Red Bank, TN –
Red Bank’s new Mayor and Vice Mayor, Hollie Berry and Stefanie Dalton, were sworn into office on December 2, and they hope to take this leadership in a different direction.
Dalton and Berry were both city commissioners who nominated each other for their new leadership roles and both were able to secure the popular vote.
“A lot of my supporters say they’re ready for something new,” Berry said during the swearing in ceremony.
“Red Bank’s been doing things more or less the same way since it was established in 1955, and there’s a lot of not only new residents here — young families and young professionals who are moving up through the tunnel from North Shore as housing prices get more expensive there — but I’ve also met quite a few longtime residents who used to go to meetings all the time and really try to make impact and have their voices heard, who have ideas for the city, who got burned out because they felt like they weren’t being listened to,” Berry said.
Berry went on the say that the people of Red Bank are ready for a change.
Berry and Dalton both hope that they are able create more space for parks in the city. A conversion agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation was created in 2011 so three acres of land that used to be where the middle school was located would be turned into recreational space. Part of Berry and Dalton’s campaigns were promises to get the agreement back on track.
In March of this year, the agreement was rescinded because the city was not able to comply. They had hoped to use parcels of land on Stringer’s Ridge to complete the agreement, but they were considered unsuitable since they were already being used recreationally. Berry says the city is already looking for suitable land to replace it.
While the land does not have to have the same acreage as what would have come from the middle school, it must be the same value. In addition, they city has already started to accept proposals for the land from the former middle school. Berry hoped to suspend these proposals, but her motion did not pass.
“The conversion has since been canceled, but in order to come back in compliance we are going to have to negotiate a new land conversion agreement and it’s likely going to need to include property from that parcel,” Berry said when explaining why she did not want to accept any more proposals.
Berry went on to say, “It seemed to me a bit hasty to rush into proposals before we knew what the new land conversion agreement was going to look like, because it’s going to seriously impact the way the property needs to be used.”
She is hopeful that they will be able to find other land to use, such as smaller properties on the North side of town. Berry also hopes that during her time as mayor she can update liquor laws and expand community schools.