Dale Carnegie Employee Engagement Workshop Series starts Aug. 14

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is pictured above.

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Dale Carnegie of Tennessee to offer a six-workshop series on employee engagement. A discount is available for members of the Chamber and for those who register for all six sessions, a press release said.

The first session will be held on August 14 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Chamber, located at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Session one is titled “How Smart Leaders Create Engaged Employees.” Based on new, groundbreaking research you will learn the three clusters of behaviors that significantly impact engagement.

Then, within each cluster, individual actions will be broken down to help participants develop enthusiastic, empowered, confident, and inspired employees—the type of employees who care, who want to be part of a success story, and who will drive an organization to the top. Learn how to increase productivity and reduce turnover by cultivating a workforce of engaged employees. [Read more...]

Forum features Anderson County Commission candidates

A Tuesday morning election forum will feature candidates for Anderson County Commission in the three Oak Ridge districts.

The Election Selection forum at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce will start at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. It will feature candidates for Anderson County Commission in Districts 6, 7, and 8 in Oak Ridge. It’s open to the public, all the candidates in those three districts have been invited to participate, a press release said.

“There will be time to meet the candidates during unstructured social time followed by a structured question and answer session,” the release said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to talk with candidates and learn first-hand their thoughts and positions on key issues facing our community.”

 

Tuesday morning forum features Anderson County Commission candidates

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

A Tuesday morning election forum at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce will feature candidates for Anderson County Commission in the three Oak Ridge districts.

A Tuesday morning election forum will feature candidates for Anderson County Commission in the three Oak Ridge districts.

The Election Selection forum at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce will start at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. It will feature candidates for Anderson County Commission in Districts 6, 7, and 8 in Oak Ridge. It’s open to the public, all the candidates in those three districts have been invited to participate, a press release said.

“There will be time to meet the candidates during unstructured social time followed by a structured question and answer session,” the release said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to talk with candidates and learn first-hand their thoughts and positions on key issues facing our community.”

For additional information, contact Greta Ownby.

Fleischmann, Wamp at Q&A session at Chamber on Monday

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and his Republican challenger Weston Wamp will take part in a question-and-answer session at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning.

The event starts at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Fleischmann is running for his third term as a congressman in Tennessee’s Third District, which includes Oak Ridge. Wamp is challenging him for the second time.

The two are running in the Aug. 7 federal Republican primary. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge Chamber has Q&A with mayor, sheriff candidates

Learn more about the three candidates for Anderson County mayor and two candidates for Anderson County sheriff on Thursday morning at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

The first “Election Selection” event is 7:30 a.m. Thursday, July 10, in the Joyce Conference Room at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. It’s open to the public.

All five candidates for mayor and sheriff have confirmed their plans to attend, the Chamber said. Here are the candidates:

Anderson County Mayor

  • Terry Frank
  • Jim Hackworth
  • Bradley Rickett

Anderson County Sheriff

Oak Ridge Chamber has Q&A with mayor, sheriff candidates Thursday morning

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is pictured above.

Learn more about the three candidates for Anderson County mayor and two candidates for Anderson County sheriff on Thursday morning at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

The first “Election Selection” event is 7:30 a.m. Thursday, July 10, in the Joyce Conference Room at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. It’s open to the public.

All five candidates for mayor and sheriff have confirmed their plans to attend, the Chamber said. Here are the candidates: [Read more...]

Grand opening, ribbon cutting at New China Palace on Thursday

New China Palace Restaurant Interior

The interior of the New China Palace restaurant on Central Avenue is pictured above.

 

The New China Palace restaurant will have a grand opening and ribbing cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The hour-long ceremony is sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

The New China Palace, which has relocated from the Oak Ridge Marina, is now at 123 Central Avenue in the Jackson Square area. [Read more...]

In first vote this month, Council rejects schools request for tax increase

Oak Ridge City Council Budget Meeting

The Oak Ridge City Council rejected the school system’s request for a 37-cent tax rate increase on Monday, instead voting in the first of two votes this month to keep the tax rate steady for the seventh year in a row.

Note: This story was last updated at 9:55 a.m. June 10.

In the first of two votes this month, the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday rejected a request from school officials for a 37-cent tax rate increase that would, among other things, help fund a technology initiative meant to eventually provide an electronic learning device or tablet to all students.

