For the upcoming elections in November, three people are running for two seats on the Chickamauga City Council. The top two vote-getters will fill those seats. The candidates are incumbent Daymon Garrett, who is retired; incumbent Lee Miller, a State Farm insurance agent; and James Dale Powell, a vehicle processor.

There are several unopposed races.

On the Chickamauga Board of Education, three seats are available, including a seat that was filled by appointment last year when school board member Billy Neal Ellis died. Three candidates are running to fill the three seats: incumbent Gary Parrish, an automation specialist; incumbent David Askew, a customer service manager; and Cynthia Roberts, an insurance agent, who was appointed to Ellis’ seat last year.

Mayor Ray Crowder is running unopposed.

Early voting for the elections is weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 15 and running through Nov. 1, at Chickamauga City Hall, 103 Crittenden Ave.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All voting will take place at the Chickamauga Civic Center, 1817 Lee Clarkson Road.


Daymon Garrett (incumbent)

Education/Work Experience: Chickamauga City Councilman for 20 years (not all consecutive); Lions Club member for 30 years (served as president and as zone chairman for part of that time); college textbook buyer for 24 years (Indiana-Florida region); president of Chickamauga Merchants Association for a couple of years

Problems city is facing: We need more businesses on Highway 27, including restaurants. With the expansion of the city on 27, we’re a little like two cities

What has been going right with Chickamauga: We’re in our 19th year of no city property taxes. We’re ahead of schedule putting into place recommendations from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government (UGA) study of Chickamauga. I’ve been working with the [National] Park Service to get Gordon Lee Mansion on their tour – they can’t do that because it doesn’t belong to them, but they’re giving out brochures. We have a great city manager. We have good city schools.

Vision for city: We have a growth association, but I’d like to see one that brings everyone together, including the businesses on 27. I’d like to see more businesses on 27.

Local/State elected officials candidate admires: Gov. Brian Kemp, Sen. Jeff Mullis, Rep. Steve Tarvin

Quote: “Everyone has different opinions, but I think Chickamauga is on a good path right now. We’re making very good progress and we’re moving forward.”

Lee Miller (incumbent)

Education/work experience: Chickamauga City Councilman for four years; State Farm Insurance agent/own office for past seven years; owned and operated a small college bookstore at Valdosta State University for 14 years; territory representative for a college textbook and technology company; RICP (retirement income certified professional)

Problems city is facing: Chickamauga has been reconsidering its identity – Civil War/tourism-related or quiet, peaceful bedroom community for Chattanooga.

What has been going right with Chickamauga: We have a clean, safe town. We’re working on beautification and have added hanging flower baskets and better lighting to show off downtown. We changed the direction of parking downtown with different striping – an inexpensive move that added 60 parking spaces for businesses. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government (UGA) did a study of Chickamauga and made many recommendations that we’ve been implementing. Our kayak launch stays busy and aligns with Walker County’s focus on outdoor activities and tourism

Vision for city: We’re already working on a lot of things – renovating the Holland and Watson Memorial Park, renovating our water meter system by replacing the old meters that leak and cause the loss of a lot of water. We’ve just started to discuss establishing a downtown development authority, which could have a monumental impact.

Local/state elected officials candidate admires: Mayor Ray Crowder, Gov. Brian Kemp

Quote: “I’m passionate about the success of Chickamauga and our residents. I want to make life better for residents and I want to create a more pleasurable experience for visitors.”

James Dale Powell

Education/work experience: Precinct chair for Walker County GOP for five years; on the committee that studied different forms of boards of commissioners possible for Walker County; vehicle processor; 16 years as a home builder; went to college in 2015 to become a CNC (computer numerical control) machinist

Problems city is facing: Not a lot of problems; city needs to be less restrictive on new business growth for Highway 27

What has been going right with Chickamauga: The cruise-in downtown has been good for merchants

Vision for city: I’d like to see businesses flourishing in all parts of the city. If I’m elected, I’ll donate my $1,700 a year council salary to a nonprofit in the community and I won’t take city insurance; if the whole council worked without compensation, there would be a good amount of money that could be invested back into the community.

Local/state elected officials candidate admires: Would rather not list anyone

Quote: “I would like the opportunity to participate in government in my city.”

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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