Mayor Beehan won’t seek re-election to City Council

Tom Beehan and Gary Wade

Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, left, is pictured above earlier this month with Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade at Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab and Kitchen. Beehan will not seek re-election to Oak Ridge City Council in November.


Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, who has served on the City Council since 2001, will not seek re-election in November.

Beehan said he has been considering whether to run “for some time,” and he announced his decision to not seek re-election on Wednesday. Before making the decision, Beehan said, he wanted to be sure that quality candidates with a vision for the city’s future were ready to run.

“It’s clear that there are candidates who have the vision and ability to serve the community on City Council,” Beehan said in a press release. “I have enjoyed serving Oak Ridge as mayor and as a City Council member, but I think it is time for new leadership to take a fresh look at moving Oak Ridge forward.”

Beehan said he has spent 20 years as an elected official in local government in Oak Ridge and in Covington, Kentucky—before his family moved to Oak Ridge.

“I consider this a retirement from public service as an elected official, but I plan to continue to be engaged in community activities,” Beehan said. [Read more…]

New council member asks mayor to consider resigning, mayor says ‘no’

Trina Baughn

Trina Baughn

Tom Beehan

Tom Beehan

New Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn has asked Mayor Tom Beehan to drop his bid for a third term as mayor and consider resigning.

In a column posted on her website and submitted to local media, Baughn lobs accusations at the mayor that range from his alleged public encouragement of “backroom meetings” on the high school debt to the alleged benefits he received from the $30 million Kroger Marketplace shopping center.

“An overwhelming percentage of Oak Ridgers have lost all confidence in Tom Beehan’s leadership abilities,” Baughn said. “They elected me to be their voice, and with this letter, I am keeping the only campaign promise that I specifically made: I will not cast my vote for Tom Beehan as mayor.”

The seven-member council is expected to appoint a mayor to serve a two-year term during a Monday, Dec. 10, meeting.

It’s Baughn’s first major move as a new City Council member, and Beehan dismissed it with dismay this week.

“If you had to fact-check that whole column and label it, it would be ‘pants on fire,’” Beehan said. “It’s mostly fiction.”

[Read more…]

Kroger Marketplace to anchor shopping center at Illinois, Turnpike

Kroger Marketplace Site Plan

Kroger Marketplace Site Plan

Note: This story was last updated at 12:09 p.m.

A Kroger Marketplace store could be the primary tenant at a new $30 million shopping center on the northeast corner of the intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue.

The new 113,000-square-foot store could open in the spring of 2014, according to a Thursday morning press release from the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement ends months of community speculation about what was being proposed at the busy intersection.

[Read more…]