On Nov. 7, the city of Chickamauga will have a six-person council race. Incumbents Randal Dalton, Don Martin and Evitte Parrish will be challenged by Dale Powell, Lance Tarvin and Doug Cogswell. The three candidates receiving the most votes will be the winners.
According to City Manager Michael Haney, Dalton has been on the council for more than 20 years. Parish has been on council for the past eight years, and Martin was appointed to fill Shannon Whitfield's seat.
The Messenger sent a questionnaire to each of the candidates. Three candidates — Parrish, Tarvin and Powell — did not respond.
Doug Cogswell 423-242-8334. Email email@example.com
54 years old, married, I've been a resident of Chickamauga for 12 years. I volunteer at the Tennessee Aquarium almost 18 years.
I attend First Baptist Church of Chickamauga. I'm a Walker County school bus driver and also a substitute teacher.
What prompted you to seek election (or re-election), other than "serving the public"? Why are you running? I am a service -minded person and have been so blessed and encouraged by the citizens of Chickamauga that I would like to return the favor by now representing them on the city council.
What issue is the most critical right now to voters and how will you address it? I think many citizens want to maintain the historical integrity of the city while trying to capitalize on growth opportunities. I would also like to keep the city's family-oriented feel and reputation.
What other issues are important to the city residents? Additionally, I would like to see the residents better informed about what is happening in our community and would like to see more people attending our city council meetings. Lastly, I believe I could inject some fresh ideas on the community's behalf.
Describe changes you would like, and how do you intend to make those changes happen? My wife, Glenda, and I enjoy living in Chickamauga. We have put a lot of time and effort into renovating several homes in Chickamauga because we believe in safeguarding and preserving the charm of this city and it's citizens.
What should voters in your city know about you? We are very involved with our church and feel blessed to be a part of seeing God's kingdom grow in our community. We love God, our families, our city and its citizens. We enjoy the outdoors and sports, are conservation minded, service oriented, and we work hard everyday for our employers, our families, our neighbors and ourselves.
Randal Dalton (incumbent)
Randal Dalton is 61 years old and has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 42 years.
Their children (and in-laws) include Brad and Candi Dalton, Amanda & Denny Barrett. The couple's grand children include Abby and Hailey Dalton and Beau Barrett.
Dalton is the owner of Tennessee Stone Co. and Five Point Storage and attended Gordon Lee High School and Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
He is currently a Chickamauga City Council member and has bee for the past 24 years and serves as Mayor Pro Tem and Police Commissioner as well.
What prompted you to seek election (or re-election), other than "serving the public"? Why are you running? Chickamauga has come a long way in the past 24 years and I'm proud to have been a part of it, and I would like to continue the work we have been doing
What issue is the most critical right now to voters and how will you address it? Safety is one of the main issues that we try to focus on. With the serious problems our country faces, we as citizens have to be mindful of our surroundings and help one another to be a better neighbor and friend. It takes everyone working together to have a safe and healthy community. This is why people want to live in Chickamauga. This is why people serve in our community.
What other issues are important to the city residents? We are always working on our infrastructure, to keep it in good working order. We just received a grant to help with water and sewer upgrades.
Describe changes you would like, and how do you intend to make those changes happen? Chickamauga is in good financial shape and that is because we as a council are very mindful of your money and spend it in a way to better the services to you and your family
What should voters in your city know about you? I feel that the biggest problem we face as a city, county, and country is the safety of our people. We have find a way to do better as a society.
Don Martin, incumbent
Age: 80 years old
Marital status: Married to Nancy for 61 years.
Family: Son Terry, daughter Tina Henson, daughter Tammy Harkleroad, daughter Nanette Hixon. Martin has 8 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Military service: Clubs/organizations (including churches): Professional/business experience: Martin served in the Navy until he was medically discharged after 10 months. He attends Rossville Church of Christ. He is a member of the Rossville Exchange Club for 23 years as well as the Chickamauga Lions Club for 23 years.
Education (high school and beyond): Current or previous elected offices held: Martin graduated from Rossville High School in 1956 and later attended two quarters at what was once known as Walker Technical College. Martin was appointed by Mayor Ray Crowder to the council to complete former council man Shannon Whitfield's term after he was elected commissioner. This is Martin's first time running in a campaign. He has served as the Chickamauga City's Chaplin for around 20 years.
What prompted you to seek election (or re-election), other than "serving the public"? Why are you running? "After I was appointed, I just enjoyed the comradery with the leadership of the city and because I love the city of Chickamauga. I always have. I want to be a part of that in any way I can. I like the challenges that you have. I'm just a people person, I guess." Martin said the council, mayor and city manager had asked him to run this time. Martin said after he was appointed to the council, he decided he wanted to stick with it.
What issue is the most critical right now to voters and how will you address it? One of the major issues is finishing construction on the new Gordon Lee High school as well as keeping taxes down (concerning the county portion) by keeping property taxes out of the city.
What other issues are important to the city residents? Martin said the city services like garbage, water and power remain important issues for the city. Martin said it is important to keep the costs down on city services. "In Chickamauga, we've got a lot of senior citizens that's living on a fixed budget and it is difficult sometimes. We try to take them into consideration any time that we have to change rates, so this is a big issue that we have to really watch to protect our citizens," Martin said.
What do you consider as the biggest problem the city faces in the future? One of the major problems is getting good businesses into Chickamauga. This is something the council is already discussing, Martin said. Martin said the development on U.S. Highway 27 is important to the future of the city of Chickamauga. Continuing the development and growth of tourism is an important concern for Martin as well. Martin said the Ironman race, Down Home Days and the Battle of Chickamauga re-enactments are very important to the growth of Chickamauga's tourism. Martin said it's important to capitalize on the historic district and preserve it as well. Martin said Chickamauga is a "united city with excellent leadership."
If elected, what other items Would you consider high priority? Martin said he would like to see the Old Mineral Springs Bleachery site removal be completed, as it has become an eyesore to the community. He would like to see that piece of land be put to good use that will aid the city and make it beautiful.
Describe changes you would like, and how do you intend to make those changes happen? Martin said he is open to change and he knows the entire city council is open to change. "We are always willing to do anything that will help the city and its citizens be comfortable and happy," Martin said.