Candidate: Rhonda Swaney
Office: Ringgold City Council
Education/Work Experience: Speech therapist with Dalton Public Schools, specializing in helping autistic children; 21 years as an educator; involved in church; mother of three children; owned and ran a small business in Ringgold for three years
Problems city is facing: City has a reputation as being difficult to do business with; business owners talk to one another and that reputation spreads; businesses that leave due to lack of growth; lack of incentives for larger businesses; lack of transparency in government
Positives: Ringgold is a vibrant, growing city; families are attracted to the small-town feel
Vision for city: Become more business-friendly; officials who talk less and listen more; invest in events and venues for a wider variety of people, especially teens and seniors; put less money into things we’ve always done and more into new ideas (a dog park would be one good idea – a place not only for dogs but where people can meet and build a sense of community); more transparency in everything; true citizen representation; responsible growth – businesses and places that enhance our lives but do not compromise our town's charm
Local/State elected officials candidate admires: Former mayor Joe Barger, Mayor Nick Millwood, Councilwoman Sara Clark for being the only woman on the council and a force to be reckoned with, fellow candidate Charlie Lamar.
Quote: “Why is citizen involvement so important to me? Because it is our money that is being spent. The more involved we are, the less likely our money will be used inappropriately. My entire life's work has been teaching other people how to use their voice to get what they need. Let me be your voice. Let me bring in fresh new ideas to Ringgold.”