Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Three new representatives will join the Chattanooga City Council in the next four years thanks to voters in North Hamilton County’s districts 1, 2 and 3.
Garnering 1,120 votes (52.66 percent), Chip Henderson triumphed over Jim Folkner’s 177 votes (8.32 percent) and Tom McCullough’s 771 (36.25 percent) in District 1.
“Basically my message stayed the same all the way through, and it seemed to resonate with [voters],” said Henderson.
He said the message he tried to convey to voters consisted of overarching fiscal responsibility, improvement of infrastructure, increasing public safety and promoting economic development.
Henderson said a few of his goals are to keep property taxes down and to make sure the city has the infrastructure it needs.
“I would like to see us budget more money for roads,” he said.
Henderson said he also supports moving the City Council elections to the fall to increase voter turnout as well as to save money.
Jerry Mitchell earned 1,593 votes (54.46 percent) to beat out Priscilla Simmons’ 356 votes (12.17 percent) and Roger Tuder’s 965 votes (32.99 percent) for the District 2 seat.
“I feel like my message was very positive--the message of ‘let’s get the citizens of District 2 involved with the government,’” said Mitchell.
Among his goals are to improve upon public safety in the district’s neighborhoods and schools as well as being proactive in helping existing businesses and recruiting new businesses.
“I’m going to start doing a lot of listening and making sure I’m on target with what [my constituents] need in the City Council,” said Mitchell.
Voters chose Ken Smith, who had 1,459 votes (58.59 percent), over incumbent Pam Ladd, who had 1,031 votes (41.41 percent), in District 3.
Smith credits hard work for his win.
“We put our feet on the pavement,” he said. “We engaged the community and really listened to what it was the residents wanted.”
He said his focus initially will be to work with new Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke to do a complete audit of all city departments, determining what is truly needed and what is to be provided by the city at the expense of taxpayers.