Chattanooga councilman vows to fight effort to kick him out
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga City Councilman Manny Rico has copied Channel 3 Eyewitness News on a letter he sent to the citizens in his district. Rico has changed his mind on whether he would run for re-election if an effort to recall him succeeds.
Dear Citizens of District 7:
Many of you may have heard of an effort by a small, vocal minority of citizens in Chattanooga to recall me as your duly elected City Councilman. While I recognize this is their right, I feel it is unfortunate that I must preserve my elected office and focus my time defending my actions to a few (most of which do not even live within the boundaries of the City of Chattanooga, much less District 7) instead of doing what you, the voters, elected me to do - support the goals and needs of our district.
Last week, I announced that I would not seek re-election if recalled. However, since that time, I have experienced a tremendous ground swell of support from personal visits and phone calls to emails, cards, and letters. These offerings of support came not only from the wonderful citizens of District 7, but from the City of Chattanooga as a whole. Because of this outpouring of support and encouragement, I have realized that those I represent are proud of the job I am doing and strongly wish for me to continue. If recalled, I WILL seek re-election and I WILL fight to defend my actions as your duly elected representative on the Chattanooga City Council.
The residents of District 7 have spoken loud and clear. They will not be bullied into signing petitions under false pretenses and chased about their neighborhoods by Georgia residents and teenagers hired to walk aimlessly around town searching for those who will believe their misleading facts. I will not shy away from the lies, and superficial near-supremacist actions of this small, volatile minority of citizens who seek to impose their views on the masses by widespread assimilation of illegitimate facts and lies.
The problems facing our great city are not unusual and they are not unique. They call for elected officials to look at the whole picture and vote for what is right and what is in the best interest of all of Chattanooga's citizens, not just a select few. This year, more than ever, our city has experienced decreased revenues, escalating costs, shortages of police and fire fighters, reduced recreation hours for inner city youth, and staunch public criticism. The city has not had a tax increase since 2001 and we have done much with very little.
For over five years, I have supported District 7 as your councilman and was reelected by a strong majority. You elected me to do the right thing, even when it is not the most popular. That is what I have done. As a resident and small business owner in District 7, I understand the unique issues that affect our community. Doing the right thing means not sitting idly by and legislating on issues in order to be re-elected. You elected me to represent your best interests. That is what I have done and what I will continue to do.
In the future, when people come up to you and ask you to sign your name on a petition to oust someone they didn't even have the right to elect, please do not be fooled by their misleading and untruthful facts they wish to distort. If you have questions and want to know the real facts, the real answers, please call or visit with me. I have always maintained an open-door, open-business, and open-phone policy. I am more than willing to listen.
It is an honor and privilege to serve you. I hope you will continue to support me as I work for the betterment of District 7. If I may be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me any time, day or night, at 423-425-7856 or email@example.com .