Oak Ridge City Council member Anne Garcia Garland is running for re-election in the November 4 municipal election.
In a press release, Garcia Garland said the City Council has now begun to function like a team, the vision she had for it when she was first elected.
“The five members who have been meeting to consider policy and long-term planning have begun to realize how much more can be accomplished in this way,” Garcia Garland said. “I believe that if we can do this as a Council, then we should be able to work in a similar manner with the Board of Education and move forward together.”
Actions by the city government have shown that TIFs (tax increment financing) are useful for investing in new businesses, and the growth of the Illinois Avenue corridor is healthy, Garcia Garland said. She said Council encouraged the Kroger development by changing zoning and permitting traffic signals, and that center inspired the investment in Oak Ridge by the new mall developers.
“Changes are already happening in properties surrounding the mall area,” Garcia Garland said.
She said she thinks that there will be more money from property and sales and use taxes as the UPF (Uranium Processing Facility) is finally built at the Y-12 National Security Complex and the City Center gets to the construction phase.
“We are on the cusp of full economic recovery, and there are additional industry announcements in the offing,” Garcia Garland said. “As a former school teacher, I look forward to the city being able to increase what it contributes to the schools. My role on council, in addition to the monthly voting and work meetings, has included being available to citizens.”
She said she has also advocated with the Anderson County Chamber and Tourism to include and partner with Oak Ridge.
“I have attended committee, board, and commission meetings, participated in talks with the EPA, the Energy Communities Alliance, and PlanET, as well as the National League of Cities,” Garcia Garland said. “I have shown up, stood up, and spoken up. I bring to City Council interest in hearing what others on Council have to say by seconding their motions for discussion whether we initially agree or not. I bring a respect for all the people of Oak Ridge, as well as their representatives on council. I bring the experience of a background in math and accounting. I understand business as an owner, business developer, manager, and employee. Now, I better understand the ways city government and business are both alike and different.”