To my fellow City Council members,
I am asking you to consider me as a possible candidate for mayor, when we meet next Monday night. It would be a honor to become the next mayor of the City of Oak Ridge, I believe I have shown my ability to lead and find common ground on issues over the last three-plus years I have been on City Council.
Why do I want to be considered for mayor of our city? Oak Ridge is my home. I have grown up here, went through the school system here, started and maintained my business here, married my high school sweetheart, and raised my family all right here in Oak Ridge. I love my home town and care about what happens here. I care about my neighbors and the neighborhoods. I have watched multiple generations of families live their lives here, and look forward to seeing many more to come.
I want to see our city prosper and grow, and for us do that, we have to have good leadership from our civic leaders. As our civic leaders have done before us, I want to help our city continue to move forward. Over the last 55 years, our city has seen some remarkable things and has contributed many great things to the world. I want us to continue to build on these things and look forward to what we do next.
I have had so many people come up and ask me: What is the “city’s vision” for the future, what is your “vision” for the city? Mine is pretty simple. It really comes down to three things for me:
- Continue to produce a strong school system, give every child the best public education we can, to make sure they are prepared for whatever the future may hold for them. I would like to see every child ready for either higher education, tech-ready to join the workforce, or ready to serve in the armed forces. To build a better working relationship between the City Council and the Board of Education, when we understand what each of us are required to do and what our challenges are, we will make better decisions on how to achieve them.
- Continue to build retail and commercial opportunities here in the city. It has to be more than just more restaurants to choose from. We have to find ways to attract jobs, support our existing small business base, attract companies to our office space, always be looking for industrial-type projects that bring more jobs to the marketplace, and continue to work with our Department of Energy partners to finds opportunities to grow the Oak Ridge mission. Jobs equal growth, and “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
- Housing choices have got to be a big priority of the next sitting council. We need to continue to support our Land Bank initiatives as we clean up blighted areas of our city and stabilize aging neighborhoods. We will have to be able to make some bold steps in Community Development if we want young professionals and young families to make Oak Ridge their home. We have to be able to deliver the housing stock they want.
So as you can see it is schools, jobs, and housing for me, and if I am selected as the next mayor, I will work hard in making these things a big part of the city’s vision.
Most of you know me. I am a simple hard working-class man. I support our community in many different ways form sitting on boards of nonprofit organizations, to building stage sets at the Oak Ridge playhouse, building neighborhood playgrounds, being a member of Rotary, to helping bring “Dragon Boat Races” that support nonprofits, to coaching lots of our youths in soccer, and to being one of the biggest Oak Ridge Wildcat Fans (my blood will always run maroon and gray).
I am not the “fancy tie” kind of guy. In fact, I really don’t like ties at all. I don’t know all the people in Nashville or Washington, D.C., but I am confident that if I need to approach anyone there about Oak Ridge I can get the message across. I pride myself in making new friends and building new relationships. I will bring my business-like workmanship to the job of mayor. I will work hard for all the people of Oak Ridge.
I am asking the people of Oak Ridge—if you would like me to be the next mayor, then contact my fellow City Council members, let them know how you feel. We on City Council will have many decisions to make over the next two years, and the first one will be who will represent us as the next mayor of Oak Ridge.
Whoever is selected next Monday night, we as Oak Ridgers need to support them to the fullest, and let’s get to work on moving Oak Ridge forward to bigger and brighter days.
Oak Ridge City Council member