Ellen Smith for Oak Ridge Rotating Header Image

Campaign statement

Here’s one version of the statement I’ve been using (with variations depending on the audience and the time allotted) in campaign forums and in my ad in the election edition of the Oak Ridger:

In 1981, when my husband, Rich Norby, was recruited by ORNL, we looked around the area and chose to buy a home in Oak Ridge for its sense of community, its green spaces, its cultural assets, the public services that a city provides, and a house we liked. We’re still here. Our adult son was born here and attended our excellent schools; I’ve spent three decades as an environmental scientist on the research staff in the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division; and after years of other types of civic service, in 2007 I was elected to Oak Ridge City Council.

Many of my civic activities have a theme of ensuring that our city and region are safe and attractive places to live and work, including advising SOCM on technical aspects of acid mine drainage, 16 years on the city Environmental Quality Advisory Board (EQAB), work in the 1990s on the city Greenways Master Plan and the East Fork Poplar Creek Citizens Working Group, serving as a member of the board of directors of the now-defunct Oak Ridge Reservation Local Oversight Committee (LOC), and helping to found and continuing to serve on the boards of both Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation (AFORR) and Keep Anderson County Beautiful.

I see City Council membership as a public trust. Council members are entrusted with responsibility to make financial and policy decisions on behalf of our fellow citizens. I hope that my continual effort to do what’s right for the city and its citizens has given city voters the confidence they need to re-elect me to another term.

My five years on City Council have taught me that neither our city government nor individual Council members have the power to enact our personal agendas or visions for the future. Often we are concerned with decisions related to running the city, or we are responding to the opportunities and challenges that present themselves — many of which could not have been foreseen when we ran for office.

  • In the next four years, I want to continue trying to do the right thing for the city and my fellow citizens. I aim to:
  • Treat all citizens fairly and with respect
  • Be fully informed about the matters that come before Council
  • Keep an open mind – and be prepared to change my mind when warranted
  • Get maximum value for the public’s money
  • Maintain, enhance, and take advantage of our assets: schools, neighborhoods, natural environment, historic legacy, science and technology leadership, etc.
  • Continue recent progress in combatting crime and neighborhood blight
  • Embrace change that makes this a better place to live, work, and invest
  • Hold the federal government to its responsibilities and commitments
  • Ensure open government and transparency in city decisions
  • Avoid actions that will lead to unintended negative consequences

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook