Note: This story was updated at 10:25 a.m. Nov. 18.
There is a second candidate for Oak Ridge mayor pro tem. Oak Ridge City Council member Jim Dodson has announced that he also is interested in serving in that position.
The current mayor pro tem, Council member Rick Chinn, announced Tuesday that he will ask to serve another two-year term. The mayor pro tem fills in when the mayor is unavailable.
Dodson announced his interest in serving as mayor pro tem in a letter dated that same day. In the letter, Dodson, who was elected to City Council in November 2016, cited his experience and leadership style. He said he is committed to a vision to improve the quality of life in Oak Ridge, has experience working with groups to build consensus from a variety of viewpoints, and is seen as a community organizer and community builder by many people in the city.
Among the experiences Dodson cited were working to re-invent the Secret City Celebration committee and the planning process for the 2018 Secret City Festival, playing an active role in helping the city support a major new housing development in Oak Ridge, collaborating with key constituents and sponsors to bring WDVX radio to Oak Ridge, teaching in Oak Ridge Schools since 1987, and having good relationships with important community groups and city boards involved in business, planning, youth events, education, and tourism, among other activities.
“In our council roles, we each use our strengths to promote Oak Ridge to industry and various governmental groups,” Dodson told the other six Council members. “I believe one of the major responsibilities of the mayor pro tem is to represent the council and city government within our community.”
The Council is expected to select two of its seven members to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem during a meeting on Tuesday, November 27. Under the City Charter, those two officials are chosen by Council after each municipal election every two years. The most recent municipal election was on Tuesday, November 6.
Oak Ridge City Council member Warren Gooch currently serves as mayor, and he has announced he wants to serve again.
First elected in November 2014 and re-elected this month, Gooch has served two terms as mayor. Chinn, who was also first elected four years ago, has served one term as mayor pro tem.
The City Council incumbents, including Gooch and Chinn, were re-elected this month. Chinn said there is a great group of Council members, and he sees no need to break up the leadership team. In his Tuesday letter, he said he and Gooch have worked well together in representing Oak Ridge at both the state and federal level. Chinn cited his relationships with state and federal officials and work on issues that have affected Oak Ridge, including grants for Blankenship Field and The Oak Ridge Gateway.
Dodson said that, as a career educator, he tries to instill in his students the ideas that a leader is first a servant of the people and that he or she should lead by example. Dodson said he hopes he can set an example for young people to follow.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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