Council to appoint mayor, mayor pro tem; swear in new members, recognize former

The Oak Ridge City Council will appoint a new mayor and mayor pro tem during a 7 p.m. meeting in the Municipal Building Courtroom.

Also during the meeting, four new Council members—Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, Warren Gooch, and Ellen Smith—will be sworn in. They were elected in the November 4 municipal election.

And, former Council members Tom Beehan, Jane Miller, Anne Garcia Garland, and David Mosby will be honored. Beehan, who was mayor, and Miller, who was mayor pro tem, did not seek re-election, and Garcia Garland and Mosby did not win re-election.

See the agenda here.

Four City Council members say they’d like to be mayor

City of Oak Ridge Seal

Note: This story was updated at 3:03 p.m.

Four members of the new Oak Ridge City Council that starts Monday have announced that they would like to be mayor. One would like to also be considered for mayor pro tem.

The seven-member City Council, which has four new members, will appoint a mayor and mayor pro tem during its Monday night meeting. The City Council picks two of its members to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem after each municipal election every two years.

In letters to Council, current member Chuck Hope said he is interested in serving as mayor and so did City Council members-elect Rick Chinn and Warren Gooch.

Former City Council member Ellen Smith, who regained a seat in the November 4 election after an election loss two years ago, said she would like to be considered for mayor or mayor pro tem. Under the City Charter, the mayor pro tem presides at meetings when the mayor is absent or temporarily disabled. [Read more…]

Letter: Callison thanks supporters, says we need to promote city every day

Kelly Callison

Kelly Callison

To the Editor:

I would like to first thank all those who participated in the November elections. I believe it is the duty of every citizen to vote and make their opinion known.

I would, of course, like to thank all those who voted for me. Rest assured that I will truly represent the best interests of Oak Ridge.

Finally, I would like to thank my campaign committee, especially my treasurer Martha Wallus.

What I really like about campaigning is going door-to-door speaking to voters. I find everyone I meet welcoming and appreciative of my short visit. When you walk through a neighborhood, you get such a different sense then when you drive through at 25 mph. [Read more…]

City Council winners: Gooch, Chinn, Callison, and Smith

Five Oak Ridge City Council Candidate 2014

Three of the four candidates elected to the Oak Ridge City Council on Tuesday are pictured above during a September forum. Warren Gooch, second from left, was the top vote-getter, finishing ahead of Rick Chinn, second from right, and Kelly Callison, right. Incumbent Anne Garcia Garland, center, was not re-elected. Candidate Gary Love is also pictured.


Note: This story was updated at 1:28 a.m. Nov. 5.

Three newcomers and a former member were elected to the Oak Ridge City Council on Tuesday. The winners were Warren Gooch, Rick Chinn, Kelly Callison, and Ellen Smith.

There were four seats available, and two incumbents—Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby—were unseated. Two other incumbents—Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller—did not seek re-election, meaning a majority of the seven-member body will be new.

“It’s clearly a transitional election,” said Gooch, a lawyer and the top vote-getter. [Read more…]

Gooch, Chinn, Callison, Smith lead in early, absentee ballots

Warren L. Gooch

Warren L. Gooch

Oak Ridge City Council candidates Warren Gooch, Rick Chinn, Kelly Callison, and Ellen Smith lead in early and absentee ballots, according to early Anderson County and Roane County election results posted at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Anderson County Election Commission and Roane County Election Commission have not yet posted precinct results from Election Day voting, so the leaders could change.

Gooch has 2,206 votes, which is several hundred ahead of Rick Chinn, who has 1,975.

Callison has 1,860, and Smith, a former City Council member, has 1,649. [Read more…]

2014 Election: Interest in mayor position, mall redevelopment, better ties with BOE

Oak Ridge City Council Candidate Forum

Nine of the 10 Oak Ridge City Council candidates are pictured above. From right, they are Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, incumbent Anne Garcia Garland, Warren Gooch, Gary Love, incumbent David Mosby, Pedro Otaduy, former Council member Ellen Smith, and Eric Tobler. Not pictured is Aditya “Doc” Savara.


