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Desire for smaller government prompts Sadler commission bid

J. Randy Sadler believes smaller government means better government, and that is one of the reasons he is running as an independent against Knox County Commissioner District 5A incumbent Mike Hammond in the Aug. 3 election.

“I’m a concerned citizen in Farragut,” Sadler said. “The thing that troubles me in Knoxville right now is an increase in government and a thing I call an activist government. It’s interesting that Mike Hammond has talked about a consolidation of services, and is there an efficiency to be found? And frankly, I don’t think the study needs to be done. With very little study in history you will find that government grows and what we need now is less government, not more, in our city and in our county.”

Sadler said unlike most businesses, consolidation of government rarely translates into real savings. In fact, he added, this consolidation creates a more powerful entity, and our history bears out that as government gains power, it’s thirst for self-growth and money only multiplies.

“By nature, government has an insatiable appetite for money and land,” he said. “The annexation route has been shut down for some time, so what we’re hearing now is discussion of metro government and metro government is being seen as a solution to our woes. The citizens of Knoxville have turned down several referendums on metro government and they have turned it down for several reasons.

The first is, citizens in town would lose representation, citizens in the county would have their representation diluted and government would grow. When governments consolidate, what they’ve shown in the past is that they get bigger and they spend more.”

Sadler said he believes if Knox County and the city form a metro government, the people of Farragut could see a doubling of their property tax.

“The people of Knox County have turned down the idea of metro government many times and a bunch of politicos keep trying to repackage this thing,” he said. “This is the same thing that is happening in France. My opponent is on a committee to examine the issue of metro government. Why would you be on a committee to examine it if you weren’t for it?”

Sadler said he is a proponent of drawing new business to Knoxville, but he said there has to be more financial accountability on the part of the county. Several ideas in the past have shown themselves to be less than responsible.

“The City of Knoxville dramatically raised the city property taxes and went on a spending spree building the Knoxville Convention Center, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and even tried to force the people of Knox County to pay for a downtown hotel, which was only defeated by a referendum vote,” he said.

“As if that was not enough, the city and county considered crazy ideas, like putting the World’s Fair Park under a glass dome. Both the city of Knoxville and Knox County voted on and approved Universe Knoxville, a downtown Planetarium that would cost more than $50 million. The only reason Universe Knoxville wasn’t built is that the idea was so poor that the bonds could not be approved.”

Sadler said as a commissioner, he would take the time to examine all of the issues.

He said he chose to run as an Independent, although he refers to himself as a Roosevelt Republican, because the Knox County Republican Party hasn’t changed its tactics and thoughts since the 1960s.

Sadler, a 1988 graduate of Farragut High School, went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in strategic and international history from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1992.

He spent five years in the U.S. Army as a tank commander and is currently employed with the Ellison Group, a company specializing in industrial coatings.

He and his wife, Shannon, have five children.


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