NOTE: The Oak Ridge City Council will hold a special non-voting meeting on February 27, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building to discuss the high school debt resolution as well as a request received by the BOE on 2/26/14 to approve an amendment to their annual budget in the amount of $1.75 million. … Continue reading The Oak Ridge High School Debt Chronicles – How a $40 Million Project Will Cost Taxpayers Over $126 Million (So Far)
For the first time in two years (and since I joined council), the Oak Ridge Board of Education (BOE) and City Council held a joint meeting. The agenda was heavy and the mayor unilaterally established a time limit of 1 ½ hours at the very beginning. The meeting room was packed and a crowd formed … Continue reading Report on the 2/21/14 Joint Meeting Between Oak Ridge City Council and the BOE
There is a tremendous amount of activity occurring in the very near future that will effect all Oak Ridgers in many ways. First, council and the BOE will hold a special called meeting this Friday at noon. The agenda is found here and was just released a few hours ago. The original purpose of this … Continue reading Upcoming City and School Meetings/Hot Topics
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the February 10, 2014 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video (which you can now fast forward and rewind through after the initial minutes have played) of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 2/10/14 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
Anytime one of our troops returns home from conflict, it is truly a reason to celebrate! Not only because of the sacrifice these brave men, women and their families have made, but because so many of their fallen brothers and sisters were not as fortunate. Thanks to the efforts of an amazing woman, Valarie Emery, … Continue reading Details for Tomorrow’s Homecoming for SGT Neal Martin
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the January 13, 2014 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video (which you can now fast forward and rewind through) of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 1/13/14 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
Happy New Year! Here is your update for January. I’ve pasted a few noteworthy items below. Results of the December meeting can be found here. Additionally, here are a couple of quick notes of interest: This month, the third of four approved water/sewer rate increases will take effect. I am convinced that these excessive increases could … Continue reading January City Council Update/School Security Update
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the December 9, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video (which you can now fast forward and rewind through) of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 12/9/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
Merry Christmas Oak Ridge! Here is your update for December. The upcoming City Council meeting agenda is fairly light this month, but I’ve pasted a few noteworthy items below. Results of the November meeting can be found here. Don’t forget that our annual Christmas Parade will be Dec 14th starting at 6:00p.m. Also, council will … Continue reading December City Council Update
Honorable Mayor Frank and County Commissioners: Like you and all of our citizens, I recognize the need for the successful redevelopment of the Oak Ridge mall property. My research, to include discussions with various city officials and partners from their past projects, has me convinced that if anyone can help us finally turn the mall … Continue reading My Suggestion to Anderson County Commission Regarding the Mall TIF/Attorney Reply
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the November 11, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the December … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 11/11/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
The Oak Ridge Observer is currently running a series on elected officials in Oak Ridge. The following were my responses to their questions which ran in last week's edition. What do you see as a driving force in propelling Oak Ridge to prosperity in the next ten or so years? The health of the … Continue reading The Observer’s Get To Know Your Leaders Q&A
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the October 14, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the November 11th Regular … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 10/14/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
Upset? Disturbed? Pissed? You should be. I know I would be if that statement popped up as the subject of an email in my inbox. Guess what? Our kids are sending and receiving these types of messages. I know this for a fact because I've heard directly from children I know who've been encouraged to kill … Continue reading Go Kill Yourself
Hello and Happy Fall! Here is your update for October. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have anytime! The results of the 9/17/2013 special called meeting on the school’s demand for $250K by Oct 1st are found here and my complete analysis with the ramifications of council’s … Continue reading October Oak Ridge City Council Update
In order to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the recent school system fiasco, I’d like to expound upon my characterization of it as a “manufactured crisis.” I will first provide a brief summary and then, for those who are interested in the details, I will elaborate. I will conclude with my suggestion for … Continue reading Manufactured Crisis: A Joint Venture After All?
The following represents an unofficial account of the single item discussed and voted upon during the September 17, 2013 City Council Special Called Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 9/17/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY – MOE/High School Debt
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the September 9, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the October … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 9/9/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
On September 9th, your City Council will likely vote to approve additional water/sewer rate increases. When combined with the last two increases, the average user’s bill will have spiked 62% in just 34 months. Subsequently, should council adopt the fully proposed schedule through 2019, most residents and businesses will be paying double what they were … Continue reading Why It Will Cost Even More To Flush & What You Can Do About It
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the August 12th, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the September 9th Regular … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 8/12/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
***Post updated with MOU and Press Release Attached*** Click on the following: MOU Press Release Final SRO MOU Final 8 7 13 SignedCopy Excellent news! The School Resource Officer agreement (aka MOU) between the ORPD and the OR Schools has been signed! Thanks to all who made it happen, especially Chief Akagi and Superintendent Borchers! … Continue reading The School Resource Officer MOU Has Been Signed!
