To the Editor:
I am Kelvin Rice, your candidate for Anderson County Commission District 7. My parents M.L. and Mary Sue Rice moved to Oak Ridge in 1943, and I was raised on Georgia Avenue. As a lifelong resident of Oak Ridge, I have enjoyed being a part of America’s Secret City.
I attended Cedar Hill, Elm Grove, and Jefferson Junior High School. I graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1979. I previously worked at Armstrong Rubber Company as a drop mill operator and then went to Atlas Van Lines as a truck driver. I have served our community as a reserve deputy at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and have served on the Anderson County Jail committee.
I now serve on the Anderson County Beer Board. I enjoy volunteering as our Neighborhood Watch block captain and serve as the district leader for the Watch Group in the Jackson Square area. Trying to stay involved in many areas of our community, I am a member of the Oak Ridge Quarterback Club, Football Boosters, and the Underage Drinking Task Force.
One of the main goals I will strive toward as your next commissioner is to cut taxes. I would encourage our city and county to recruit high-tech jobs, encourage small businesses to locate in our area, and push for tourism that would not only benefit our restaurants and businesses but would also help our hotel industry. The tourism in the city and county is abundant; added attractions would be beneficial to the city in many ways.
The change of Lake City to Rocky Top and the new theme park will be beneficial not only to the north end of Anderson County—(it) will bring more jobs. The new park will bring more business and more tourists. The Scenic City Railroad and the tour of the plants will benefit from more tourists. More people will entice more stores and shops to open.
Our young people, as well as our treasured senior citizens, need a variety of activities and jobs so they can work and live now and in the future in Anderson County. This county needs more affordable housing for the middle-income families. As your next commissioner, I will request and see that we start working closer with other city and county management to generate new ideas and spur discussion in these areas and others to keep tax dollars within Anderson County.
As your next commissioner, I will see that we will form a task force with the city and county officials to work and find a way to get DOE (the U.S. Department of Energy) from sending people that work in Oak Ridge to Knoxville and Farragut to live. Anderson County Commission and Oak Ridge city officials need to sign an agreement that we meet with DOE and have discussion on these issues. One of our key attractions to our area is our schools. Oak Ridge and Anderson County have some of the best schools in the state of Tennessee. This fact should help encourage families with children to move to our area and become a part of our community.
I have regularly been attending County Commission meeting for three years, and I am well-acquainted with the needs of our county. Now, I’m ready to serve as your next commissioner in District 7.
If elected, I will work for you with new ideals to make Anderson County a better place for our young people and treasured senior citizens to live now and in the future in Oak Ridge and Anderson County. I promise this: If you vote for me as your next county commissioner, I will be honest and will work hard for you as my constituents. I will be readily available to meet with you and discuss any concerns you wish to share.
Kelvin P. Rice