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Haynes, Rosseel ready for office
Honken, Rochelle, comment on race

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen was re-established following the town’s municipal election last week.

During their campaigns, both mayoral and alderman candidates had varying opinions about many issues that could be brought to the board.

Thomas Rosseel suggested the town purchase land to build a new primary school, while his opponent, Ronald Honken, disagreed. Michael Haynes was adamantly against weakening any town ordinances. His opponent, Ronald Rochelle, spoke of higher standards but suggested easing certain rules such as the size of commercial signs.

Voters had the final say, electing Rosseel, alderman, Ward I, and re-electing Haynes as alderman, Ward II.

Alderman Haynes

“I’m very proud of the effort and appreciative of the opportunity,” Haynes said of his re-election. “It’s very gratifying to win the opportunity to work another four years for the town, it’s also humbling. It gives you a sense of responsibility to represent all the people you met during the campaign.”

“I’d like to compliment my opponent for running on the issues,” he added.

One of those issues concerned Farragut’s business district. Haynes spoke about comments made concerning Farragut being perceived as a difficult place to do business.

“I don’t think that’s the case,” he said, “but we need to work harder to make certain either that that image is corrected or if there’s a basis for that, that we remedy that.”

Another issue Ward II candidates clearly disagreed on was Rochelle’s suggestion to reduce the number of members on the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission.

“I think the election was a clear rejection of that idea. I believe that Farragut’s founding vision of being a very local participatory type of democracy … is still the way most people envision us operating. … Most people generally share a similar vision for our town. They want it to be unique, they want it to be higher standards than just average. They want it to be family friendly, a good environment for people to raise their families.”

Haynes is already considering what issues he’d like to see tackled by the new board.

“We need to look at this issue of some mechanism for a fair cost-sharing or impact fee-type of concept to help with the infrastructure demands when we get new development in areas where we have those concerns.”

He is pleased with the re-election of Mayor W. Edward Ford.

“It’s a very demanding job to be the mayor of Farragut,” he said. “He has put in the time and the dedication. … I think it’s a very good thing for the town that he was re-elected.”

Haynes is also looking forward to working alongside Rosseel.

“I welcomed him to the board. … I expect that he will make some very positive contributions,” he said.

Alderman Rosseel

“I had a bigger victory than I expected,” Rosseel said of his win. “I wish to thank all the people that supported me, thank them for their confidence and trust in me. … I’m looking forward to serving the community.

“I certainly wish to thank Mr. Honken for his strong race,” he added. “He ran a good campaign. I was very pleased that it was a clean campaign. I’m glad it was issue oriented rather than personality oriented.”

Issues important to Rosseel include those that “revolve around how fast the town is growing, … how do we prepare for growth.” Especially, he added, in terms of “the school issue” and traffic congestion.

“We also need to look closely again at how we work with the business community,” he said.

Rosseel was a three-term member of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commis-sion.

His new role as alderman will be different, he noted, because “You’re representing a broad spectrum of people. You need to think about the issues a little bit differently, a little more long range.”

He’s also the chairman of the Concerned Citizens of Stone-Crest and Powell Acres and will encourage community participation in town planning.

“I’m a big believer in homeowner organizations getting together and working together,” he said, adding that when associations work together, “they can push their point of view a little bit more effectively. I will certainly encourage that and will work with those homeowners when they want to do that.”

Rosseel’s wife, Carol, was pleased to welcome the end of the election. “I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “My husband’s very conscientious. I think he’ll serve the community well.”

Candidate Honken

In the Alderman race, Ward I, Rosseel defeated Honken by more than 200 votes to fill the seat vacated by the retiring Alderman Constance Rutenber.

Honken, who said he was home the night of election “doing normal parent stuff,” logged onto the Election Commission Web site to gather the final results.

Although he was disappointed by the outcome, Honken said he has served on town committees in the past and plans to continue with his involvement in the community.

“This may sound cliché but the whole experience was a very positive one,” he said. “I enjoyed the entire election process, and if the opportunity presents itself again, I plan on running again.”

Honken said he believes that in order to cover expenses of the town and keep Farragut debt free, retail revenue needs to increase by three to five percent per year.

“I think that the town should continue to do what they do well,” he said. “I am still concerned about the business environment and the retail side of Farragut though.”

Adding that he is “a big fan of the town of Farragut,” Honken said that he believes that it is one of the best places in the world to live.

Candidate Rochelle

“One less road, one more pothole,” said Rochelle after losing his bid for Alderman, Ward II.

“I wanna commend Mike Haynes for running a clean campaign,” he said, adding that he couldn’t compete with the amount of money his opponent spent on the campaign.

Rochelle’s mantra throughout the campaign was to “make Farragut friendly,” and he’s concerned his message was misunderstood.

“Making Farragut friendly is in no way to imply that I am lowering my standards. … I’m really trying to raise the standards that Farragut has,” he said. “What I perceive as upper end is beyond anything I think my opponents have proposed or are trying to achieve. It’s really sad that we’re settling for mediocrity when we could do so much better.”

An example of “much better,” Rochelle said is one of the newest buildings being built in the Turkey Creek development.

“That’s what I would expect Farragut to look like, upscale, modern, gleaming, inviting you to come in to it, versus … mediocrity at its best. … When a visitor comes into Farragut, the first thing they’re gonna be exposed to is our deteriorating infrastructure in our business district,” he said.

Rochelle is already looking to the future.

“Assuming my health and my finances are gonna continue to be where they are, I will take on Dot [Dorothy LaMarche, alderman, Ward II] in two years.”

Writer Judy Briody contributed to this story.


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