The following was sent to all of city council and the board of education: All - I recently attended the anti-bullying summit hosted by the Safety Education Unit of the Knoxville Police Department. Their goal was to educate and encourage ways to strategize action plans to reduce bullying behavior. It was attended by over 700 … Continue reading Report on the KPD Anti-Bullying Summit/Update on School Safety Efforts
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the July 8th, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the August … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 7/8/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
Now that a few days have passed since ….I’m hoping it is safe for me to share a few thoughts. First and foremost I want to thank all of you who have reached out and expressed your support and concern. I am both amazed and humbled by the enormous love shown to me by family, … Continue reading Positive Changes in our Schools ARE Coming
What an amazing day! Radio interview with Hallerin Hilton Hill went well this morning. Spurred wate.com and wbir.com to contact me for interviews. Those should air sometime tonight. The Beehan/ Fillauer/Reddick press conference was highly enlightening and spurred further interviews by the press. Can't wait to see how things go at our council meeting tonight! … Continue reading Not in Our Schools Update
If you are one of the parents, school staff or students, past or present, that has experienced the problems I’ve referenced here, please contact Russel Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org From: BRUCE BORCHERS [email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 11:39 AM To: Baughn, Trina Cc: City Council; Akagi James T.; Angi Agle; Dan DiGregorio ; Bob Eby; Jenny Richter; Keys Fillauer Subject: Invitation … Continue reading My Communications with Dr. Borchers RE: School Safety Issues
SRO Letter (click to view)
In addition to running my letter, the Oak Ridge Observer ran the following: http://oakridgedailyhoot.com/2013/07/03/schools-impeding-orpd-city-says/ “Everything they do is useless and possibly damaging to the prosecution in a criminal case,” Akagi said regarding evidence and statements. Also Watson has not had time to respond to the question why no ORS officials were arrested for obstruction of … Continue reading Oak Ridge Observer Article on ORS Police Interference
I will post the referenced materials (the memo from the chief of police, the FERPA communications and documentation on the ousted principal) shortly. If you are one of the parents, school staff or students, past or present, that has experienced the problems I've referenced, please contact Russel Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org. ---------------------------------------------------- Dr. Borchers, Shortly after the … Continue reading Open Letter to Dr. Bruce Borchers, Oak Ridge Superintendent: Protect Our Students and Teachers
Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Here are the highlights of current council activities: Monday night we will hold our regular monthly meeting. The complete agenda can be found here. The significant items are as follows and you can see my questions/concerns to our city manager in the email pasted at … Continue reading July 8th Agenda/Updates —— Mall/Land Bank/Sign Ordinance
As reported here, I recently attended a public hearing on the budget at a Roane County Commission meeting. Though the meeting did not start until 6:30, the place was packed by 6:00. Two courtrooms were full to capacity as was the long, wide hallway where I spent most of my time. At issue was a … Continue reading Roane County Property Tax Increase Debate 2013
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the June 10th, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the July … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 6/10/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY/Follow up special meeting 6/17/2013
Hello! I’m a little behind having just returned from vacation, but I wanted to make you all aware of a few developments. I will post the full details of the June 10th meeting later this week, but one of the outcomes was that we deferred approving millions of dollars in no-bid contracts. Six of those … Continue reading Tonight’s Special Meeting & Work Session Info – Your Input Encouraged
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the May 28th, 2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 5/28/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY/FINALIZATION OF FY2014 BUDGET
From: Trina Baughn Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 8:51 PM To: Ms. Agle; Ms. Richter; Mr. DiGrigorio; Mr. Fillauer; Mr. Eby; Robert J. Smallridge Cc: email@example.com; Watson, Mark; Krushenski, Ken Subject: "High Performing School District" Request to Defer Oak Ridge Board of Education: Your agenda for your meeting scheduled for 5:30 tomorrow night contains an … Continue reading Implications of being a “High Performing School District?”
