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Hixson hosting candidate forum

The Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Kiwanis Club are joining forces to host a (Chattanooga) City Council Candidate Forum for Districts 2 and 3 Thursday, Jan. 31 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the North River Civic Center behind Northgate Mall in Hixson.

Moderator for the community event is News Channel 12 anchor John Mercer, a Hixson resident.

“We felt like the needs of our community incorporate both districts,” said Friends of Hixson steering committee chair David Queen. “District 2 candidates [vying to fill Councilwoman Sally Robinson’s spot, who is not seeking re-election] are Jerry Mitchell, Roger Tuder and Priscilla Simmons. District 3 candidates are [incumbent Councilwoman] Pam Ladd and Ken Smith.”

Queen said the steering committee felt that combining forums for the two adjoining city districts made more sense for the community than separate meetings.

“If you look at the city district zones you will see that half of District 2 and almost all of District 3 is represented by Hixson,” said Queen. “The issues that are of concern to the Hixson community should be addressed by candidates from both districts."

The city election is slated for March 5 with early voting beginning Feb. 13-28.

Each candidate will begin the forum by taking turns introducing themselves within a two-minute time limit. Then each candidate will participate in a question-and-answer session with a one-minute time limit per question. Some of the questions will be prepared in advance and some will be asked by audience members. Each candidate will then be allowed to offer a closing statement.

Queen said questions concerning the Hixson Community Center at the former Hixson Middle School are sure to arise. Citizens want to know what the next phase of the project will be, he said, adding that other question topics also to be addressed are business development in Hixson and the Riverwalk development.

“People interested in the Hixson community should show up and ask the candidates questions so they can make a good decision when they vote,” said Queen, who expects a good turnout. “The Friends of Hixson are honored to work with the Hixson Kiwanis Club to host this event. The Hixson Kiwanis Club has a past history of doing political forums in the community. This is the first time the Friends of Hixson and Hixson Kiwanis Club have partnered, but we want to work more with them to make Hixson a better place to live, work and play.”

Hixson Kiwanis Club president Geoff Holden said the Hixson Kiwanis Club has had a history of hosting numerous political forums for the community over the last 50 years.

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