A majority of the Oak Ridge City Council candidates said they would consider running for mayor or vice mayor if elected on Tuesday, and almost all supported the incentives recommended for the proposed redevelopers of the former Oak Ridge Mall.

The candidates were mixed on whether to bring back red-light cameras, and most seemed to think the city’s property tax rate is about right, in light of current budget needs.

Asked to grade the current Council as leaders, the candidates handed out grades ranging from “A” to “F.”

In a series of recent forums, the candidates generally advocated for better communication between the City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education and, for the most part, seemed to be in favor of taking over Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge, although their approvals would hinge on factors such as cost and property restrictions.

There are 10 candidates running for four seats on the seven-member Council in Tuesday’s election. Two of the incumbents—Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby—are seeking re-election—and two others—Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller—are not.

Many consider it a critical election, with a business boom under way and major projects on the horizon, including the proposed redevelopment of the mall and the planned $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex.

The new Council is expected to elect a new mayor and mayor pro tem (like a vice mayor) during its next meeting after Tuesday’s election.

Here is a look at some of what the candidates said during the recent forums. [Read more…]

Progress PAC endorses three each for City Council, BOE

Kelly Callison

Kelly Callison

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

Warren L. Gooch

Warren L. Gooch


The new Progress PAC political action committee has endorsed three candidates each for Oak Ridge City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education.

The three candidates endorsed in the City Council race are Kelly Callison, Warren Gooch, and Ellen Smith. The three endorsed in the School Board race are Bob Eby, Paige Marshall, and Laura McLean.

“PAC board members feel these candidates best support exceptional schools and jobs in Oak Ridge via teamwork between the Board of Education and City Council,” a press release said. [Read more…]

Letter: Urges voters to meet Callison, a ‘proven strong leader’

To the Editor:

I want to personally invite you to come to Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab and Kitchen in Jackson Square on Wednesday, September 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. to meet and support Kelly Callison, who is running for Oak Ridge City Council in the upcoming election.

I’ve worked personally with Kelly on the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission and on several boards in Oak Ridge. Kelly is a proven strong leader who understands the problems facing Oak Ridge. He is results-focused and has shown his ability to work with and lead teams of leaders to solve problems. Kelly is chief operating officer for Information International Associates here in Oak Ridge.

I’m convinced that Kelly will be a great asset for the City of Oak Ridge as a Council member. I urge you to come spend some time with Kelly on September 24, and I think you too will find him to be just the kind of Council member Oak Ridge needs.

I look forward to seeing you on September 24!

Austin Lance

Oak Ridge

Business executive, community volunteer running for City Council

Kelly Callison

Kelly Callison

Business executive and community volunteer Kelly Callison is running for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election.

Callison is chief operating officer of Information International Associates Inc. He is also vice chairman of the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission.

In a press release, Callison said he thinks his community, business, and military experience will enable him to bring a cooperative and positive approach to city government. Callison said he will focus on “maintaining our great schools, improving housing, and increasing retail and commercial business.”

Callison and his family came to Oak Ridge seven years ago and have been active in the community from the beginning, the press release said. Besides serving as vice chair of the Municipal Planning Commission, Callison is a member of the East Tennessee Economic Council, a member of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Task Force, a board member of Contact CareLine, president of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club, and a member of the Oak Ridge Chapter of the League of Woman Voters. [Read more…]

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…]

IIa wins major U.S. Patent and Trademark Office contract

Information International Associates

Pictured above is the headquarters of Information International Associates on Union Valley Road in Oak Ridge.

Five-year contract could be worth $135 million

Information International Associates, or IIa, has been awarded a major 100-person, multi-year contract with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide a wide range of information technology support, a press release said.

The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and it is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discoveries” and to support the federal registration of trademarks.

“IIa continues to grow and to be recognized as a leader in IT services,” said IIa owner and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie C. Carroll. “In the past year alone, we have been awarded multiple new IT contracts in addition to our ongoing support to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information operations in Oak Ridge and at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and our contracts for IT infrastructure at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Maryland.”

In September 2013, II was awarded a U.S. Department of Defense contract to operate the DoD Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center. In January 2014, IIa won a major, basic ordering agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to provide a wide range of IT support to the laboratory during the next five years. [Read more…]