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the May 16th, 2013 City Council Special Meeting. The complete agenda packet can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the May 28th Regular Meeting Agenda packet. Note that … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 5/16/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY/FY2014 BUDGET
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items voted upon during the May 13th, 2013 regular city council meeting. The complete agenda packet and full video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the May 28th Regular Meeting Agenda packet. VII. … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 5/13/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY/FIRST READING OF THE FY2014 BUDGET
During our May 13th May 16th and May 28th meetings, the Oak Ridge city council will determine your property tax rate for the next year via our annual budget. Our decisions will directly affect your personal finances. Of greater consequence, however, we will establish our city’s competitive position. Currently, Oak Ridge has the third highest property … Continue reading Because Every Penny Counts
Friends, City Council will hold its next regular meeting this coming Monday night. A complete copy of the agenda packet can be found here. I’ve extracted the most notable items and pasted below with the most significant item being the first reading of our annual city budget. As promised during my campaign, I have endeavored … Continue reading May 13th City Council Meeting Agenda Items/FY2014 City Budget First Reading
THE PROBLEM This month, the Oak Ridge City Council will establish your property tax rate for 2014 via the approval of our annual city budget. And though it appears that taxes will remain flat, our excessive spending levels are unsustainable and continue to hinder our ability to compete with surrounding communities. In spite of all … Continue reading Strategizing a Path to Prosperity
In an apparent last ditch effort to save their inflated annual taxpayer subsidy of $269K, the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Stephen Whitson and President, Parker Hardy, responded here to my column in which I challenged the value that the chamber provides to the city. Ironically, rather than refute any of my specific points, they … Continue reading My Response to the Chamber of Commerce/USEC Claims
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items voted upon during the April 8th, 2013 regular city council meeting. The complete agenda packet and full video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the May Regular Meeting Agenda packet. NOTE: I … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 4/08/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
The topic of city council’s work session this month was Economic Development. Since the city manager’s initial presentation to council on the subject in January, the two most heavily funded organizations (of the Economic Diversification Fund) have made multiple attempts to persuade council to continue funding them at nearly the same levels as in the … Continue reading Changing the Game of Economic Development in Oak Ridge: Part 2
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items voted upon Monday night. The complete agenda packet and full video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the April Regular Meeting Agenda packet. VII. CONSENT AGENDA (9 items total, all passed with … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 3/18/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING #2 (Results of Special Meeting #1 have been added at the end of this post. Both meetings can be viewed here.) The following are some of my statements made last night along with the three motions I made regarding the $18 million loan for water/sewer projects in conjunction with the EPA mandate … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 2/25/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING SUMMARY ($18 MILLION LOAN APPROVED FOR WATER/SEWER PROJECTS)
Since I first published this article, council has increased sewer/water rates multiple times and is poised to do so again in 2016. To date, rates, on average have increased by over 100% for water and by approximately 135% for sewer. The following has been submitted to all local newspapers for publication: Last month, Oak Ridgers … Continue reading The Rest of the EPA Mandate Story/Final Plea to My Fellow Councilmembers
The following represents an unofficial account of the items voted upon Monday night. Full video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the March Regular Meeting Agenda packet. SPECIAL REPORTS Briefing to the City Council by Delegation Chair Chuck Hope on recent visit … Continue reading The People’s Business – 2/11/13 Oak Ridge City Council Meeting Summary/Other Updates
There’s no nice way to spin it: the results of our city’s bad decisions for the past decade are catching up with us. In addition to having high debt and property taxes, our sales tax revenues continue to decline, we are exporting over $727 million per year in DOE payroll* and we have a comparatively … Continue reading Changing the Game of Economic Development in Oak Ridge
I submitted the following to the Oak Ridge City Council in an effort to explore alternative funding of the EPA mandated changes in our sewer system. Upon learning of an error, I've made a correction regarding ownership of the Chamber of Commerce building. ALTERNATIVES TO INCURRING ADDITIONAL DEBT - As suggested by Trina Baughn 1/14/2013 … Continue reading ALTERNATIVES TO INCURRING ADDITIONAL DEBT
