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Williams enters alderman race


Dr. John Williams is a relative newcomer to the Farragut political arena, but he has high hopes for the future of the town.

Williams is one of three candidates in the upcoming April 10 town election vying for the Ward I alderman seat currently held by Joel Garber.

Williams said he has been a resident of Farragut for almost nine years. He and his wife, Lynda, live with their five children in the Fox Run subdivision.

Im just another resident of Farragut whos willing to come off the sidelines to try and build a better community, he said.

Williams said if elected, he would make erecting a community center a priority.

My first priority would be to address the lack of a community center, he said. I think the town needs to build a central community center that includes meeting rooms, performance spaces, recreational spaces, etc. that would give leisure services space to do things for the town. It would decompress town hall and allow the municipal government to expand into more facilities there. Even the museum could potentially be re-located.

Williams said he would address the needs of businesses in the community, an area he feels is much neglected by town administration.

Ive had conversations with businesspeople in town and there seems to be difficulties in dealing with the town over business issues, he said. One that comes up very frequently is restrictive sign ordinances and it seems to be a double-edged sword in that everyone recognizes the aesthetic value of preventing inappropriate signage, but at the same time its highly restrictive to support their business. Id like to see some sort of liberalization or compromise on issues like that. I dont think the town has done a very good job marketing itself in terms of recruiting retail and commercial enterprises. I think more could be done along those lines.

Williams is an endocrinologist with Endocrinology Consultants of East Tennessee.

I left an academic position at Vanderbilt Medical School to come join this group in Knoxville, he said. I was doing biomedical research and teaching before I came here.

Williams earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and went on to earn his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Texas.

Then I completed fellowship training at Johns Hopkins, he said.

A recent appointee to the towns Leisure Services Master Planning Committee, Williams said he has been paying attention to events transpiring in the area for the past several years. Recent changes prompted his decision to run for political office.

I started paying attention to what was going on to the town more carefully a couple of years ago, he said. I began to notice that there were struggling retail enterprises in town and I was concerned part of that was being induced by the commercial development in Turkey Creek. Then I was hit with the school rezoning issue and the school board election and really began to pay attention to those issues. I became very concerned about the negative impact of rezoning Farragut students to another Knox County school as a way of degrading the sense of community within this town, which I feel revolves pivotally around the schools. My concern for the sense of community as well as the financial base of the town led me to first get involved by being appointed to the Leisure Services Master Planning Committee last year. Through that activity Ive had the opportunity to review most of the town documents prepared in the last eight years and get a better feel for what the overall plan was. Now, Ive decided I want to get involved at a more fundamental level as a concerned citizen in order to preserve the towns history, but also help the town move forward in building the community.

 

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