Traffic Safety, Environmental Advisory board member running for City Council

Aditya "Doc" Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara

Aditya “Doc” Savara, a member of two city boards, is running for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election.

In a press release, Savara said he has been involved in local politics during the past two years and served on the Traffic Safety Advisory Board and the Environmental Quality Advisory Board. Savara said he has attended and commented during public comment periods at City Council meetings, is knowledgeable about the issues facing the city, and has been vocal about them.

“In 2012-2013, an ordinance came before Oak Ridge City Council regarding whether property owners Jack and Myra Mansfield could build a single home on their property in a neighborhood zoned as R1, for single-family dwellings,” Savara said in the release. “Adjacent homeowners asserted property values would drop if the Mansfields were allowed to build a home on the open space. I pointed out that the neighbors could have bought the open property themselves if they wanted to keep it as open space. I stated that the neighbors didn’t want to buy the cow, but wanted to have the milk for free, and that it was not too late for the neighbors to make the Mansfields a fair offer. [Read more...]

Chamber Primetime networking event is Thursday; public invited

Parker Hardy at Primetime

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Parker Hardy cooks hot dogs at a Primetime business-to-business exposition in October 2011. (File photo)

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Fall Primetime networking event will be held on Thursday, October 23.

More than 60 Chamber-member organizations have already reserved exhibit space for the event titled “Primetime Tailgate Party,” a press release said. The event will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. under the tent in the parking lot of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Primetime is one of the Chamber’s biggest networking events of the year. Anyone—Chamber member or not—is encouraged to attend. [Read more...]

Guest column: Smith responds to Progress PAC endorsement

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

By Ellen Smith

I was surprised and gratified by the recent news that the Progress PAC (the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce political action committee) endorsed my candidacy for City Council. To my dismay, several citizens have told me that this endorsement indicates that I have somehow “sold out” to the Chamber of Commerce. I am writing to respond to their allegations.

The Progress PAC endorsement was a surprise to me because I have never been aligned with the Chamber, I have strongly opposed some Chamber initiatives in the past, and I am not shy about my support for principles like conservation of publicly owned open space and putting the interests of existing residents and owners ahead of the interests of new business development.

However, I respect the Chamber as the main representative of and advocate for a very important element of our community—and a group whose members and volunteers who are passionate about the future of Oak Ridge. We share many common goals and interests for this community, and if we are going to make progress as a community, it’s necessary for government, the business community, our nonprofit sector, and (ideally) all citizens to try to understand each other’s interests and needs and work together for the benefit of all. [Read more...]

Guest column: Progress PAC helps broaden conversation of community issues

By Progress PAC

We are very proud that the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has entrusted us to serve as the members of Progress PAC, the multi-candidate political action committee created by the Chamber and focused on our upcoming school board and city council elections. Though we are appointed by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, we operate independently from that same board.

Some people in the community have questions about how Progress PAC will operate, who we might support, and how endorsements might be made. Some have criticized the timing of Progress PAC’s establishment, and we acknowledge it could have been better. However, our primary goal is to have a positive impact in this election cycle.

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Now that Progress PAC has been created, we are largely autonomous. The Chamber’s Board may not approve or disapprove of any endorsement decisions we may make; the Chamber’s Board cannot approve or disapprove of contributions that Progress PAC either receives or distributes. The Chamber contributes no funds to PAC operations; we are supported by donations made directly to the PAC and we must report those to the appropriate election commissions. [Read more...]

Land Bank work session on partnerships

The Oak Ridge Land Bank Corporation has a work session at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 7.

The agenda includes partnership discussions with Parker Hardy of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Realtors Linda Brown and Peggy Hanrahan.

There will also be a discussion of 175 Outer Drive.

Customer Service Workshop at Oak Ridge Chamber on Thursday

Customer service expert Bill Drury will present a workshop on customer service on Thursday, October 9, at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

The workshop is titled “A Passion for Service” and will discuss how to win customers and reduce lost sales. It’s scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Chamber.

From 1985 until 1990, Drury was the national training consultant for the Zig Ziglar Corporation. He speaks, trains, and travels extensively, and has proven to be one of the most effective and entertaining speakers in the industry, a Chamber of Commerce press release said. [Read more...]

Seminar: An overview of franchising opportunities

A free seminar at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday will provide an overview of franchising opportunities, a press release said.

The free seminar is at the Chamber from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 8.

It could help participants decide between investing in a business instead of returning to the corporate world.

“This free educational seminar will help you decide whether business ownership is a path you wish to pursue,” the release said. “Join us to learn the true facts about franchising and bust the myths!” [Read more...]

Young Professionals to hear about building strong financial foundations

Briana Teroy

Briana Teroy

The Young Professionals of Oak Ridge will learn about building strong financial foundations during a Tuesday evening meeting.

“Building one’s investor IQ starts with understanding the basics,” a press release said.

The press release said the presentation will help new investors or those who need a refresher with:

  • the importance of developing a strategy,
  • the impact of asset allocation, and
  • the influence of inflation on one’s long-term goals.

[Read more...]

Chamber has two candidate forums this week

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has two Election Selection candidate forums this week.

The first is Tuesday morning, September 30, and it will feature the 10 candidates for Oak Ridge City Council. The second is Thursday morning, October 2, and it will feature the eight candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education.

The forums have been organized by the Chamber’s Pro-Growth Advocacy Committee. They are open to the public.

Doors to both forums open at 7 a.m. There will be 30 minutes of meet-and-greet time among the candidates, Chamber members, supporters, community members, and attendees, a press release said.

The forums will start at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Moderator Melinda Hillman of Roane State Community College and chair of the Chamber’s Pro-Growth Advocacy Committee will review the guidelines. Then, questions will be drawn, and candidates will answer questions. [Read more...]

Chamber has two candidate forums this week

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has two Election Selection candidate forums this week.

The first is Tuesday morning, September 30, and it will feature the 10 candidates for Oak Ridge City Council. The second is Thursday morning, October 2, and it will feature the eight candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education.

The forums have been organized by the Chamber’s Pro-Growth Advocacy Committee. They are open to the public.

Doors to both forums open at 7 a.m. There will be 30 minutes of meet-and-greet time among the candidates, Chamber members, supporters, community members, and attendees, a press release said.

The forums will start at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Moderator Melinda Hillman of Roane State Community College and chair of the Chamber’s Pro-Growth Advocacy Committee will review the guidelines. Then, questions will be drawn, and candidates will answer questions. [Read more...]

Chamber has two candidate forums this week

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is pictured above.

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has two Election Selection candidate forums this week.

The first is Tuesday morning, September 30, and it will feature the 10 candidates for Oak Ridge City Council. The second is Thursday morning, October 2, and it will feature the eight candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education.

The forums have been organized by the Chamber’s Pro-Growth Advocacy Committee. They are open to the public.

Doors to both forums open at 7 a.m. There will be 30 minutes of meet-and-greet time among the candidates, Chamber members, supporters, community members, and attendees, a press release said. [Read more...]