The following represents an unofficial account of the items voted upon last night. Full video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the February Regular Meeting Agenda packet. VI. Special Reports Presentation and public meeting to provide information concerning the City of … Continue reading The People’s Business – 1/14/13 Oak Ridge City Council Meeting Summary
Hello and Happy New Year! City Council will hold its first regular meeting of the year this coming Monday night. A complete copy of the agenda packet can be found here. The most important item on the agenda involves increasing your debt load by $18 million which will result in a 3rd and possibly more … Continue reading Items of Interest on the City Council Agenda for Monday
We are only a few days into 2013 and most of us have discovered that we will have to make do with less this year. Before January ends, Oak Ridgers will realize that fact again when they receive their water/sewer bills which will reflect the second rate hike since last May. But before you have … Continue reading $18 Million Loan Request (City Council Jan 14th Agenda Item)
***Quick Update 12/15/12*** Meetings and action on this entire matter have been temporarily suspended until after the holidays. The 18 businesses who received notices will be contacted (if they haven't already) by the community development department who will let them know that they do not need to take action about their signs at this time. … Continue reading Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs….everybody sing along, you know the words
Many thanks to all who came out to the city council meeting last night. I’ve never seen that room so packed! I congratulate Mayor Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Miller on their re-appointments. At the end of this post, I’ve provided my comments made just prior to the vote regarding my position. You can read … Continue reading The People’s Business – 12/10/12 Oak Ridge City Council Meeting Summary
City Council has a number of significant matters to address in our meeting tomorrow night (see the complete agenda packet here). Ideally, I would like to provide summaries of each in advance of these meetings for the public. Time limitations prevent me from doing so fully this time, but I will comment on two items … Continue reading The 2 Most Important Items (on tomorrow night’s city council agenda)
Both before and after the election, thousands of you shared your thoughts with me about the upcoming vote for our next mayor. And while preferences varied, there was one unifying thought about who should NOT be elected as mayor. Many of you shared your concern that Tom Beehan’s power far exceeds that which is allowed … Continue reading Time for a Leadership Change
Our first vote as a new city council will occur on Dec 10th. That vote will appoint a mayor and a vice mayor. I welcome citizen input on why anyone should or should not be considered for either position. You can comment below, on my Facebook page here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me … Continue reading Oak Ridge Mayor/Vice Mayor Positions
I would like to thank the citizens of Oak Ridge for allowing me to represent them on city council. I am both honored and excited to go to work for you. I am eager to work with my fellow council members, the city manager and the city staff to make Oak Ridge more affordable for … Continue reading THANK YOU!!!!!
As is to be expected during an election, there are false rumors circulating about my candidacy. Given the nature of these rumors and the unfounded fear that some have expressed, I would like to set the record straight. First, I support our schools. So much so that I have fought time and time again to … Continue reading Quashing Rumors
My opponents have repeatedly stated that we have a “revenue problem.” They do not see our debt as a problem and believe that the solution is to simply increase revenue. Translation: They want MORE of your money. The truth is, revenues aren’t down. They are actually up by $55Million for the last 10 years. The … Continue reading Does Oak Ridge Have a Revenue Problem or a Spending Problem?
There was a great turn out at last night’s LWV Candidate Forum. I appreciated the opportunity to participate and enjoyed hearing all of my opponents’ comments. My mission was to share your concerns, those that you have been sharing with me for a number of months. I believe that I delivered our message very clearly … Continue reading My Forum Statements
Trina Baughn has announced her plans to run for Oak Ridge City Council. She is enthusiastic about serving all Oak Ridgers’ as we face a future filled with many challenges and opportunities. Baughn is a communications professional whose business experience spans over 15 years in both the private and public sectors and is comprised of … Continue reading November Candidacy Announcement
According to our charter, the three primary functions of council are to approve spending, direct the city manager and set policy. To that extent, their attempt to address blight is the best decision council has made. The worst that they have done is increase our debt by nearly 60% to over $180,000,000. If elected, I … Continue reading The Oak Ridge Observer Question of the Week: What’s the best thing City Council has done in the past ten years? And what’s the worst thing?
I want Oak Ridge to thrive again. I love our city and want my family to still call Oak Ridge home in 20-30 years. The current council has been unsuccessful in reversing the trend of declining revenue. I will work to identify real value efforts, not just those that “feel good.” I will work to make Oak … Continue reading The Oak Ridge Observer Question of the Week: What compelled you to run for City Council?
