Candidates continue to line up for the District 2 seat being vacated by longtime Chattanooga City Councilwoman Sally Robinson.
On Friday, former city Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Mitchell announced his bid to represent the district, which covers the areas of North Chattanooga, Northgate, Riverview, Stuart Heights and Lupton City. Mitchell, a lifelong resident of Chattanooga, served under the administrations of both former mayors Jon Kinsey and Bob Corker.
Upon making his announcement, Mitchell said he would be committed to engaging the citizens of his district if elected to council next March.
"The reason I'm wanting to do this is, is basically we're going to have a new government, and I want to make sure that the new mayor has a good council working with him," Mitchell said. "A mayor can have vision and propose programs, but the council are the ones who are ultimately going to vote on anything … I want to create an environment where the public is going to be more informed and involved in that decision making."
Mitchell joins a field that already includes George Jackson, president of the Hamilton County Young Republicans, and Roger Tuder, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee.
The field also includes Priscilla Simmons, a retired city worker of more than 30 years.
Simmons, who served as a manager in the city's Finance Department between 1972 and 2009, said Friday she was running with the goal of curbing what she saw as wasteful and excessive spending by the city in recent years. Simmons said her experience would qualify her for the job.
"My primary concern is the deficiency in how taxpayer money is spent in the city and not seeing so much waste," Simmons said. "When I first started, city leaders talked a lot about taxpayer money and the sacred honor they had in using that money. They seemed to be aware that they were always using the taxpayers' money. Some years ago, I stopped hearing that. It doesn't seem like there's as much responsibility attached to it as there was in the past, and I'd like to see that come back."
Ryan Kopet, who had picked up petition papers for a bid in District 2, told Nooga.com Friday she was no longer planning to seek the post.
Elections are March 5.