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letter to the editor

Park & Ride space requested

Iíd like to make a pitch for two things: a Park & Ride zone in the Windsor Square parking lot and a general encouragement to West Knoxvillians to ride the bus.

I like to ride KAT to work downtown when I can, partly because these days it saves me about $5 every time in gas and wear on my car, and partly because Iím a believer in public transportation. Living in several major cities, including New York City and San Francisco, convinced me 40 years ago. KATís service is a bit limited ó Windsor Square is the westernmost regular stop ó but the drivers are affable and helpful, and they run on time. I use riding time to read and make notes and generally chill out while somebody else deals with traffic. The ride home offers great down time. Oh, and itís good for air quality.

I park in the Windsor Square lot, even though there is no designated Park & Ride area. The good folks who manage WS have never towed me or even left a nasty note, but I would feel better about taking up a space if they had a designated Park & Ride area. I favor the Southwest corner of [its] East lot (the side toward ED Financial), which appears never be used at all except by me. A Park & Ride area at Windsor Square would show managementís own support for public transportation, and it would be a neighborly gesture to KAT riders ó may their numbers increase!

David Habercom


Sproles misguided, Johns says

Sproles has a misguided view of local government and politics.

I could not believe the recent statements made by Don Sproles, an independent candidate running for county commission for our district seat of 5-C. I recently met Mr. Sproles at a non-partisan event and he seemed to be a capable candidate. However, after watching and listening to him live on the Farragut community channel this Saturday morning during the Meet the Candidate event for appointing County Commissioners, I am confident that Mr. Sproles is misguided in his understanding of the basic fundamentals of local government and the importance of having political parties and ideologies associated with local elections.

Mr. Sproles stated that all local elections should be non-partisan and that topics such as gun control, abortion, etc. are not relevant at the local level or for the elections. I totally disagree with these statements and will provide a few examples:

Our current Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican Sen. Bob Corker were elected to these state and national offices from previously serving in positions in their respective local governments. Both served previously as mayors of their respective local communities of Nashville and Chattanooga. As a result, it is the opportunity and duty for local citizens to understand where their elected representation stand on these important issues since there is a greater likelihood that some of these same local elected officials will be elected to a higher office someday as shown in the above examples.

On the other hand, local governments do make such impactful [sic] decisions everyday. Mr. Sproles states that these issues are not relevant to local governments and even mentioned gun control as an example while on television this morning. Again, I disagree with these statements and am surprised Mr. Sproles, as a former attorney, forgot about significant examples from law such as the results from Morton Grove, Ill., (Quilici v. Morton Grove), the first local town in the United States to prohibit the possession of handguns. Conversely, local governments can make policy the other way as such in the local community of Kennesaw, Ga., which is 177 miles south of Farragut off I-75. In response to Morton Grove, this local government has on its books a law that requires every household to have a firearm and ammunition (by the way, Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nationís ď10 Best Towns for FamiliesĒ in August 2007).

While I do appreciate Mr. Sproles seeking political office, he obviously has not considered the reality and the serious responsibility of how local politics impacts our daily lives since ďall politics are local.Ē These issues do matter to the majority of the District 5 voters wherever they fall on the political spectrum and it is a reality, as proven in precedent, that local government elected officials can make policy on such national issues as well.

As a result, I urge the Knox County Commission to immediately appoint Colonel Richard Briggs to the County Commission 5-C seat and most importantly, request the voters of our district to support and elect this proven leader and heart surgeon as in the Knox County general election in August.

Bill Johns

District 5 Resident


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