***Updated Post with BOE responses*** From: Trina Baughn Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 4:09 PM To: 'Mr. DiGrigorio'; 'Mr. Eby'; 'Mr. Fillauer'; 'Ms. Agle'; 'Ms. Richter' Subject: Oak Ridge Schools Policy Change to Ban Televised Media - Meeting Minutes/Vote/Information Request Members of the Oak Ridge Board of Education: I was contacted by a concerned citizen … Continue reading A Question of Transparency
If you've never been to the site of the most horrific day of our time, I strongly encourage you to go. In the meantime, thank an officer, firefighter or member of our armed forces (past or present). These pictures are from my trip there this year with my sister. The firefighters were called to our … Continue reading Remember, Honor, Learn, Teach
The regular city council meeting of the month is scheduled for tonight at 7:00. Time for them to spend more of your money. The full agenda is found here. Of note are a resolution to incur $5 MILLION more in debt for the water/sewer issues (which will, in turn, mean another increase in your rates) … Continue reading It’s Only Money
At under 45 minutes, this month’s city council meeting may have been the shortest meeting they’ve ever held. While it was a nice change from the normal 3 hour meetings, I wonder why council didn’t take the opportunity to discuss anything of significance given our city’s various, not to mention serious, problems. After all, they … Continue reading Twenty Four Years of Payments and Decades More to Go!
Hello again and thanks for stopping by! The last election was just two weeks ago, but we are not slowing down! I’ve already ramped up my efforts for November by meeting with as many businesses, leaders and citizens as I can. If you have time to talk, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the … Continue reading Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now! – Campaign Update
Last night, I pulled in a respectable 42% of the vote. Thanks to all of you who supported me and congrats to my opponent, Chuck Hope. We've accomplished a lot and established a serious foundation for a win come November. Time to get to work on round 2. I've already started developing a new strategy … Continue reading An Excellent Start!
The future of Oak Ridge is entirely dependent upon our ability to attract new residents and businesses. To do that, we must first acknowledge an unspoken truth: Outsiders view Oak Ridge as being too expensive. We MUST work to change that. Oak Ridge MUST become competitive. Why do people say that it costs so much … Continue reading How Can We Compete?
6/22/2012 Email to Oak Ridge City Council Council – Please see this agenda for the Oak Ridge Schools BOE meeting scheduled for Monday night. In it, you will find on page 36 an FY13 budget amendment to adjust for council’s decision last month. Of greater concern to me, are two other items. First, on page … Continue reading Do YOU Own a $38,832 Car? Parting Gift for the Super?
I had the privilege of touring the Emory Valley Center today. Let me first say, what a remarkable group of people! I had no idea of the scope of this program and the impact it has on not only our community but those around us. Annually, they serve over 800 individuals across the region in … Continue reading Emory Valley Center Visit
A number of people have sought my reaction to the city council’s decision this week. For those who have not heard, they voted to pay the school’s obligation on the high school debt by way of a deduction in their annual contribution and they essentially welcomed the state to intercede and look at our financials … Continue reading Because We Cannot Afford More of the Same
My friends over 50 often ask me, “Why won’t more young people get involved in solving our city’s problems?” My friends that are closer to my age often tell me, “Oak Ridge just isn’t what it used to be.” While I hope that people of all ages will read on, I am particularly addressing this … Continue reading To My Fellow Gen X & Y Oak Ridgers
Leonard Abbatiello’s presentation last week was informative and well attended. Bev summarizes it nicely here. You can view his presentation and supplemental info here. My upcoming column ties this year’s budget discussions back to two of his major points. First, we’ve been given a false sense of security in the form of an artificially suppressed … Continue reading Can We Pretend That Airplanes….
If you haven’t heard about this story, the Willow Brook principal was removed from her position last week without explanation. Dr. Bailey has clearly stated that she will not be fired but moved into a teaching position. In his letter (provided here), he has barred her from stepping foot on WillowBrook property (though apparently she … Continue reading You Have a Right To Know
Mark your calendars and please "share" with all of your Facebook friends: Wednesday, May 16th at 7p.m. @ the Oak Ridge Civic Center Social Room What your city won't talk about: Debt, taxes and your options. Former city council member Leonard Abbatiello will give the public the presentation that he gave to city officials...the one that they … Continue reading The Budget Meeting that City Officials Don’t Want You to Attend
It's been over a week since I originally wrote this and given everything that has occurred since, it seemed inconsequential and I didn't want to bother posting here. But then I think back to the original impetus behind this particular piece and I realize how the current scandal (the principal's mysterious dismissal at WillowBrook 3 … Continue reading Sausage or Haggis?
The following information supports my claims from my column this week. I will publish the column in its entirety here on Friday, but here is a summary: Oak Ridge city government will use $10 million more of your money for the high school project to cover what the schools are withholding while they (the city) … Continue reading Capital Spending Sources – Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm?
