experience. Ultimately, we brought it back before the council and made the right decision. In the twilight of his storied tenure, the Mayor is still influencing the city in a way that protects us, even though he my not see the many years of benefit decisions like this will yield.
Perhaps no man or woman will have a bigger impact on the city of Ringgold’s history than that of our Mayor. If anyone is to have as big an impact, they have an exceptionally tall mountain to climb. He has certainly inspired me to strap on my hiking boots.