Q: What is happening with the old Red Bank Middle School Property on Dayton Blvd?
Since the old Red Bank Middle School was demolished in 2013, residents have been requesting that the 11.12 acre lot be transformed into a town center and community hub. For years, residents have been promised publicly accessible park and green space with some commercial and residential construction that would be inviting and beneficial for residents and visitors alike. Mixed-use development (dense commercial and residential construction) that is no higher than 2.5 stories will maximize property tax revenue per acre and complement a park space, much like Coolidge Park, encouraging people to stay longer and patronize nearby businesses. Unfortunately, the Request for Proposals (RFP) that was released on September 1 of this year states that the City "seeks to sell the real estate" and "is not seeking to have any form of partnership role in the development of the site" (https://www.redbanktn.gov/uploads/Final%20RFP%20RBMS%20PROPERTY.pdf). Neither is there any mention of the park or green space we have been promised all this time. As your Commissioner, not only will I fight to revise the RFP to ensure that a percentage of the 11.12 acre property be protected as a public park, I will actively seek out community input so that the development of this last open and centrally-located space in downtown Red Bank is directed by the desires of our citizens and not just the profits of a developer.
Q: I’m worried about my recent WWTA sewer rate increase. Is there anything the city can do about that?
I personally have been paying extremely high sewer bills for the past several years in Red Bank. As a citizen directly impacted by this, I have a vested interest in these costs and ever-increasing rates. It is common knowledge that local city governments 'kicked the can' so far down the road that Red Bank citizens today are suffering greatly as a result of the EPA Consent Decree (https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/consent-decree-city-chattanooga). It is my understanding that the recent 12% rate increase that went into effect on 10/1/20 (and was approved by the WWTA Board of Commissioners, one of whom is a current Red Bank Commissioner) is intended to pay for continued repairs and long overdue upgrades of existing sewer infrastructure resulting from decades of insufficient maintenance. As your elected Commissioner, I will advocate for renegotiation of these rates and for assistance programs that serve Red Bank citizens with low- or fixed-incomes.
Q: What does the Red Bank Commission do?
As a citizen, I can honestly say I have encountered considerable difficulty finding information on the current affairs of our municipal government. Whether I’m looking for information on upcoming development, community events, or important announcements that affect all Red Bank citizens, I end up doing time-consuming searches to find anything I need. Even when I do know what I am looking for, the information can be difficult to find because the City website is outdated and not user friendly. Also, despite the City already owning the equipment necessary to record and upload Commission meetings online for everyone to view, only PDF agenda minutes are provided publicly. Unfortunately, these do not include all of the detail and nuance present in either Commissioner or citizen comments. As Commissioner, I will advocate for an updated website and recorded or live-streamed Commission meetings that promote a flexible, accessible, and transparent city government that engages with its citizens.
Q: What district am I in? Can I vote for you?
Yes, you can vote for me! That information was very confusing to me when I started running, too. Red Bank is made up of three districts: District 1, District 2, and District 3. These districts only matter with regard to your assigned polling location and who can run for your district's seat. I live in District 2, so that's the seat I'm running for. We also have two At-Large seats on the Commission, and you can live anywhere in Red Bank to run for those seats. You will see three Red Bank Commission seats on the upcoming 2020 ballot (District 1, District 2, and At-Large), and you will get to vote for all three! Regardless of where you live in Red Bank, you vote for all Commissioner seats because the five Commissioners make decisions that affect all Red Bank citizens.