Mayor Brian Williams had another “Meet the Mayor” event at Wally’s Restaurant on Saturday, Jan. 25. What follows is Mayor Williams’ account of information he gave those in attendance and comments from guest speaker ERPD Chief Stan Allen.
City Council Meetings
As you probably already know the times for our City Council meeting and work session were rearranged to streamline the meetings. Starting back on Oct. 24, the regular City Council meeting will begin at 6 PM and the tentative agenda for the next council meeting will be the last item on the regular agenda.
Update on my council initiative: I initially started with the East Ridge City Council Community Food Pantry Food Drive from October through December. Which offered all attendees at City Council meetings an opportunity to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donation for the East Ridge Community Food Pantry. To be clear, admission into a City Council meeting is not predicated on a donation.
Started in March 2015, the Food Pantry is located at the East Ridge Methodist Church on Prater Road. The Pantry services over 300 families a month, which includes approximately 550 children.
For more information about the East Ridge Community Food Pantry, contact Danny McDowell at Jones Memorial by calling 423-624-6073.
Beginning in January and through March our charity is Friends of East Ridge Animal Services. They are located at 1232 Greens Lake Rd. They are a 501c3 non-profit organization which is comprised 100% of dedicated volunteers. Their mission “We Matter to That One” and a passion is to help animals in our area live the quality of life they deserve.
Key information about this organization:
- Support animals that are in need.
- Provides heartworm treatment for the animals at East Ridge Animal Shelter.
- Provides a collar & leash for every adopted dog.
- Routinely walk the shelter dogs.
- Monthly sales at their location of donated items.
- 100% of all donations or proceeds from sales go to support their mission and cause.
- Trap cats pay to have them spayed or neutered to control over population and then return to their environment.
- Any type of donation (clothes, furniture, small appliances, etc.) for inclusion in their monthly sale.
- Dog & cat food.
Remote Area Medical (RAM) November 15th and 16th
RAM is a major nonprofit provider of free mobile clinics. Their mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by providing free, quality healthcare to those in need. We do this by delivering free dental, vision, and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals.
933 patients, 1,116 teeth extractions, 314 fillings, 45 cleanings, manufactured 337 pairs of glasses, $478,884 of valued of services.
Over the past 3 eventsat Camp Jordan
2,633 patients, 3,387 teeth extractions, 749 fillings, 267 cleanings, manufactured 1,029 pairs of glasses, $1,300,000 of valued of services.
RMHC Run4Kids was Saturday, January 18 at 2 p.m. at Camp Jordan
Ronald McDonald House hosted their first RMHC Run4Kids. This is a big celebration for our community and Ronald McDonald House families. There was a great turn out. Greg Funderburd, Rusty from the Red Wolves and Louie from the Lookouts was there. We had lots of fun activities including a best dressed award for those that show up in the best spirit gear!
As of January 2020, there are 375 Ronald McDonald Houses in 45 countries and regions, 262 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in 28 countries and regions, and 50 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles worldwide in 10 countries and regions. There will be a 5k Run & 1 mile walk for our families and friends!
Chattanooga is home to the 137th Ronald McDonald House®, 4th Ronald McDonald Family Room® and 13th Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®.
Families stay an average of 15 nights.
550-600 families stay at the Ronald McDonald House every year.
Since the Chattanooga chapter opened on November 18, 1990, more than 10,000 families have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.
Census 2020 –Why It Matters! Hospitals. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of our community. The results help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. East Ridge has formed a “Complete Count Committee” which utilizes local knowledge, influence, and resources to educate communities and promote the census throughout our city. Our CCC members are local business owners, citizens, and educators. We began back in June of last year when Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s office contacted me to participate in a county wide census meeting. The City of Chattanooga has been well out in front toward Census preparations and provide East Ridge with valuable help and information. East Ridge is the second best informed and preparing for the Census and helping prepare and lead other cities within the small city’s collocation.
Hot News!!! With the help and assistance of State Representative Esther Helton we are extremely excited to announce that our Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will speak and answer questions at a Census Kickoff event on Friday, February 21st at 6 pm at the Community Center. We are pumped to have this event in East Ridge and we will invite Chattanooga officials, Hamilton county officials and the officials with the small cities collocation to attend. The public is invited.
Strategic Planning Session
Create a Mission Statement – Our mission is to provide services through effective and efficient governance which promotes business opportunities, sports tourism, and quality of life within our diverse, inclusive, and safe neighborhoods.
Conduct an environmental scan – what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the City of East Ridge
Create a Vision Statement: – As the Gateway to Tennessee, East Ridge strives to be the Pioneer of economic progress, where all people can reach their full potential while embracing culture, recreation and family values.
- Create a finance plan to increase revenue and maintain fund balances
- Build a new animal shelter
- Evaluate the need for a third fire hall and create a plan for building one if needed
- Build a dog park
- Establish an employee retention/succession plan
Red Wolves – field is graded and prepped, and turf will be to be delivered and laid.
