To the Editor:
We are very fortunate to have several candidates running for City Council on issues that Council actually works on. Continuing good schools seems to be on all platforms and should be. Safety for citizens and the community is also very important. How to pay for these without raising taxes is probably the most important part of the platform. Oak Ridge is a city dependent on the U.S. government more than most Tennessee cities. During the early years, scientists and engineers from the “plants” lived in Oak Ridge and made it a well-run, highly educated city that was famous the world over.
Some of the “plants” are still here and now are making scientific breakthroughs that are changing manufacturing in this country. 3-D printing, carbon fibers, and the Spallation Neutron Source are part of great scientific achievements. However, less than one-half of the employees live in Oak Ridge, and almost no new manufacturing is moving here to take advantage of this great success coming out of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex. That can change.
We have the Spallation Neutron Source, which was brought here by actions of state and national leaders working together. Hans Vogel, now a leader of that endeavor, is running for the Oak Ridge City Council. The U.S. Department of Energy has a pilot project for a new partnering mechanism that is intended to give private sector companies a means of working with our national laboratories. Carbon fiber production can be a big breakthrough with new scientific companies like LeMond coming onboard. ORNL is partnering with PARTTEC to make the most of the world’s premier neutron scattering resource. Hans Vogel will have access to the nation’s leaders for this area and can help Oak Ridge become Science City again, only this time by manufacturing products of the future that can add to our tax money to fund our schools, improve our community, and make it once again the place scientists choose to live.
With the new industrial projects and the hiring going on continuously at Y-12 and ORNL, we need to make sure the city has the housing products young families need to make the choice to live in Oak Ridge. We have to have that piece of the puzzle to go along with great schools, great health care, and great jobs to revitalize the city. We need people on City Council who both understand these facts and have unlimited access to DOE in Washington and our Congressional representatives.
I dream of the city I moved to 50 years ago. Hans Vogel has the talent, the contacts, and the leadership to make a great addition to our City Council.
Please make Hans Vogel one of your three choices for Oak Ridge City Council.
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