Russell Gilbert Sr. for for City Council, District 5 (unopposed)

Russell Gilbert Sr. for for City Council, District 5 (unopposed)

February 15th, 2013 in Opinion Free Press

Russell Gilbert, unopposed incumbent District 5 Chattanooga City Council candidate, answers questions during an editorial board meeting at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Incumbent District 5 City Council member Russell Gilbert Sr. is running unopposed - and that's too bad. A quality opponent who could inject fresh ideas and suggest a developed set of public policy solutions would benefit the district.

We applaud Gilbert, the food service director at Parkridge Valley Hospital, for his principled vote to protect property rights and encourage economic development when he sided in favor of allowing the Chattanooga Village project.

However, in an interview with the Times Free Press editorial pages, Gilbert failed to present a coherent vision for improving his district or the city. His primary concern is seeing that a technical school is built in Chattanooga. While that is a laudable goal, the city is no longer in the business of education. As a result, Gilbert can do little to aid in that cause.

When he walked out of his Times Free Press endorsement interview, Gilbert said, "Everybody who comes in this room, whatever they tell you, hold them to it." That should leave us with an easy job as it relates to Gilbert, since he told us very little.