East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble said a "meet and greet" for District 3 Congressional candidate Scottie Mayfield at City Hall with refreshments provided on Friday afternoon was not an endorsement of the candidate.
He said in an email to employees prior to the event:
"Scottie Mayfield, a candidate for congress, has informed us he will be at City Hall this Friday, July 13, 2012 to meet and greet community members, city officials and city employees. You are all welcome to drop by and meet him and ask him questions.
Your attendance is optional and not required. Refreshments will be served in the City Hall lobby. Supervisors are instructed to allow any employees who desire, to drop by this meet and greet. All candidates for this office will be provided the same opportunity , if requested. The City is not endorsing or suggesting anyone vote for any particular candidate for any particular office. Those decisions are your individual choice."
Mr. Gobble said in an explanation to East Ridge officials about the social, "I decided to provide refreshments, like we had done with Chuck Fleischmann about six months ago."
He said the refreshments cost $78 and Mr. Mayfield, who is a well-known dairyman, "brought the ice cream."
Mr. Gobble said, "Same opportunity would be provided to other congressional candidates, if desired. Two councilmen were there, about 25 employees and 5 ER citizens dropped by along with a reporter."