To the Editor:
I am writing to endorse Anne Garcia Garland for Oak Ridge City Council. She is kind, smart, and principled as are many of the other candidates. However, she unlike others, has no potential conflicts of interest: she is not an employee of any city entity, including the school system, nor is she a member of the Chamber of Commerce, which receives substantial monies from the City of Oak Ridge. She was not endorsed by the Chamber PAC either, which suggests that she will not be beholden or easily influenced by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce while sitting on Council.
Anne, unlike another City Council candidate, has never been a commenter on the website reportedly owned and maintained by a sitting School Board member, a site where fellow citizens are bullied and belittled.
And finally, I believe Anne has the temperament to be a good public servant. She has never, to my knowledge, threatened or “joked” about putting a sitting city council woman “six feet under.” Some readers may remember the details of an incident in which that so called “joke” was made public, an incident which I shall not revisit with any further detail now.
What Anne does have is the ability to listen with an open mind and polite demeanor to her fellow council members and citizens with enough humility to actually be willing to learn from others. We don’t need any more self-aggrandizing “know-it-alls” in this town with conflicts of interest. We do need someone who is an ordinary citizen with an uncommon intelligence and a desire to serve the interests of the majority of us, the plain folks and ordinary citizens of Oak Ridge. I think Anne is that person.
Anne, as a retiree, has the time, inclination, and willingness to do the hard number-crunching homework required from those in city governance. She will, given the opportunity, steer Oak Ridge toward the best decisions for our citizenry at large, not just the privileged few.
Please vote for Anne Garcia Garland for City Council. Thank you.
Martha de la Garza Fowler
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