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Letter of endorsement: “Why repair something that doesn’t need fixing?”

Gene Dunaway submitted this letter to the editor to The Oak Ridger, and was told it was “too late” to publish. I love the way he expresses himself here, and I appreciate his endorsement of the incumbent “team” on City Council, so I’m publishing his letter here and on my Facebook page.

Dear Editor:

We can all agree that Oak Ridge is not Mayberry RFD. We don’t have a Sherriff Andy Taylor. We don’t have a Barney Fife directing traffic. But we have a real barber, Jim Breeding at the Arcade Barber Shop, who actually cuts hair. We also share at this exact point in time, via paraphrase, a more congenial spot for happily-ever-aftering than here in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

While I don’t expect our citizens to gather in mass at city hall and burst into joyful song about our fair city, we do have the opportunity to express our appreciation to current city council members standing for re-election.  Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, Warren Gooch, Derrick Hammond, and Ellen Smith have earned the right to continue “running” our elected government.

We have a certain civility between the city and the various federal entities operating within our borders. Our economy is growing. The various city departments are responsive to the needs and requests of our citizens. In turn, these departments are also being treated with respect as to meeting their desires for improving their services.

Each of these individuals has his or her own idea of improving what Oak Ridge should do as a governmental body. But each of them shares a vision of unity which has led to our positive outlook as a city. Why “repair” something that does not need fixing?

Respectfully submitted,

Gene R. Dunaway


One Comment

  1. Darlene Thurman says:

    Firstly Thank you, Ellen Smith, for giving us a space to express an opinion.
    I am so with you Mr. Dunaway, Oak Ridge is certainly not Mayberry RFD. You know I’m also thankful that it’s not. If it was I think that after a while we would find it a boring place to live. I’m happy living here in Oak Ridge and it does have many positive attributes. I am sorry to say I’m not as familiar with our city council as you Mr. Dunaway but it is something I hope to remedy. But I do know everything in our fair city is not perfect. I am confined to a wheelchair and a lot of the time when I’m out and going to maybe a doctor’s appointments etc. I ride my chair alongside the sidewalks. People look at me as they pass sometimes they smile, sometimes they look puzzled, sometimes they just look plain angry. I know these are most likely all in response to my riding in the road. There are several reasons why I might be riding in the street. There’s a good chance I may not be able to get up on the sidewalk, there could be no ramp to get up on the sidewalk or there is too much damage on the sidewalk on for the wheelchair go any further. I know people are sick of hearing about sidewalks but the ones I’m speaking of are not on lightly traveled roads. Some are on the Turnpike, Lafayette, Emory Valley Rd, and Illinois Ave to name a few. No, I don’t believe in fixing something that isn’t broken but maybe we could mend the missed stitches, and add extra material where it is needed. I know Oak Ridge cannot afford to fix everything we might find or perceive wrong and I don’t expect them to. I just want people to pay attention and please don’t just ignore the dangerous or unattractive areas. Oak Ridge is a beautiful place to live; maybe we just need to fix it up a little.

    Thanks for listening,

    Darlene Thurman


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