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McGill enters mayor’s race
Longtime Sugarwood subdivision resident calls for Board ‘term limits’

Ralph McGill, a candidate for mayor in the upcoming April election, said one of the first things he would push for, if elected, is term limits.

“Two terms. Period,” McGill said.

He does not mean two consecutive terms: “I mean two terms ever,” he said.

“I think we need a constant influx of new ideas, new people, fresh faces,” McGill said.

According to McGill, long-term politicians develop friends and enemies, which often can lead to unequal treatment.

Business input also is high on McGill’s agenda, saying he would support a group of business owners providing feedback to the Town on ordinances and regulations.

“I think the Town needs to be proactive as it relates to the businesses of the Town and not just reactive, not just ‘you come in and you live by our rules or you get out,’” McGill said.

“I think there needs to be an even-handed approach to the business community and not preferred treatment.

“I think this idea of getting the two [business owners and Town representatives] talking together is a good idea,” he added.

“We need them; they need us.”

New schools in Farragut, a recent hot topic, are cause for “proceeding cautiously,” McGill said.

“I do think it’s unfortunate that we now have Farragut residents going off to school in other places through no choice of their own,” McGill said.

However, he was not totally in agreement with Alderman Tom Rosseel’s controversial proposal that Farragut buy land to donate to Knox County for a new school.

“At the same time, Farragut doesn’t operate the schools, doesn’t control decisions about schools and where they’ll be.

“We’re always going to be in a mode where we’re hoping the School Board and County Commission will be doing the best things for the town of Farragut,” he added.

“The question is: what role should we play? And I honestly don’t know what that is,” McGill said, adding the matter would require “soul searching” and more discussion.

Police presence in Farragut is another oft-debated matter, especially concerning police response times after crimes.

McGill said he was under the impression Knox County Sheriff’s Office kept two patrol cars in or around Farragut at all times.

“I do know that, when my alarm has false-alarmed, they’ve been able to get here pretty quickly,” McGill said.

“I’m sure the sheriff is receptive to being responsive when we have an outbreak of burglaries.

“We know they are putting in conscientious efforts to cover the County as best they can,” he added.

“I certainly do not think we need to think about having our own police force,” McGill said, adding that if response times were not what they should be, discussion between the Town and KCSO was needed.

McGill said he is proud of Farragut’s parks and network of greenways and sidewalks.

“I think they’ve done a great job on parks and I think we need to continue in that vein,” McGill said.

“I think that’s what citizens want and we can give that a lot of emphasis and do it such that it’s non-controversial,” he added.

“What I’d really like to see Farragut do, and this is a long-term prospect, is build a community center,” McGill said, mentioning a pool and perhaps theater.

McGill, a 58-year-old retired engineer from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan for the U.S. House District 2 seat in 2006.

McGill’s wife, Marianne, was one of the first aldermen in Town.


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