The city of Ringgold is considering the idea of including elected officials in its drug-testing policy currently in place for employees.
During the Sept. 23 City Council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford introduced the agenda item suggesting that reinstating an ordinance to hold elected officials to the same standard as employees might be a good policy moving forward.
“This is not directed at any individual. I don’t have malice with anyone,” Crawford said. “My thinking — and I’ve thought this for years — we require all of our employees with the city to have random drug tests, so why am I not tested. Why are we not tested? I just feel like if it’s good for them, it’s good for us.”
During the discussion, Crawford brought up the potential legalities and asked City Manager Dan Wright to confer with the city attorney regarding the matter.
“I was told it’s not legal, so I asked Dan (Wright) to call our lawyer and find out if this is legal or not,” Crawford said.
Crawford added that he saw comments and feedback on social media regarding the issue prior to the council meeting.
“Looking on Facebook, I saw where people were saying ‘You can’t do this to candidates,’” Crawford said. “Well, I didn’t put a word in there about candidates — this all for elected officials. If we can’t, then we can’t and it’s no big issue. If we can, I’m no better to have my name pulled out of a hat and sent down for a drug test than anybody else.”
Though the discussion was brief, no action was taken due to the issue being a new agenda item.
“We won’t vote on it tonight,” said Mayor Nick Millwood. “We don’t vote on new business that we put on (the agenda), so we’ll hold onto it for our next meeting.”