Council member Charlie Hensley said the tax increase would be the largest in the city’s history, and it came in late in the budget process.

The property tax rate is now $2.39 per $100 of assessed value. The increase would push it to $2.76, and it could cost the owner of a $200,000 home another $15 per month.

“I was looking to support a tax increase, but the one that we got asked for is really, really high,” Hensley said.

There was a two-part vote on the budget on Monday. The first reduced the amount transferred to the schools to roughly $14.6 million, which was about $3.3 million less than the school board had requested, and it kept the tax rate steady for the seventh year in a row. The vote on that amendment was 5-2, with Hensley and Council member Chuck Hope voting no. [Read more...]

Free workshop on indirect rates for government contractors

There is a free workshop on Thursday, June 26, to help government contractors understand indirect rates and how to correctly calculate them.

The workshop is being offered by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Roane State Community College, in partnership with Strategic Consulting Solutions. It’s scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

To see more details, and to register, please visit www.roanestate.edu/tsbdc. For questions, contact Jutta Bangs at (865) 483-2668 or [email protected].

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center advises and assists entrepreneurs and small business owners at no cost to them.

City recommends budget with no tax increase, Council votes Monday

Oak Ridge City Council

The Oak Ridge City Council is pictured above during an August 2013 meeting. (File photo)

Note: This story was updated at 7:40 p.m. June 4.

Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson on Monday recommended a budget that does not raise the property tax rate, setting up a potential conflict with school officials, who have requested a 37-cent tax increase to avoid cuts.

The Oak Ridge Board of Education already approved its budget in in two meetings last week. That budget, which was scaled back from an earlier proposal, could include an extra $3.3 million to start implementing a technology initiative known as 1:1 that would provide electronic learning devices to all students over three years, add five technology positions, and give 2 percent pay raises to staff.

But the budget is still subject to the amount appropriated to the schools by the city. Oak Ridge provides a little less than one-third of the school system’s funding.

While the schools have approved a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, the city has not. The Oak Ridge City Council will consider the municipal budget in two separate meetings this month, one on June 9 and the second on June 16. The city budget also includes a 2 percent pay raise for employees.

It’s not clear that Oak Ridge City Council members will agree to raise taxes to accommodate the school system’s request. In his budget presentation to Council on Monday, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said Council members have endorsed keeping the tax rate unchanged for the seventh year in a row.

[Read more...]

Letter: Will not vote for tax increase, wants better communication with schools

Note: This is a copy of a June 2 letter from Oak Ridge City Council member Anne Garcia Garland to Parker Hardy and members of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. 

Dear Chamber:

The Oak Ridge City Council has always supported the needs and beyond of the city school system. This current council has lived in that tradition. We honor and appreciate our students and our teachers and have voted to provide whatever can reasonably be provided. We have also weathered the annual School Board predictions of educational catastrophe if the increased budget projections are not allocated.

This town depends upon the base of education and economic largesse of its original homeowners at the beginning of the 1950s for its sense of pride and place in academia. It is, however, that early well-being and the growth and optimism of the early post-war years which have created a myth of extraordinary wealth and erudition with which we are burdened today. Our reality is that we are a lovely small Southern town with great diversity of education, income, and opinion. We are neither young nor old, rich nor poor, progressive nor conservative. We are all of these descriptions and many between.

This town created a wonderful culture and honored its natural environment in such an outstanding manner that it has attracted citizens from neighboring counties to live and work here. Perhaps because we did not have a large stock of new or above-average priced homes, we have not attracted a large number of the professional transferees to the federal facilities in the past couple decades. After all, “youngish” professionals selling homes in more expensive markets need the tax protection of buying comparably priced homes in this area. [Read more...]

Guest column: Oak Ridge Chamber endorses schools’ funding request

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is pictured above.

Note: This is a copy of a May 30 letter sent to Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan and members of City Council.

Mayor Beehan and members of Council:

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has a long-standing tradition of supporting education in our community.

Education is critical in the development of the workforce and is the foundation for a community’s economic vitality.

Our Oak Ridge Schools is an internationally recognized system of excellence and is known for being a leader in new, innovative programs. These educational opportunities, rigor, and performance provided by Oak Ridge Schools have been, and continue to be, the key attraction for new residents to our community. [Read more...]