State Rep. Kevin Brooks told the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland residents of Tennessee should view themselves as the employers of state politicians.
He said it was the greatest honor for the general public to select him and his peers to serve.
“It is never far from our mind that we work for all of you,” Brooks said. “It is something I am reminded of this morning at breakfast at Oglethorpe, lunch here at Jenkins, Cooke’s Food Store this weekend — everywhere we go.”
Brooks assured the Kiwanis Club that being a representative is not a glamorous job.
He went on to say there is much work to be completed in Nashville over the next several months.
Taxes are once again on the agenda. Work will be completed to continue the downward trend on taxes. Additional discussion will cover the Cleveland Bradley County State Veterans Home, Exit 20, methamphetamines and Common Core State Standards.
Kiwanis member Charles Bagley asked Brooks for his opinion on the hotly debated education standards.
Brooks said he is not in favor of Common Core.
“It scares me what I am seeing that Common Core at the federal level is going to impose on our students here in Bradley County,” Brooks said before highlighting his Southern, conservative background.
“I don’t like the reports I have seen, the books I have seen, the contents of those books I have seen,” Brooks continued. “I am going to go back to Nashville and say, ‘This is not what we do in Tennessee.’ For some of the states it is working, and good for them.”
He said education-focused legislation will be a huge topic this term.
According to Brooks, he does not mind keeping standards, academic excellence and rigor in the classroom, but he does not like what he sees coming out of Washington, D.C., in relation to Common Core.
Brooks also spoke on the future reconstruction of Exit 20 at Interstate 75.
Interest in the exit increased due to its position as the new connector road to both Wacker, Whirlpool and Enterprise South.
Brooks said the architect who worked on the bridge near Hamilton Place in Chattanooga will also be in charge of the design for Cleveland.
“We want it better than Hamilton Place. We don’t want Gunbarrel Road. We want large access to all of the surrounding area,” Brooks said. “And so far they have all said yes.”
He said the Hamilton Place bridge only had 99 acres to conduct construction. Exit 20 has 400 immediate acres and an additional 200 acres on reserve. The total of 600 acres is six times the amount available during the Hamilton Place design and construction.
Area residents were asked to be patient as the process continues.
Brooks encouraged all residents to communicate with their elected officials through both traditional means as well as voting.
As he told students at Blythe-Bower Elementary, it is the representative’s job to take residents’ veterans affairs concerns, desire for lower taxes and any other questions to Nashville.
Brooks said while representing Tennessee has not been the most glamorous job, it has been the most rewarding.
Kiwanis member Larry McSpadden thanked Brooks for his service in office and told him, “We are definitely the winners. You do work hard and you do make a difference.”