BOE Treasurer Angi Agle responds to my challenge of the BOE's hijacking of the high school debt payment here. In her column and in her communications with council, she has called into question both my facts and my character all while perpetuating absolute fabrications about unwritten agreements and handshake deals. The BOE fully expected … Continue reading I Call B.S.
NOTE: The email from the city manager as well as his proposed resolution that I referenced are included at the end of this post. A majority of council have indicated that they will not approve the resolution that I referenced in the following column/post. This begs the question: Now what? Council should absolutely stand their … Continue reading More of the Same – Column Update, Contact Info and City Manager Letter & Resolution
Tonight for a third time, City Council was faced with a resolution to approve a $900K increase to the schools' 2012 budget. The administration appropriated this additional money PRIOR to receiving legal approval by council, some 9 months after council first declined a similar request. Though the mayor closed public comment on the agenda item, … Continue reading Strike 3!
I attended Thursday night’s meeting in which the Elder Citizens Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Board and City Council heard the results of the UT survey as well as the Studio 4 assessment with regards to the possibility of building a new senior center. As I discussed here and here, this is the third attempt … Continue reading Senior Center Update
Friends, I am happy to share with you that as of yesterday, I am officially on the August 2nd ballot for Oak Ridge City Council. I would like to thank all of you who have supported me thus far. I most certainly would not be in a position to impact our future without your encouragement, … Continue reading Candidacy Announcement
As this article describes, last week I challenged the school administration to explain their need to amend/increase their budget by almost a million dollars nearly 9 months after council declined their total budget request by about that same amount. Their explanation remains the same....it is an accounting entry correction. The letter below along with all … Continue reading A Matter of Trust
Last week, the Oak Ridge Board of Education (BOE) chairman, Keys Fillauer, responded to one of my columns that asked of our schools, “Are we getting what we’re paying for?” Rather than address our problems, Mr. Fillauer lamented, “Why would I want to move to a place where all I read is negativity?” Since we … Continue reading Post-Haste
I originally wrote this piece to address the BOE chair's column point-by-point. After I'd completed it, I was less than satisfied. I think it's because I'm sick of this never ending game that the BOE continues to play. I've tried in earnest for years to work with each and every member of this board and … Continue reading Here’s Lookin’ at You, Keys
Every year here in the ‘Ridge, we play a little game I like to call, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money!” Around late spring/early summer, the school administration and BOE round up some folks with pitchforks and torches and march down to city hall. They demand that the city give them mo’ money than the … Continue reading $937,091? Pfffft. No Big Whoop.
If you weren’t able to make last night’s 2 hour meeting, here’s what you missed: City : Schools, you need to pay your part of the high school mortgage Schools: Um, yeah we know. About that. Let’s have another meeting sometime and work that out. Make that a couple more meetings. City: O.K. Cause like … Continue reading Summary of Last Night’s Work Session
Oak Ridgers, COME ON DOWN! You’re the next contestant on the Price Is Right! Today’s item up for bid is the Woodland Elementary School emergency repair project. According to today’s edition of the Oak Ridge Observer, there are 3 possible price tags: $500,000, $689,282 or $3,500,000. Simply choose the shell under which the correct amount … Continue reading The Actual Retail Price Is……
The front page of the January 25th edition of the Oak Ridger presented an interesting juxtaposition of news. One article informs the public that the Oak Ridge School Board and Administration intends on pushing the city to fund an “emergency capital repair project” in the amount of nearly $700K to fund structural repairs at Woodland … Continue reading Step 1: Get Mad
The Oak Ridge Observer ran an editorial last week entitled “Year-Round School, Take 2.” In short, the newspaper felt they'd jumped the gun in their earlier criticism of the Oak Ridge Schools administration and staff for not being more aggressive in providing the BOE with information on a potential year round school calendar for the … Continue reading Data? We Don’t Need No Stinking Data.
The following is directed to the Oak Ridge Schools Administration and Board of Education and shared with the citizens of Oak Ridge: In 2004, Oak Ridgers residing in Anderson County generously voted to increase the local sales tax rate from 2.25% to 2.75% in order to fund the high school project. The verbiage of that … Continue reading High School Debt Payment 6 Months Past Due
****Links and contact information integrated within this post and to the left*** December is, by far, my favorite month and this year is no exception. I have many reasons to be excited about Christmas, but I’m also finding many reasons to be excited about the future of Oak Ridge. At times, it’s far too easy … Continue reading Do You See What I See?