Policy Letter to the Citizens of Ridgetop

Ladies and Gentlemen of Ridgetop:

We, three gentlemen, are running for election to the offices of Mayor and Aldermen. We came together to put out a joint policy statement so you would know what our stated goals are in an attempt to garner your votes and support, as well as establish a policy of transparency in city government that we feel is overdue.

We will have details, policy discussions, and biographies on the website www.Ridgetop2020.com.

Ridgetop has gone through a period of unrest and upheaval that has put transparency of government and citizens’ rights at the forefront of issues. The decision by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to no longer allow concerned citizens to speak and address the board at meetings was the tipping point for all of us to enter the race for election. Although this has been interpreted as to be within the letter of the law by the city charter, (which does not specifically address citizens being allowed to speak at city meetings), we feel it goes against both the national and state Constitutions that list Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Peacefully Assemble as paramount in the Bill of Rights. Further, it goes against city precedent, in that through out all of the city meetings in Ridgetop’s history, comments from citizens addressing the board have been duly recorded in the official minutes of the city meetings.

We intend to amend this in the short term by voting as the city officers to change this onerous policy, and in the long term, we seek to amend the city charter to permanently observe and respect the citizen’s right to speak and address the board. We intend to re-establish the City of Ridgetop Police Department as soon as practical. This was the second issue, that has brought all of us into this race, was the abolishing of the city Police Department. This was a department that gave 24-hour, 7 day a week dedicated coverage to the citizens of Ridgetop and had a 9-1-1 response time of half of the nation average of 10 minutes. Now that responsibility for Law Enforcement has been ceded to the county at considerable cost along with the city no longer receiving the proceeds from citations and fines. We have a reasonable response time for 80 hours of the week, by two deputies detailed to the city. For the rest of the week, response times maybe 35 minutes, if officers are even available at all from Sheriff’s Department Headquarters on the far side of Springfield. We feel this is unacceptable. Ridgetop tax dollars should focus on essential services, at the top of those essential services is the 9-1-1 triad of Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services. We felt this policy was unwise when embarked on last year, now in times of pandemic and public outrage, we deserve the services that we have paid tax dollars for and expected in the past.

Growing up in Ridgetop in the past was akin to growing up in the fictional Mayberry from Andy Griffith. A town full of friendly, hospitable, and polite people who have a sense of community. We need to keep Ridgetop a “Mayberry”, a safe and secure place to raise families, while preparing for growth as middle Tennessee continues to expand in population and influence. We are a team that has international and national leadership and management experience. We are asking for your vote!

Mayoral Debate: Citizens must see!

H. Clayton Bollinger, Jr

Candidate for Mayor

Major, USMC (Retired)

John Senft

Candidate for Alderman

Operations/Project Management and servant of God

Tim Shaw

Candidate for Alderman

District Manager (Retired)