On Tuesday afternoon, East Ridge City Councilman Brian Williams formally announced his bid to become the next mayor of the city.
The following is an e-mailed statement to East Ridge News Online:
To the Citizens of East Ridge,
I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor of East Ridge, Tennessee. I feel I am well qualified to represent our community as Mayor. I have been a resident of East Ridge for the last 20 years. My professional background includes 20+ years in software development with added experience in project management and overseeing departmental budgets. Managing the different needs and personalities of dynamic groups is not new to me as I have supervised large staffs.
I feel my involvement as a current council member has been important as we continue to move our city forward with growth.
While serving in office as your council member we have accomplished the following and planning for more positive impacts to our city:
- Provided a balanced budget each year while working with the City Manager and current council.
- Last year in 2017 our council reduced our property tax millage rate to offset the reassessment of our property values which provided our citizens a net zero property tax increase.
- Continued to facilitate business growth, job creation and continued economic development throughout East Ridge.
- East Ridge’s economic success can also be seen in its local option sales tax revenue, which increased 20 percent from 2016 to 2017
- We are seeing new businesses built or in the process of building (Firehouse Subs, Dunkin Donuts, Marco Pizza, Chick Fil-A Hampton Inn).
- The reconstruction of I-75 exit provides for a safer northbound exit and entry of Ringgold Rd while allowing easier access into our beautiful Camp Jordan Park.
- Then with our current council’s vision of streetscaping west Ringgold Road will help revitalize the west end of Ringgold Road and provide more curb appeal to existing and future businesses.
- Vision for a new animal shelter for our community is in the planning stages.
We must be a strong advocate for the growth of our local business community. These include the “legacy” businesses that have helped East Ridge grow as well as the new ones. It is imperative that these businesses are successful in order to prevent an additional tax burden on our homeowners. As a city we have either sales tax or property tax to obtain revenue.
I strongly believe in:
- Community Involvement
- Supporting our First Responders (Fire & Police) with the best staff and resources
- Continuing to update our City Codes to accommodate future growth
The community must be allowed to help drive solutions and not be satisfied with pre-ordained results. Representing the best interest of the majority of our community is the responsibility of our council and mayor. I have demonstrated this by dissolving the East Ridge Housing and Redevelopment Authority (ERHRA). My participation in the creation of this was to solely provide a mechanism to remove blighted, vacant homes and commercial buildings ONLY… not occupied homes or businesses. With no opposition during the council session for the creation of the ERHRA, I voted to create this authority. However, once created the drafted plan and map didn’t convey my intent (keeping in mind this plan and map were never presented nor approved by the city council). With my concerns and hundreds of citizens’ concerns I asked the City Manager to redirect the ERHRA to remove all residential property from the map and plan. Then I asked the citizens to attend the public meeting and address their concerns to the authority commissioners. I explained that if the majority of citizens still had concerns and wanted the ERHRA dissolved I pledged to lead the charge to dissolve. I honored that promise and not for any political gain but for the promise I made to our citizens to support the majority. I would hope you would want a council member or mayor to stand with the majority of the citizens and revisit and revoke a previous action.
I respectfully ask for your support and vote in November for East Ridge Mayor.