To the Editor:
I met Mr. Joseph Lee shortly after my family moved to Oak Ridge in 2005. He introduced himself to me and welcomed us to Oak Ridge. Mr. Lee did not ask me if I was a Democrat or Republican, didn’t ask about our religion, or what my background was. He simply welcomed me to Oak Ridge! He may not even remember.
Early on as a resident, I got involved in promotion of the city in the campaign to bring Target to Oak Ridge. Even as a short-time resident, it was easy to see Oak Ridge needed more shopping options and opportunities to increase both sales and property tax bases. I observed Joe Lee promoting passage of the referendum.
Mr. Lee’s promotion of and work in support of Oak Ridge didn’t end with Oak Ridge losing Target. I learned that Mr. Lee was on the board of the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals. Among work on that board, Joe Lee proffered the strategy that formed the basis of the plan to restore the Guest House. Mr. Lee worked diligently to affect resolutions of blighted and abandoned properties.
I started attending City Council meetings around 2008. There is one person I do not remember ever not seeing at those meetings, that is Joe Lee. I observed Mr. Lee to be professional, informed about issues and solutions, and passionate about the growth of Oak Ridge. He has never wavered. Mr. Lee is also a team player. Look no further than successful projects at the University of Tennessee completed by Mr. Lee and his construction team. Those strengths—professionalism, intelligence of city issues, passion for our city and the ability to work with others—are needed on Oak Ridge City Council to keep us moving forward.
In closing, let me speak of how polite Mr. Lee has been to me. There are some political issues on which Mr. Lee and I do not agree. I know; he knows. I have asked for his views and opinions at times, and I have given mine. Not once has Mr. Lee been unfair on uncivil to me. Talking and listening can bring results that more people support.
Make no mistake, Joe Lee and I agree on plans for our city’s future. A few years have passed since first meeting Mr. Lee. I am happy to call him a friend. I recommend Joseph Lee for your consideration as City Councilman.