Top Golf – building erected and poles set and nets hung. Planned opening April/May 2020.
Champy’s – starting the foundations. Planned opening April/May 2020.
Jonathan’s Grille – Established in 1999, Jonathan’s Grille is a family-owned, upscale sports grille based in Nashville, Tennessee. Their restaurants provide two different settings – first, a bar with enough TVs to catch any game, and second, a restaurant providing an upscale, yet comfortable setting for any group of family or friends.
Fresh Burger Grill – will go in the location of All American Grill at Germantown Rd. and Ringgold Rd.
Level Up – new arcade will be opening next to Amigo’s in Osborne Plaza.
Also don’t forget our hometown businesses. Please patronize them often…..
I wanted to remind of two individuals that recently passed. Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Alma Jeffries – 101 years old and honorary member of the Crestwood Garden Club of ER
L. Brock Bennington – 50 years old, lived in ER, and I served on the Beer Board with him.
Police Chief Stan Allen
Background: retired as a 28-year veteran from Chattanooga Police Department. Worked in the private sector prior to coming to East Ridge approximately five years ago. Currently the Police Chief for the past month and Acting Police Chief for the previous 13 months.
Currently backfilling some positions from promotions from within the department (i.e. Assistance Chief, Patrol Lieutenant and down line).
Goal to make East Ridge a safer place for its citizens and visitors. Make this a place that people want to come here, and to be blunt, a place where people that are transporting drugs, selling drugs and committing crimes are terrified to come.
Chief Allen said that we have an excellent police force and he’s very proud of all the officers.
Budgeted for 45 officers with one open position and 12 reserve officers.
The police department is broken down into a patrol division with two shifts X two teams, five Crime Investigating Division, two Crime Suppression Unit, two traffic officers, 12 reserve officers.
Topics to touch on to keep citizens from being victims:
Beware of phone calls, text messages and emails soliciting your personal information. The best way to handle that is that is you don’t initiate a contact don’t provide the requester any information. The IRS will not call you on your cell phone and tell you to send them money or gift cards to pay your tax bill. Latest new scam is the FedEx text with a link that requests your credit card info for the package delivery. If you are not expecting a package, then don’t provide your information. An Amazon scam was mentioned that is similar to the FedEx one. One citizen mentioned their dad was called and informed that his grandson was in jail and needed bail via money order or a credit card. Chief Allen mentioned there have been tens-of-thousands of dollars lost to these types of scams.
A citizen stated they had seen a strange man in a hoodie walking in her neighborhood at 2 a.m. and asked what to do. Chief Allen stated to be alert and if you “see something say something.” If you see something out of place call the non-emergency police number (622-1725). If there is truly an emergency call 911.
Second Topic: please lock your car and don’t leave valuables in the car visible. Don’t be a victim of a crime of opportunity. Do not leave your car unlocked and running due to the cold temperatures.
During Chief Allen’s conversation, one citizen mentioned that some insurance companies will not cover the damages and expenses when you leave your vehicle unlocked or left running and the car is vandalized or stolen.
A question was asked if Ring doorbell video’s or other video recordings can help. Answer is yes, possibly, if quality is good, but that is after the fact of a crime. ERPD has used video to help in the arrest of a crime.
A citizen mentioned to lock doors when you get into your car. Chief Allen mentioned that a locked door is less likely to pop open during a crash.
A citizen asked if ERPD will offer a women’s self-defense training? Chief Allen stated not at this time.
One family at the meeting stated that they moved to East Ridge three years ago and they researched Hamilton County for violent crime statics. Zip code 37412, East Ridge, was the second safest area in a three-year study in Hamilton County.
announces the second class of the East Ridge Citizens Police Academy Program starting
March 30th. The citizen’s
academy is a 10-week program. Every
Monday for 10 weeks from 6pm to 9pm. The
application will be available on the city website. The applicants are screened and a background
check if performed. They will accept 15
applicants in this class. The program is
focused at familiarizing our citizens with the various aspects of the law
enforcement profession. During these training sessions representatives from
various divisions within the police department will conduct presentations and
demonstrations on a variety of topics to include: Uniform Patrol, Criminal
Investigations, Traffic Enforcement, K-9 Unit, Court Observation and discussion
with our DA and Judge, firearms training and shooting range.
A citizen asked if there are any programs for young children? Chief Allen stated not yet. However East Ridge Elementary School comes and tours our city departments and observe what they do.
A citizen asked who filled his position? Chief Allen stated that Lieutenant Clint Uselton was promoted to Assistant Chief, and Sergeant Hewitt was promoted to patrol Lieutenant.
A citizen asked if the police officers are required to live in East Ridge? Chief Allen stated they are not required to live in East Ridge. Then it was asked if officers can take their car home? It was stated they have to live within 25 miles of the city limits in order to do so.
_ Mayor Brian Williams