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letterstotheeditor


Reader critiques Review Board; Concord Christian School saves tax dollars

Reader critiques Review Board



My comments are with regard to the recently announced report of the Development Review Process Evaluation Committee.

Several key issues are essentially “no-brainer” points that should be undertaken by the town’s management (ongoing customer service training, making sure staff utilizes existing regulations/ordinances as basis for all written correspondence, sorting out and avoiding duplication between departments (i.e., engineering and planning). These are all sound, common sense, standard business operating principles. I am somewhat surprised that it has taken an appointed committee to recommend these ideas be enacted.

My experience with the town staff in my 16 years as a resident of Farragut has been very positive. They have been professional, knowledgeable and did the best they could with regard to maintaining a reasonable timeline given their many other projects and responsibilities. Developers have their paid staff that is focused on the project at hand. Our town’s staff juggles many balls. We need to provide the necessary resources to do the job and not create an unduly stressful atmosphere based on unrealistic expectations.

The idea of requiring front-end meetings is a good, sound and prudent use of time provided developers come prepared to present well thought out plans that fit within existing town regulations/ordinances and NOT see these meetings as an opportunity to skirt or water down applicable rules and regulations. The town’s staff (with appropriate staffing levels) needs to assure a timely follow-up. Again, this is just a good, sound basic business principle.

Hiring an assistant administrator can be a positive step provided the job description and public awareness of this position are focused on making the process more efficient and effective and NOT on giving developers an “end run” to our town’s regulations and ordinances. I would also like to have this position focus on creative ways of trying to fill the town’s empty commercial space.

Overall, I applaud the time and effort put in by the committee. Mayor Ford has again shown his leadership in initiating this project, ably directed by Alderman Mike Haynes, which has the potential to result in much good for our town. Let me close by saying that while the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is now hearing a lot (mostly negative) from the development community, please don’t forget that residents of this town have been given clear choices in several elections and have always sided with candidates who support our stringent regulations and ordinances.

I urge our town’s leaders to keep this at the forefront of their decision making process when looking to implement the committee’s report.



Sincerely,

Jeff Elliott

Farragut



Concord Christian School saves tax dollars



I have read — with amusement and disappointment — letters to the editor with complaints about Concord Christian School and its effect on traffic.

Every morning, I leave my neighborhood and wait in the traffic backup caused by Farragut schools on Campbell Station Road.

I was traveling on business out of state and I passed by a Catholic School with a large banner that read “St. Patrick’s School saves the Taxpayers of Rutland $2.8 million annually.” Knox County recently reported that it spends approximately $10,000 on every student it educates.

Hence, we have two institutions that back up traffic (I’m sure others do too — but we’ll discuss these two in this letter), and one costs us (taxpayers) millions of dollars per year and the other costs us nothing. Hmmmm ... what are we complaining about. Perhaps the staff at Concord Christian School should post signs explaining how much money they save the people of Farragut. The savings are in the millions.

Then, disgruntled folk could demand that the town of Farragut and Knox County take a portion of that savings and build extra turn lanes — even a small cloverleaf interchange — to help the families who are taking their children to this fine institution that saves the taxpayer so much money.



Sincerely

Randy Sadler

Knox County

 

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