#WinWithWebb


“God has blessed me beyond measure in my professional career in Cleveland. I am asking you to give me the opportunity to put my experience working closely with the City Council over the last 29 years and my knowledge of the community to work for you as a member of your Council.”


Ken Webb | City Council At Large | Cleveland, TN

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#WinWithWebb


“God has blessed me beyond measure in my professional career in Cleveland. I am asking you to give me the opportunity to put my experience working closely with the City Council over the last 29 years and my knowledge of the community to work for you as a member of your Council.”


Ken Webb | City Council At Large | Cleveland, TN

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Ken Webb for 2018 City Council At Large | Cleveland, TN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ken Webb to seek at-large Cleveland City Council seat in August 2018 election

Ken Webb has announced his intention to seek the at-large Cleveland City Council seat in the August 2, 2018, Cleveland City election. The Cleveland City Council has five members elected from districts within the city and two at-large members elected from the entire city.

Webb is a Bradley County native, a 1972 graduate of Charleston High School and 1974 graduate of Cleveland State Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1976. He passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in 1979 and held an active certificate until his retirement from Cleveland Utilities. He and his wife of 44 years, Dianne, have two daughters, Katherine (Nick) Gouge of Erwin, Tennessee, and Rebecca (Bubba) Bacon of Charleston, Tennessee. They are proud grandparents of Miles and Owen Gouge and Brody and Darcy Grace Bacon.

“My heart is in and with this community and its citizens,” Webb expressed. “God has blessed me beyond measure in my professional career in Cleveland. I am asking you to give me the opportunity to put my experience working closely with the City Council over the last 29 years and my knowledge of the community to work for you as an at-large member of your Council.”

He continued, “It is time I give back to the community that has given my family and me so many opportunities. Help me work with you, to assure opportunities we have received are available for all citizens of Cleveland. It is my goal to build upon the successes of the past and meet the challenges of the future.”

Webb spent his entire professional career in Cleveland. Upon graduation from Tennessee Wesleyan, he was employed by the late Tommy Randolph and his partner, Gerry Kersey, as a staff accountant in their certified public accounting firm in Cleveland. In 1981, he became chief accountant at American Uniform Co. He joined Cleveland Utilities in 1987 as senior accountant. He became manager of accounts in 1988.  In 2012, he was named senior vice president/chief financial officer and in October 2013, was promoted to president/CEO, serving until his retirement at the end of 2016.

Webb’s community involvement has included a variety of areas of service.

While a member of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, he served as treasurer.  As a representative of Cleveland Utilities, he was on The Chamber Economic Development Council and Industrial Development Board and The Board of Directors of The Southeast Industrial Development Association.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Ocoee Region and as a United Way Distribution Panel member and chairman. He previously served on the Bradley County Tax Equalization Board and The Cleveland Shade Tree Board. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors for Life Bridges, which provides services to individuals with intellectual disabilities in the local community.

Webb and his wife have been members of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church since 1984. He has served in numerous capacities at Wesley, including Stewardship Committee, Building Committee, Trustee, and Staff-Parish Relations Committee and as a delegate to the Annual Conference for the Holston Conference. He was also treasurer and community lay director for the Cleveland Emmaus Community.

His current activities at Wesley include the Endowment Committee (chairman), Finance Committee, Board of Directors of Gibson Woods, and Church Council. He is also chairman of the Hiwassee (Cleveland) District United Methodist Church Trustees and is on the Board of Directors for Camp Lookout, a church camp owned by the Hiwassee (Cleveland) and Scenic South (Chattanooga) Districts of the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. He serves on the conference level as a member of The Holston Conference Insurance and Pension Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Holston Conference Foundation.

In announcing his candidacy, Webb outlined several priorities if elected:

Safety – A safe community is vital for all citizens. “We are fortunate to have the women and men of our Police, Fire, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Utility and other city departments working on a daily basis to keep us safe,” he said. “Our obligation to our professional public servants requires they are provided with tools and other resources to do their jobs in a safe and efficient manner and to maintain up to date compensation schedules for them. They deserve to return to their homes and families healthy after the end of their work day.”

