Nineteen candidates for Oak Ridge City Council, School Board

Vote Logo

Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m.

Ten candidates have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election, and there are nine candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education—a total of 19 candidates.

It’s the largest field of candidates in recent memory, and it’s not immediately clear when, or if, there has been a field as large.

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in this fall’s municipal elections in Anderson County was noon Thursday.

There is a mix of incumbents and newcomers in Oak Ridge, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.

Oak Ridge

In Oak Ridge, two incumbents, including Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, are not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, the other two incumbents whose terms expire this November, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, are running for another four-year term.

In addition to Garcia Garland and Mosby, the other Oak Ridge City Council candidates are:

  • Kelly Callison,
  • R.G. “Rick” Chinn,
  • Warren L. Gooch,
  • Gary L. Love,
  • Pedro J. Otaduy,
  • Aditya “Doc” Savara,
  • Ellen D. Smith, and
  • Eric Tobler.

[Read more…]

Thursday deadline to qualify for municipal elections across Anderson County

Vote Logo

Thursday is the deadline to qualify for municipal elections across Anderson County, and so far, there appears to be a mix of incumbents and newcomers in Oak Ridge, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.

Eleven people, including the four incumbents, have expressed an interest in running for four seats on Oak Ridge City Council in November, and seven candidates have qualified so far.

Meanwhile, three people, including one incumbent, have qualified to run for three seats on the Oak Ridge Board of Education. A total of nine potential candidates, including the three who have qualified, have picked up petitions to run for Oak Ridge school board.

The November 4 election is the last in a series of three elections this year. The deadline to qualify is noon Thursday, August 21. A candidate needs 25 verified signatures on a nomination petition to qualify.

Those who have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council are: [Read more…]

Council approves $18 million in borrowing for sewer system repairs

Trina Baughn

Trina Baughn

After more than an hour of discussion, the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday approved the borrowing of $18 million in low-interest state loans to help pay for a $23 million project to fix the municipal sewer system.

Council voted 6-1 to borrow the money at a 1.23 percent interest rate through the State Revolving Fund program, which is administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The work is being done to comply with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order that requires Oak Ridge to repair all sewer system overflows by Sept. 28, 2015.

[Read more…]

Alexander supports balanced budget amendment to U.S. Constitution

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Wednesday announced he will be an original cosponsor of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“For eight years as governor, I balanced Tennessee’s budget, and other states balance their budgets—I don’t see why Washington can’t do the same,” said Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.

The second-term senator said the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends, and that’s money the country dosen’t have.

[Read more…]

Guest column: Oak Ridge needs debt policy, debt ceiling

Trina Baughn

Trina Baughn

At under 45 minutes, this month’s City Council meeting may have been the shortest meeting they’ve ever held. While it was a nice change from the normal three-hour meetings, I wonder why council didn’t take the opportunity to discuss anything of significance given our city’s various, not to mention serious, problems. After all, they are limited in how often they meet to accomplish anything. Yet, they were perfectly content to accomplish nothing.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about our city’s debt—a bill that is quickly approaching $200 million. I implored the city to develop a debt policy that would establish a debt ceiling, a debt reduction plan, and parameters for borrowing.

[Read more…]