Incumbents Randal Dalton, Evitte Parrish and Donald Martin hope Nov. 2 to fend off challengers Rhonda Jacks, James D. Powell and Kenneth “Kenny” Evans in the Chickamauga City Council election.
All terms are for four years. The seats are at-large, meaning the three candidates who garner the most votes will be elected.
Chickamauga residents may register to vote at City Hall Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The last day to register to be eligible to vote in this election is Monday, Oct. 4.
Early voting will be Monday through Friday, Oct. 12-29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chickamauga Civic Center, 1817 Lee Clarkson Road. Early voting will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Voting on election day will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Chickamauga Civic Center.
We sent the candidates a list of questions to help voters get to know them and where they stand on issues.
How long have you lived in Walker County?
Dalton: I have lived in Chickamauga my entire life, 65 years.
Evans: I have lived in Walker County for 53 years.
Jacks: All of my life.
Martin: I have lived in Walker County for 84 years.
Parrish: 36 years.
Powell: My whole life. 48 years.
Are you a member/officer of any clubs, organizations, charities, church, etc.? Please, list your office if you are/have been an officer.
Dalton: All my family attended Gordon Lee. I am of the Baptist faith.
Evans: I attend Elizabeth Lee United Methodist Church and Cross Connection.
Jacks: I serve as chairperson of the Walker County GOP Scholarship Committee. I am a member of The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, The Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists and serve on the Political Action Committee. I served as secretary of the Chickamauga Recreation Association for two years. I am a member of The Gathering Church.
Martin: I am member of the Rossville Church of Christ. I served as a elder and deacon in the Church of Christ. I am a member and past president of the Rossville Exchange Club. I am a member, past president and current chaplain of the Chickamauga Lions Club.
Parrish: I am a member of Elizabeth Lee United Methodist Church and serve as a trustee for the church’s trust fund and also teach Sunday School with my wife. I am a member of the Gordon Lee Band Boosters and the GLHS Trojan Club. I am a member of and serve as the city’s representative on the Walker County Chamber’s Board of Directors. I also serve as the city’s representative on the Walker County Development Authority.
Powell: I am the current Chickamauga Precinct chairman for the Walker County GOP and have been since 2014. I have served on several committees in the Walker County GOP, one of which was the ballot committee who was responsible for helping get the Board of Commissioners passed. I helped found and currently serve on the Executive Committee of The Georgia Transparency Coalition. Lifetime member of the Georgia Republican Assembly (GRA).
What are your past/current educational/career/work/political experiences, particularly any that make you a better choice for the post you’re seeking?
Dalton: I am the owner of Tennessee Stone Co. and Five Point Storage, all located in the City of Chickamauga. I moved Tennessee Stone from Chattanooga to Chickamauga two years ago to stay closer to home.
Evans: Graduated from Gordon Lee High School in 1986. I worked for the City of Chickamauga for 24 years. During this time I worked for the electrical, water and street crew, finishing my career with the Chickamauga Police Department.
Jacks: I served as the president of the Tennessee PeriAnesthesia Association where I worked with nurses across the state and country to promote our profession and set practice guidelines. I have volunteered on several political campaigns where I have networked with people across Georgia. My job is very stressful and fast paced. This has afforded me the opportunity to get things done in a timely and stressful environment while working in a team environment.
Martin: I have been a business owner in Walker County for 44 years. I went to public school in Walker County Schools where I graduated in 1956. I am now retired from public business but continue to fulfill other entrepreneur endeavors. I have served as city chaplain for 25 years and a city councilman for the past six years.
Parrish: I am a product of the Chickamauga City Schools and graduated from Gordon Lee High School. My time at Gordon Lee taught me to treat people with respect and to listen before I speak. I received my bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dalton State College and my master’s degree in business administration from Kennesaw State University. I started my career in banking during college as a part-time teller, and I currently serve as vice president for BancorpSouth Bank. This is my 12th year serving on the Chickamauga City Council. My business and financial backgrounds have assisted me in making sound decisions for the city.
Powell: I am a Gordon Lee alumni (1991) and a Georgia Northwestern College graduate where I maintained a 4.0 GPA. Let’s face it, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to serve your community, but you do have to be able to look at the information that you are provided and make a logical decision that is good for the community as a whole and not just a select few of family and friends. I am good at making logical decisions and would love to serve my community by being on the city council.
Any other things about you that make you a better candidate for the post you’re seeking?
Dalton: I have been on the council for 28 years with the past 14 years as mayor pro-tem and police commissioner. I’m very proud to be a part of our city employees and our great police department.