Financial Stewardship and Budget Discipline – The entire budget process demands transparency and disclosure.  The budget is a primary communication and financial tool for the city. Budgets should be developed in such a way city services are made readily available and without revenue funding those budgets becoming a burden on taxpayers. Taxes must be fair and equitable and based on measurable criteria.

“When provided for in the law, we should explore and consider implementing programs of potential tax assistance to qualifying senior and disabled citizens on fixed and limited income,” Webb noted. Cost control and the most efficient use of resources must be the rule, not the exception. However, low cost will not outweigh quality. Straying from the budget plan with unbudgeted expenses and outlays requires extreme care and should only be considered when it is determined funds are available and in the best interest of taxpayers.

He continued, “Debt must be managed in such a way debt service does not become the driving force in the budget. We must take care to assure assets purchased with debt outlive the maturity date of the debt and closely monitor and manage the risk associated with existing and future variable rate debt.”

Educational Opportunities and Goals – The future leaders and workforce of our city and our country are in our schools today. “The ultimate goal should be to prepare those students for the next step after high school, whether it be straight to the workforce, vocational training or to higher education,” he explained. “Therefore, our school system deserves our support in order to equip students to meet the requirements of today’s employers in a constantly changing world of technology and advancement. Teachers and others supporting our schools must be recognized and respected as professionals and compensated accordingly.”

Downtown and Surrounding Area Revitalization – “The time is now to move forward with downtown revitalization and work closely with Whirlpool Corporation in the redevelopment of their former site,” the candidate stressed. “Downtown should reclaim its place as a ‘hub’ of our community for commerce, recreational, leisure and entertainment activities.”

Webb pointed out, “This will not be an easy task, and the solution will take time to achieve. Aging infrastructure, parking concerns and traffic flow issues will need addressing as part of the solution. Exploring and aggressively pursuing opportunities for grant assistance as well as assistance from the local Chamber of Commerce will be vitally important.”

Traffic Issues and Other Infrastructure – “Infrastructure must always be maintained and upgraded when it is no longer capable of handling its design capacity,” Webb said. “We have been fortunate in obtaining state assistance with new intersections and other road upgrades, but more is needed. We cannot fall behind in meeting those needs.”

He continued, “Mouse Creek Road badly needs upgrading and safety enhancements to serve the citizens who depend on it for travel. Inman Street is an important east-west corridor in our transportation system so we must search for and evaluate ways to support investment and improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic along its path. Both of these upgrades require design and construction techniques that allow for the least amount of interruption possible to current residences and businesses.”

“We have reached the point in time to evaluate the need for additional Interstate 75 exits for the community,” he added. “The extension of Paul Huff Parkway to Freewill Road would enhance the travel experience in that part of the community. Continued improvement in the paving cycle for city streets is a priority.”

He also addressed water as a natural resource. “It is of the utmost importance to comply with both the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which protect our precious natural resource water. The protection of water in return protects our health and well-being.”

Quality City Services to All Neighborhoods and Opportunities for All Citizens – Webb explained that the at-large position on the City Council is the representative voice for the entire community. “It is vitally important and required of us, as elected officials, to assure all neighborhoods in the community are treated equally when it involves the availability and delivery of city services,” he said. “It is equally important all citizens have the same opportunity to participate in employment opportunities within all city government departments. The services provided by your city must be applicable and meaningful to citizens of all ages, from children to senior citizens. The plight of the homeless population of men, women, and children in Cleveland needs addressing with a comprehensive and compassionate plan with respect to those in that situation.  The recent success of the Impact Cleveland organization in the Blythe Old Field neighborhood has earned our appreciation and respect and deserves our continued support for future endeavors and initiatives.”

Appearance of Community – Perception is reality. City government must set the example and reflect pride in how public properties such as parks, roadsides and intersections, recreational facilities, government building and grounds, greenways, and other public areas and infrastructure are maintained and presented. “If we allow these areas and facilities to become unsightly, we are sending the message we simply do not take pride in our community,” he said. “If this is the negative message we send about what taxpayers can see, they will soon begin to question our level of commitment to maintaining what they cannot see.  This is not the message we want to send from ‘The City with Spirit.’ Instead, we want to send the message of optimism and pride in our community.”

In closing Webb said, “Thank you for your vote and support in the August 2, 2018, Cleveland City election. Help me be your voice on your City Council.”

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