JOHNSON CITY - Johnson City Commission candidate Marcy Walker believes the panel needs a change from the negative "antics" of some of its current members and a better commitment to cooperative growth plans.
During a blustery morning rally outside the Johnson City Fire Department headquarters, Walker addressed a modest crowd of supporters. Currently a member of the Johnson City Board of Education, Walker said her service on that panel and her background in real estate and development afford her the perspective necessary to be an effective commissioner.
"Major issues like traffic congestion, safety and economic development must be addressed with a smart, coherent plan - not actions that will see us stumble into the future," Walker said.
"It's time for city commissioners to stop the bullying and infighting. How many new businesses have been lost due to the antics on Thursday night?"
Walker pointed to her eight years on the school board, during which a strategic plan was developed, teacher pay increased and achievement scores improved. In addition, she has served as chair of the capital campaign that has raised in excess of $10 million to construct the new Regional Children's Hospital in Johnson City.
When asked why she chose to seek a commission seat over a third term on the school board, Walker gave two reasons.
"First, my children have graduated or are close to graduating and there are other people on the school board who have the same situation," Walker said. "We need some new blood on the school board."
"Second, I've been in some contentious situations between the school board and commission over the years, and it shouldn't be that way."
Standing at a lectern positioned on a strip of median near the fire station, City Hall, the city-owned former Big Burley property and State of Franklin Road, Walker said the current City Commission's lack of commitment to planning and addressing needs illustrates that it is time for a change.
Walker will face incumbent Commissioners Phil Roe, Pete Paduch and Ricky Mohon as well as Jeff Banyas, Roger Bryant and William "Bud" Hill Jr. in the April 24 election.
Three of five seats will be up for grabs. Mayor Steve Darden and Commissioner Jane Myron each have two years remaining on their terms.