By Katie Johnston
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop)- How many people even know the name of their mayor? Better yet, how many people know what their mayor is doing or has done?
Ron Littlefield is a politician, democrat and mayor of the city of Chattanooga. He was sworn into his first term in office on April 18, 2005. Before assuming the position as mayor, Littlefield was a long term city councilman (wiki).
He has been married to his wife, Lanis, for over 40 years now. They both grew up in the same community and even attended the same elementary school, before dating in high school and eventually marrying during Littlefield’s senior year at Auburn University. At Auburn, Littlefield achieved a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1968.
That same year, the young couple moved to Chattanooga in the same house they have resided in for over 30 years in the Glendon Place neighborhood in Brainerd, where Littlefield worked as a community planner in the 1970’s here in Chattanooga. They have two grown sons and are active members of Calvary Chapel and lead a small group Bible study (Chattanooga.gov). Littlefield was also a former instructor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and taught a summer postgraduate course on “metropolitan politics and policies.”
Under Littlefield’s direction, the Department of Neighborhood Services has been at the forefront of re-establishing itself as a resource for its citizens to rely upon. In 2009, he established the annual neighborhood meetings, which allow each of the city’s nine districts get an opportunity to speak directly to the mayor. Because of his dedication to neighborhoods, more sidewalk construction has taken place than any previous administration.
He has re-established the entrance to the Chattanooga Zoo and Warner Park for softball tournaments to be played in. Over the next five years, it will bring in over $25 million for our community. Since 2005, over 198 miles of roads have been repaved or replaced.
Also added to our community’s infrastructure and safety, is the installation of cameras in highly populated traffic areas. These deter speeders and cut down on dangerous driving habits, which ultimately leads to a safer Chattanooga. Our policemen are equipped with state of the art surveillance equipment to fight crime more effectively.
Littlefield has also made his commitment to effectively addressing homelessness and the less fortunate- a priority.
He was sworn into his second term of office on April 20, 2009, with this he brought many years experience in city government and urban planning.
Littlefield is also the first mayor in Chattanooga history to be subject to a recall after the Chattanooga Tea Party made a petition (wrcbtv). Littlefield filed an injunction against the Hamilton County Election Commission.
On September 7, 2010, the attempt at a recall was halted by Hamilton County Circuit Judge, Jeff Hollingsworth. He cited that along with legal and organizational missteps made by the three groups, the recall groups’ failure to comply with state law on a variety of issues including the number of dated signatures of the petition, petition language and the use of petitions not approved by election commission was enough to un-call a recall.
On worstmayorever.com, Littlefield is scolded for voting Republican in the 2006 Senate and 2008 presidential primaries, saying that he only voted Republican because he did not want to vote for an African American Democrat. Other sources are quoted as saying, “Knowing Ron Littlefield, is knowing his character. He is the same Ron no matter where or when you see him” (Chattanoogan).
Despite differences, Littlefield does have a lot of previous exposure to government and the like.
Ron Littlefield (List from Chattanooga.gov)
-Member, Chattanooga City Council (Chairman FY 1990-1992 and FY 2002-2003)
-Acting Director of Planning and Development, Walker County, GA, 1997-2000
-Chairman, Chattanooga City Council, 1990 – 1992, 2002 – 2003
-Commissioner of Public Works, Chattanooga,TN, 1987
-Economic Development Coordinator, City of Chattanooga, TN, 1979
-Director of Current Planning and Operations, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, 1977
-Senior Planner, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, 1974
-Planner-in-Charge, Tennessee State Planning Office, 1969
-Subcontractor on engineering feasibility study of the Atlanta-Chattanooga MagLev High Speed Rail Proposal. as a consultant with Parsons Transportation Group
-Market Development/Government Relations with Infrastructure Services Inc.
-Consultant/Public Sector with Roadtec Inc.
-Executive Director, Chattanooga Venture
-General Manager, Chattanooga Area Economic Development Council
-Field Office Director, Research Triangle Institute
-Incorporator and Charter Member of the Board of Directors, Chattanooga Museum of Regional History.
-Incorporator, Southeast Tennessee Local Development Corporation
-Chattanooga – Hamilton County Business Development Center (Proposed original idea and facilitated early efforts as an outgrowth of the 3M/GE sale brokered while serving as Economic Development Coordinator.)
-Hamilton County Riverport and Industrial Park (As member of the public development team, obtained funds and contracted for necessary archaeological studies, etc.)
-Bonny Oaks Industrial and Office Park (As member of the public development team, secured funding and facilitated early architectural and engineering design)
-Special Consultant to the City of Chattanooga for the Chattanooga-Atlanta High Speed Rail Initiative
-American Institute of Certified Planners, (Cert. No. 2546)
-American Planning Association, Member
-American Institute of Certified Planners, Private Practice Division
-Urban Land Institute, Member
-Former Chairman, Chattanooga Metropolitan Planning Organization
-Solid Waste Association of North America, Charter Member–TN Chapter
-One of seven members of the Advisory Committee on Rural Transit for Aged and Disabled Citizens in the State of Georgia
-Member: Tennessee Municipal League, Environmental Issues and Public Works Committee
-Member: National League of Cities, Energy and Environment Committee
-Former member of Governor’s Solid Waste Task Force, Tennessee