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letters to the editor


Newspaper ads work, McFee resident speaks out,

Newspaper ads work



It is great to see so many new ads in the farragutpress.

As someone who recently moved from New York, I make it a point to patronize the businesses that advertise locally.

Simply stated everyone from my dentist (Dr. Williams) to my dry cleaner (U.S. Cleaners), I discovered through this paper.

It is simple business sense.

There are a ton of local businesses to choose from. I invest in the businesses that make it their business to invest in our community.

Dan Andrews

Farragut



McFee resident speaks out



On Feb. 14, Valentine Day, when most of Farragut’s citizens were celebrating this romantic holiday with their family and loved ones, a few of us were treated to a reprise of the now disgraced and disenfranchised Knox County Commission’s unethical and illegal way of conducting the public’s business. Three members of the town of Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen invoked secrecy, subterfuge and skullduggery in an effort to spend $1.3 million of the Town’s budget on a highly suspect purchase of property that would then be given to the Knox County Schools system. Aldermen [Thomas] Rosseel, [John] Will-iams and [Dorothy “Dot”] La-Marche were the perpetrators of this illegal attempt to subvert the process of obtaining public input on this proposal prior to calling for a vote on the issue. In violation of the state’s Sunshine Law, the three aldermen had discussed this purchase prior to any public notice, had developed plans to transfer it to Knox County, and had clandestinely agreed to a purchase price 30 percent above the recently appraised value of $1 million. The illegal collaboration of the aldermen was inadvertently divulged to me by Alderman LaMarche in a phone conservation about another Town issue. The votes of these three aldermen were clearly predetermined, and despite objections from Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy”] Ford [III],Vice Mayor [Michael] Haynes and Town counsel [Thomas] Hale, they pressed for an immediate vote. The item at issue was listed cryptically on the meeting agenda as “Consider possible acquisition of property.” Only after even stronger objections from former Mayor Bob Leonard, chairman of the [Farragut Municipal] Planning Commission Bob Hill, and several citizens did these three valiant musketeers draw back from their attempted railroading effort and reluctantly agree to postpone a vote until after a public hearing. A full review of the meeting is available on a DVD available free from the Town.

For those of you with children in crowded schools, and particularly those of you whose children were zoned out of the high school in the town of Farragut, I would like to remind you that the Knox County School Board, destined to be the beneficiary of this gift of $1.3 million, is the same School Board that approved a plan sending Farragut children miles away to the Karns community. Do you trust this gaggle of politicians to insure that any school in Farragut would be reserved for the Town’s citizens? Furthermore, the proposed location of the school is in an extreme southwestern locale in the Town. The closest dense concentration of students is outside the town limits in the Chota/Northshore segment of Knox County. Is it Knox County’s responsibility to provide educational facilities for these children? Or should that responsibility fall on the shoulders of Farragut? Any new school in this part of the County should be placed where transportation logistics and school location favor the families of the Chota/Northshore region of the County. The proposed location does not.

It is common for realtors and others to trumpet Farragut’s reputation for good schools. I remind you that Farragut is not in the school business. That is a function of Knox County. Knox County derives roughly 50 percent of the Property Tax revenue collected in the Town, and that is the money that supports the school system. Why should we spend an additional share of Farragut’s revenue to support a required County function. The relevant question is not, “Do we need more schools?” In a growing community the answer will always be yes. More relevant questions are, “Should a town with no legal responsibility for the school system be building schools?” and “In any zoning issue, does the Knox County School Board have a history of treating the children of Farragut fairly?”

Ralph W. Dimmick

Farragut

 

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