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FMS band, traffic director joins Commisssion race


Farragut resident Larry Danner wants to change from directing the band and school traffic to directing the future of Knox County.

Danner is one of four Farragut residents filing as Republican write-in candidates for the Knox County Commission District 5-C seat currently held by John Griess. A fifth candidate, not directly from Farragut, has filed to run as a Democrat for the position.


Under current judicial rulings, Griess is considered ineligible to run for another term as a county commissioner.

“Being a teacher in Knox County, I’m aware of the fact of the lack of funding for next year,” Danner said as one of the reasons he is seeking the position. “They have estimated a budget shortfall of approximately five to seven million and they’ve cut office staff.”

Danner, a music teacher at Farragut Middle School, said he went to a recent Knox County Board of Education meeting where the Board had a plan to cut staff in order to help with this budget deficit.

“I am very concerned about funding for public schools in the Knox County area,” he said.

“In order to stay within the currently proposed budget, we must now reduce the teaching staff at all schools. We are starting to slice away what has taken thirty to forty years to build up. I want the school system to stay where it is and get better if we can.”

Danner said he would enjoy the challenge as county commissioner of working with Knox County Mayor Michael “Mike” Ragsdale to attract more businesses to the area.

“Every time I turn around, though, people say they don’t want to come here because we don’t spend enough money on education,” he said. “I also want to make sure we are spending tax money appropriately.

Danner said he thinks the county has been doing a good job with spending.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m just a voter and I want to see what is going on. The only way to do that is to be on the county commission.”

He said he is pleased with law enforcement in the county, but would like to see officers get a pay increase.

“It really bothers me that they have to go out and work jobs at night in order to support their family,” he said.

Danner, 59, said he has had no prior experience in politics other than approaching elected officials about matters of importance to him. He is the president of the Camden Grove Homeowners Association and has been involved with the school system for the past 30 years.

He and his wife, Terrye, are active members of Concord United Methodist Church.

Other Farragut candidates for the Republican primary include Garry Strand, Alexander Cain and Leonard Brown.

 

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