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LetterToTheEditor — Reader disagrees with May 13 editorial

Dear Editor:

As a faithful reader of my consistently improving and expanding local community weekly, I found myself moved, for the first time, to express myself regarding your “opinion” in the May 13 issue. I am a ten-year Farragut resident; I was transferred here; I retired here; my home is here. Of the eight locations, in the six states that my career took me to, by far, Farragut, Knox County and Tennessee not only offer, but deliver, the most value for the least cost. After spending a majority of my adult life in the Southeast, I was transferred here, at my request, from the state of New York. Need I say more?

County Mayor Mike Ragsdale seeks an increase in the annual Knox County vehicle registration fee from its current position of$30 to $60. And, his office says, he plans to use the increase in revenue to fund a 3 percent increase in salary for county employees, you call “bureaucrats,” as well as providing funding to build county schools and the construction of “a new state-of-the-art downtown library.” Surely, I understand that the additional revenue will not do the entire job, but it’s a good start in a good direction. The entire job will be done with borrowed money at very cheap rates and backed up by the issuance of municipal bonds. This is the time to act; such a window of opportunity will not be open much longer.

As for the trio of proposed recipients:

First, please keep in mind that “bureaucrats” are people too. They have families to support, debts to service and taxes to pay, just like all the rest of us. Where would we be without them? Second, this county community is growing. Farragut and, I’m sure, other areas of the county need more classrooms. Third, and closest to my heart, is a “new, state-of-the-art” main library, to include parking. The current facility has and continues to outgrow its present location in size as well as in accessibility. In the past ten years I have used the main library hundreds of times, especially, the wonderful inter-library loan department, which helps me borrow desired items from all over the country. I have watched as that department has gone from its own easily accessible office space on the second floor, to a space on the third floor, in the rear of the periodical department, that I am forbidden to enter. That, in itself, says much about the current state of our main library. The numerous satellite neighborhood libraries, however patronized and appreciated, cannot begin to supply the same services as can the main library. As I was eloquently told this morning, “The tree is only as strong as it’s trunk.” A new Knox County main library, to include adequate parking, is sorely needed.

Be it a product or a service, quality control is a management responsibility. We elected our manager. It is up to us to support his reasonable efforts to improve the quality of Knox County products and services. And, if a $60 annual vehicle registration fee seems too steep, visit Georgia or Virginia and sample their personal property and other vehicle taxes. In comparison, Mayor Ragsdale offers us increased value at bargain prices.

John H. Maedel


Editor’s note: As several readers have commented, there is no overcrowding at the downtown library. So, to say that a new facility is sorely needed is questionable. The author of the letter also sites the tax situations in Georgia and Virginia as worse examples than here in Tennessee., which is the point to limiting taxing. We citizens don’t want our state to turn into a Georgia or Virginia. We already have the reputation of having one of the highest sales taxes in the country. That’s why many choose to live in Tennessee because taxes are low. Let’s keep it there.


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