To the Editor:
We would like to respond to the misinformation Ms. Manley posted on the Oak Ridge Today website.
But first, we would like to say we have known Mayor Iwanski for many years and have all the confidence in his leadership abilities. In addition, you can see Mayor Iwanski’s goals and accomplishments he has made since being mayor at andersontn.org which further demonstrate his leadership abilities.
Let’s talk about the tax increase. Nobody likes tax increases. We always believe there has to be some alternative, but in the case for Anderson County there was none.
We talked to Mayor Iwanski when this first was proposed. From our discussion, we came away convinced the alternative of doing nothing—which would have resulted in the state taking over our jail system and the wheel tax, which in the long run would have cost more for the vast majority of the residents—were unacceptable.
Ms. Manley seems to forget the Commission also came to the same conclusion and voted overwhelmingly for the increase with little or no consideration to the wheel tax proposed by appointed Commissioner Patrick.
Mayor Iwanski’s willingness to lead the county through solving some difficult issues has put the county on sound financial footing that has restored our credit rating and restored the county’s savings account. This will allow us to avoid property tax increases and a wheel tax for years to come.
As for the Convenience Center, again, County Commission, including appointed Commissioner Patrick, and the Anderson County Economic Development Association Board, agreed that amending the covenants and moving the Convenience Center to the David Jones Industrial Park was in the best interest of the county. Therefore, they voted to make the change.
In addition to Ms. Manley’s comments about Mayor Iwanski not attending the forum, it was made clear to the League before the meeting and at the meeting the reason Mayor Iwanski was not there was because of a prior commitment to take care of some matters for his aging parents. This is an honorable and understandable reason, and no voter should fault his decision to satisfy prior family commitments.
We do agree with Ms. Manley that it is unfortunate appointed Commissioner Patrick did not have the opportunity to say his piece at the forum. We are sure if he had, the attendees would realize Mayor Iwanski is the best candidate and will serve the best interest of all citizens in Anderson County. Their positions on several issues can be seen at this Oak Ridge Observer website page.
Ms. Manley, in our humble opinion, appeared to struggle with coming up with a “short list.” Could she really believe one can blame a flood on any one person? Give us a break.
David and Pat Gengozian