To the Editor:
I read the article in Wednesday’s The Oak Ridger where the reporter contacted the five candidates who were not endorsed by the Progress PAC for comments. I wonder why The Oak Ridger did not contact all the candidates.
Either way, I found most comments professional, and in particular Mike Mahathy’s and Jean Hiser’s and in general Andrew Howe’s. Both Andrew Howe’s and Laurie Paine’s, however, referenced me so I feel necessary to respond.
I appreciate Howe stating that I was a good candidate. According to the article, he also mentioned that I had served on the Board of Education for many years and that he supports term limits. Since this came up, I think it’s helpful for people to realize prior to this term, the last time I served on the Board was between 1991-1995 or 14 years in between my last two terms. This is the first time I have ever run as an incumbent.
Ms. Paine reportedly “questioned the ethics of Eby accepting the endorsement because of his Chamber membership. She said the PAC perpetuates the ‘good ol’ boy’ system.” This is the second time my association with the Chamber has been brought up as a potential ethics issue. The first was by Council person Trina Baughn.
I believe Progress PAC implemented a process that was fair to all candidates.
Secondly, I proudly sit on the Chamber Board representing my company Centrus Energy Corporation (formerly USEC) who, in the past nine years, spent more than $300 million in operating funds and invested over $130 million in capital facilities in Oak Ridge.
Thirdly, I have also consulted an attorney who says the only way I would have had a potential ethics problem is if I had sat on the Progress PAC Board and voted myself money. For the record, I do not sit on the Progress PAC Board, and during my interview I told the PAC I would not accept any money from them if I gained their endorsement.
I am honored by their endorsement and gladly accept it.
Finally, I have been proud to run my campaign on a positive note, refusing to question motives and actions of others. This town has so many good things to build on. Let’s stay on the positive by electing those people who will work positively to grow the city and retain the excellent schools we have.
Candidate for Re-election for the Oak Ridge Board of Education