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letter to the editor
Reader addresses letter writer

I feel sorry for people like Mr. Spencer (July 31 farragutpress letter to editor) who obviously approach life as a glass that is always half empty.

The opportunity for the town of Farragut to purchase the Seal property is just that … an opportunity.

Last I checked, they weren’t making any new land. What is available is rapidly disappearing. Mr. [Vic] Spencer and Vice Mayor [Michael] Haynes seem to put a lot of stock in one appraisal and what should and should not be a fair price.

As anyone who has worked with appraisals will tell you, ask three appraisers and odds are you’ll get three differing opinions. Does it make one right and the others wrong?

Also, a key question is in defining the land that is being appraised. Was it appraised as agricultural? How about residential? What about as a possible location for a town of Farragut community/senior center?

My point is that I think this is all about splitting hairs. The simple fact is that the price being discussed for this particular piece of property will be seen as a bargain several years from now and an even better bargain five to 10 years in the future.

Now is not the time for reactive leadership. We need proactive leaders who understand the need and move forward in responding to an opportunity. Don’t believe me, just review the recent history of the City of Knoxville (Smokies baseball goes to Sevierville, no downtown planetarium/science center, no real plan for the World’s Fair site) and you’ll see where reactive, the glass is half empty leadership, gets you.

Aldermen [Thomas] Rosseel, [Dorothy “Dot”] LaMarche and [Dr. John] Williams (and yes, even Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy”] Ford [III] who did vote in favor of discussions with the Seals) should be commended for not sticking their heads in the sand.

Mr. Spencer described these individuals as “irresponsible. ” I couldn’t disagree more. Our Board of Mayor and Aldermen serve without pay and give a tremendous amount of their time. While many of us may disagree with Vice Mayor Haynes on this issue, I certainly am respectful of his opinion and would never sink to Mr. Spencer’s low level of casting aspersions on certain members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s ethics and behavior. Is it too much to ask for us to disagree without being disagreeable?

Jeff Elliott


Reader endorses Baer

It has been my privilege to know Tom Baer for several years. In this time I have come to know a man whom we can all be proud of as a citizen. It is rare in these times to have such a good man willing to serve the people of Tennessee. When we go to the polls, we would be wise to avail ourselves of his offer.

Tom’s qualifications are numerous; graduate of the US Naval Academy, Business owner, community leader, corporate president, husband, father, Vietnam vet and a long list beyond. But, I would like to address some of the things that you may not have seen or heard before.

When my wife’s family friend of over 30 years lost his 11 year old son recently, Tom was at the funeral home. He has been there afterward too. He is that kind of friend. He stays in for the long haul. Weeks and months after the loss of a loved one, Tom is still there to comfort and console.

When a member of my Sunday school class lost their 12 year old son, Tom was my first call. On a Sunday morning with no advance notice, Tom was there. He consulted and advised the class on the appropriate actions. He told us what to say and not to say to be of assistance to a family in their time of need. Weeks later, he wanted to know how to get in touch with the family. He was there. He is that kind of friend and leader.

This Fourth of July my daughter and I were talking of founding fathers, framers of the constitution and our country’s leaders. She asked me if we still had statesmen in this country. I am proud to tell her we most definitely do. They are not always as overt as the other kind, but they are there. Statesmen quietly go about their business and lead our country. They make a difference for years to come. We can be proud that Tom Baer has chosen to step up and serve us all as a statesman.

Chris Hurley



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