CBA holds “meet the candidate” luncheon

The Chelsea Business Alliance hosted a "meet the candidate" on Wednesday, July 27. (Reporter photo)

The Chelsea Business Alliance hosted a “meet the candidate” on Wednesday, July 27. (Reporter photo)

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Reporter

The Chelsea Business Alliance (CBA) held a “meet the candidate” luncheon at the Chelsea Community Center on Wednesday, July 27.

Each candidate got two minutes to express their thoughts and views in front of other candidates and CBA board members with traffic and business being the focus of many. Here is a synopsis of each candidate’s thoughts.

Dale Neuendorf: Running for Mayor

  • Wants to set up five citizen advisor committees that work with the community to see what their needs are.
  • Says they need better communication between the city and members of Chelsea.
  • Wants to recruit businesses like hotels, hardware stores and retail stores.
  • Doesn’t want to go up on city sales tax.
  • Wants to help enhance schools and sports programs.
  • Lastly wants to support city law enforcement and public safety.

Alison Nichols: Running for Mayor

  • Born and raised in Chelsea and decided to stay and do the same with her family.
  • Wants to create an open environment in both businesses and the citizens of the city.
  • Wants to continue to enhance roads like she has as a member of city council.
  • Believes prioritizing improvements of infrastructures in the city will lead to better public safety and more businesses.
  • Said this will lead to bettering Chelsea schools by creating a better tax base.
  • Wants to enhance and preserve the Chelsea way of life.

Tony Picklesimer: Running for Mayor

  • Knows what it’s like to do budgets, watch expenses and struggle to make a payroll.
  • Wants to bring in new businesses and help them grow.
  • Knows what it’s like to be neglected as a business owner so he will make sure to be present at businesses to see how he can help.
  • Says businesses’ being successful helps Chelsea be successful.

Tiffany Bittner: Running for Councilmember Place No. 4

  • Wants to see better communication between the public and city officials through things like social media.
  • Wants to see more sidewalks in the community as well as updated signs as you enter and leave the city.
  • Wants to work with the council on bigger issues such as traffic and roads.
  • Wants to work with economic consultant to bring in more businesses to the city.

David Calhoun: Running for Councilmember Place No. 4

  • His desire is to see Chelsea continue to meet the needs of its residents.
  • Wants to grow businesses and industry.
  • Wants to expand Chelsea city services in terms of fire and police protection.
  • Need better maintenance and paving of city streets.
  • Expansion of recreation facilities.
  • Continue to increase support of community schools.

Elizabeth Cooley: Running for Councilmember Place No. 5

  • Said everybody is running for city council for the same reason and that’s because they love their city.
  • Believes the concerns of the community are safety, traffic, schools, municipal court, and growing the police department.
  • Bring in new businesses at a proper pace.
  • Better communication with the people of the community.
  • Plans to work as a team member to help find solutions and wants to be the voice of Chelsea and wants people to feel at ease to come to her with what they need.

Tom Holcombe: Running for Councilmember Place No. 5

  • City of Chelsea has a great business future.
  • Said it’s time for him to give back to the community that has given him so much.
  • Has business experience in retail, insurance, rental property ownership, management and repair.
  • Knows what it means to operate a payroll.
  • Knows that if you are prevented from running your business properly then you will be without a business very soon.
  • Ready to help all business owners in Chelsea be successful.

Casey Morris: Running for Councilmember Place No. 5

  • He is a current business owner in Chelsea.
  • Spent all 30 years of his life in Chelsea and wants his family to grow up in the same family friendly environment that he did.
  • Has a passion to continue bettering the schools in Chelsea.
  • Says Chelsea is a business friendly community and he hopes to continue that trend as a member of city council.

David Ingram: Running for Councilmember Place No. 3 (Ingram was unable to attend, but sent Chelsea High School Athletic Director and baseball coach Michael Stallings in his place.

  • Spent 32 years in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School.
  • Spends a lot of time with youth athletics in the community.
  • Spends a lot of time with middle school and high school students.
  • Served as city councilman place #3 since 2012.
  • Has worked in business administration.

Gary Isbell: Running for Councilmember Place No. 3

  • Said as a long-time resident, Chelsea is his home.
  • Would really appreciate your vote and consideration.

Cody Sumners: Running for Councilmember Place No. 1

  • Been working for the Shelby County Sheriff’s office for 18 years.
  • Main emphasis will be on public safety.
  • Wants to see Chelsea increase in visibility of police officers and wants them to be more active in the community.
  • Wants Chelsea to continue to have a strong fire department.
  • Wants to work with the mayor on the establishment of municipal city court to help protect businesses and ordinances.

Chris Thomas: Running for Councilmember Place No. 2

  • Need improvements on roads.
  • Need more tax revenue to help draw in more local business.
  • Knows water and sewage expense is a big problem with getting restaurants and hotel chains to come to town.
  • Would like to see a storm shelter built for people to come to during severe weather.

Scott Weygand: Running for Councilmember Place No. 2

  • Only person running who is a local business owner.
  • Been on planning and zoning commission for five years.
  • Owns commercial retail building and have recruited several local businesses.
  • Needs a retail specialist to help bring in to business so we can help showcase Chelsea and grow the tax base, which will help the city afford to fix problems like sidewalks, streets and safety.

Robert Barnes who is running for Councilmember Place #1 could not miss work to make it, but will get his chance to talk to the people of Chelsea at the Public Forum.

Public Forums will take place at the Chelsea High School Auditorium. City council candidates will talk on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. and mayoral candidates will take the stage Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.