Evans: After working my many roles in the City of Chickamauga for 24 years, I’m ready to put my past experience to work to continue making the city even better.
Jacks: I have raised four sons in Chickamauga. I have watched our city change throughout the years. I want to preserve our small town feel while encouraging progress. I feel that my leadership experience in my career combined with my love for this city, my experience working with people from all walks of life and my political passion make me an ideal candidate for City Council.
Martin: I was raised in Chickamauga and have always loved this city. Chickamauga is my hometown. I want to see this city continue to move forward and progress economically. My experience from living here most of my life and understanding the needs of our citizens, I feel, are invaluable qualifications to meet the needs Chickamauga.
Parrish: I have deep roots in Chickamauga and Walker County. My wife and I have two children that attend Gordon Lee. They are in the band and play sports for the Chickamauga Recreation Association. I have a passion for serving my community and a sincere desire to see it constantly improve. Over the past 12 years on the council, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the operations of the city. I have worked to build good solid relationships with our local and state representatives, as well as state agencies, so that when it becomes necessary, we are ready to work together for Chickamauga.
Powell: I am someone with fresh ideas and would like to see Chickamauga grow and prosper. I am not wanting to serve for 20 or 30 years like some but would like to serve for a couple of terms and then let someone else have a shot the way our government was meant to function. Also as I said in the last election, again I will donate my income for serving each year back into the community, and I will not be taking the city insurance.
What are the issues that most concern you? If elected, what changes, if any, would you make and what goals would you have?
Dalton: Our mayor and councilman don’t always agree on everything, but we all work together for the same common goals, public safety, a strong infrastructure, no general fund tax, for the past 22 years, taking care of our elderly and less fortunate, and one of the best school systems in the state of Georgia.
Evans: Goal if elected is continuing making the city a great place to live, work and visit.
Jacks: I want to increase small business growth and beautification of our town. Our history makes Chickamauga a perfect tourist destination. I want to increase tourism which will increase success of our small businesses.
Martin: One of the most important concerns is to help upgrade certain areas of Chickamauga to help improve property values. I would also like to see all downtown business buildings occupied and business thriving! My goal is to continue the good leadership. Because Chickamauga is a historic town, I would like to see more emphasis on tourism.
Parrish: The city’s goals are one of my favorite things to talk about, but for the sake of the paper’s cost of printing I will limit my answer to two that we are currently working on. The City of Chickamauga is fortunate to own its own water and sewer systems, but with that comes the expense of maintaining and updating them. We are currently working on getting grants to update the water and sewer lines and the storm water control behind the downtown businesses on both sides of Gordon Street. The storm water control improvements will stop any storm water from coming into their buildings during heavy rains. The sewer upgrade will assist the businesses with any plumbing issues they may have and make the properties more marketable to convert into restaurants in the future, if desired. While doing this, we are trying to also accomplish the Renaissance Strategic Vision Plan’s goal of making the alley attractive for shoppers and adding additional parking. To see an idea of how this could look go to http://cityofchickamauga.org/about-downtownrenaissanceplan.asp, and open the plan to pages 119-121.
Another plan/goal that we are working towards now is making our city even safer for kids to walk to school and for people to walk around town. Earlier this summer the city and school administration started working with Safe Routes To School to develop a plan to make our current sidewalks safer and to locate where new sidewalks are most needed. The study was recently completed, and we are now working towards making the needed improvements.
Powell: Chickamauga is a great town, and I can’t say that I have a lot of issues, but there are a few concerns. One example would be that I would like to see the Battlefield Overlay District done away with as I feel it stifles economic growth around the Highway 27 area of Chickamauga. It has served its original purpose and needs to go.
How can voters with questions/comments contact you or get more information about you? If you have a website or Facebook page, please, include that information.
Evans: For questions or concerns I can be contacted at email@example.com.
Jacks: You may email me at LJwareagle5@yahoo or go to my Facebook page Rhonda Jacks for City Council.
Martin: Citizens can contact me through my email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call/text at 423-987-5183. I also am on Facebook.
Parrish: The best way to contact me is with a phone call. My phone number is 423-413-5934 and if you lose it you can find it on the City of Chickamauga’s website, CityofChickamauga.org.
Powell: Email: Jamesd.email@example.com; Facebook: James Powell for Chickamauga City Council; or feel free to come say “Hi” and talk to me at Phil’s Primetime Pizza Cruise-in downtown Chickamauga the last Saturday of the month through the end of October. I am usually working the car entrance every month for my friend Kevin Martin, owner of Phil’s.