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Markli spells out alderman candidacy

Home builder Bob Markli is running for alderman in Ward I, against incumbent Tom Rosseel.

Markli, unlike most of the other candidates for aldermen and mayoral positions, is opposed to term limits.

“I think it’s unconstitutional. I think it removes the right of the people to choose who represents them,” Markli said.

The only beneficiary of term limits, according to Markli, are challengers who are unable to upset incumbents. Also, Markli said good politicians should not be limited by arbitrary term limits.

“If you don’t like somebody, throw ’em out. What can term limits do that voters can’t do?” Markli said.

However, Markli believes it’s time for a change.

“The Town, in a very short time, has done extremely well … it’s become the premier place to live in East Tenn-essee and a model community in many respects. But suddenly, in the last few years, I’ve seen it taking a turn,” Markli said.

“I see the Town taking a turn toward less fiscal responsibility, less transparency in the proceedings, more spending … and I don’t really see citizen input in that.

“It’s almost like it’s been hijacked,” he added.

Among the changes Markli would like to see are seeing Farragut stay “debt-free and tax-free.”

Farragut does not have a property tax; it raises funds from sales tax. Markli also is opposed to impact fees, a debated topic in past years.

“We have people who want to add taxes, increase the size of government, put us in debt … I have categorically opposed that,” Markli said.

“The Town provides excellent services and does very well without these [taxes],” he added.

Markli also said he will support education through increased partnership and support.

“One thing we can do is support the schools we do have. The town of Farragut makes direct contributions to the schools every year.

“I’m not saying we necessarily want to increase that amount [$10,000 per school for fiscal year 2009], but we can expand our partnership with all the truly unique resources we have in the area,” Markli said.

Markli also would support a deeper partnership with Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

“We need to work with the people that are providing services for us, to facilitate them,” he said.

Another image Markli would like to change is that of the Town’s perceived unfriendly stance toward businesses.

“We like to fancy ourselves a business-friendly community, and in a lot of respects, we truly are. But there are certain elements in our government that make it difficult for people,” Markli said.

However, Markli specified, he would want to “strengthen [Town’s] standards.”

“We’ve got a strong sign ordinance; we’ve got great building codes; we’ve got good development standards. … But we still have some persistent difficulties in interface between people trying to do business here and the Town.

“That’s something I want to work really hard to eliminate and make this a really friendly place,” Markli said.

“Yeah, you can have tough standards. Yeah, you can demand quality development, but by George, you can do it with a smile on your face,” he added.

The final prong of Markli’s platform is to encourage a wise use of Town resources.

“These little back door deals, purchases that are made, coalitions that are formed to spend the Town’s money … that don’t really have the public’s support, those just can’t go on,” Markli said, citing the Seal property purchase as an example.

Markli, like many of the candidates, supports “green” living, saying his company, Markli Home Builders, has “walked that talk” for many years.

“That’s one thing I want to look at: how we can encourage that in our codes in a very practical way about what gets built,” Markli said.

He also would support various recycle drop-off centers around Town, to eliminate traffic congestion in any one area.

Markli has been a member of the Visual Resources Review Board and Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


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