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presstalk 671-TALK

• Via e-mail: The mayor’s [Eddy Ford] ad last week not only misrepresented that all the businesses in Farragut support him, the list was inaccurate. A number of the businesses in the ad have closed, moved or are not in Farragut. If the mayor doesn’t even have an accurate list of the businesses in Farragut then how can we be certain that the Town is getting all the sales tax revenue from the state?

• Via e-mail: Please stop the installation of the traffic-calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road. This removal of the center lane prevents the use of a merge and turn lane, which is so badly needed to start with. This installation will cause a corresponding increase in the traffic flow through the parallel subdivisions as people bypass the inflated traffic. If you truly wish to install effective traffic calming, review the installation base of round-abouts. Correctly installed at the entrance to subdivisions, this would serve as both traffic calming and the dreaded red light. Why did anyone decide to use our tax dollars for this unwarranted project? Thank you for asking for opinions! I sincerely hope the town of Farragut will read these and stop the project.

• Via e-mail: I support the Farragut Primary School principal’s [Julia Craze] wish to close the gate that is accessible to the school from the Village Green subdivision. The gate was originally opened to benefit the students who lived in the VG subdivision. As more and more parents in the Farragut area became aware that the gate was open, they began dropping off their students there, too, rather than sitting in a car line on Campbell Station Road. On his recent visit to the VG subdivision to check on this gate, the school security officer should have asked for IDs/drivers licenses from the parents who were dropping their children off. He would have found that many of those parents live in neighborhoods far from Village Green, and that these students do not live in this Parental Responsibility Zone. Or better yet, he should have had Knox County Sheriff’s [Office] give tickets to cars parked where they blocked a homeowners driveway. Then, just maybe, the parents would get the message! It is a security issue for the school to allow the gate to remain open, and it is a traffic hazard for the residents of Old Colony Parkway. Parents should be thankful that the school is concerned for the safety and welfare of the students as well as the homeowners who live on this street.

• Via e-mail: I have owned a business in Farragut since [last year]. Neither our mayor, his wife [and few] members of City Hall have ever been in my store. They obviously do not, in any way, practice the “Buy in Farragut” theme. Yet I sell many products that I know they all use daily or weekly. Imagine my surprise when I saw my business listed on a full-page ad supporting our current mayor. This could not be further from the truth. The ad is deceiving ... yes I proudly own a business in Farragut, am a member of the Chamber, support Farragut schools, but no, I would never support people who do not “Buy in Farragut.” This ad is an embarrassment, and our mayor, who obviously has enough money to run these ads, needs not only to shop in Farragut but encourage ALL of his City Hall employees to do so also.

• Via e-mail: I am writing in regard to the traffic calming islands being constructed on Grigsby Chapel Road. About 10 years ago, we had a traffic-calming island in Kingsgate subdivision on Midhurst [Drive] near the intersection with Harrow [Road]. It was planted with crepe myrtle and iris. One day I came home from work to find that it had been bulldozed and paved over. That would not have happened in a pricier subdivision. Young people treat Midhurst as though it is a speedway. When is our traffic-calming island going to be replaced?

• Via e-mail: The calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road are ridiculous and a waste of taxpayers’ money. There are people right now that cannot afford to put food on their tables and Farragut is wasting money with these islands. All they will do is back traffic up further and cause the primary school’s car pool line to hold everyone up who is trying to get on the Interstate. What were you thinking?

• Via e-mail: The full page ad taken out by Mayor [Eddy] Ford was misleading to say the least! It implies that all the businesses in Farragut support his re-election, which I assure you is not the case.

• Via e-mail: After reading the farragutpress today I found some things to be disturbing. I understand Chelsey Riemann has issues with the findings outlined in the mayor’s response to the sexual harassment allegations. One of those issues is the report disregarding statements from several town employees including one from Sue Stuhl. Then there is another article regarding the mayor filing a complaint about Stuhl’s behavior. Should the mayor be filing complaints against Town employees? Is this in retaliation for her statement regarding the sexual harassment allegations? As we have watched the events of late unfold in the press regarding the above issue, sign variances by the MPC (all members are appointed by the mayor) for large stores like Gander Mountain and JCPenney and the lack of support for the airlock at Sam & Andy’s (the airlock doesn’t interfere with anything, it’s at the end of the sidewalk in the development) it makes me wonder what is going on at Town Hall. I get the feeling that the mayor has too much time on his hands and is way too involved in the day-to-day operations of the Town. Isn’t that why we hired a town administrator? I’m tired of all the drama! The mayor and alderman are a governing body not the town administrators. All the problems we are reading about rest squarely on the mayor’s shoulders.

• Via e-mail: Something needs to be done about the Farragut High School students making a mad dash through the parking lot of the old Kroger to park before school each morning and leave after school each afternoon. This mad dash looks like a swarm of ants coming from every direction. They crisscross the parking lot at a very high rate of speed barely missing each other. Students walking from their cars to the redlight at Kingston Pike are taking their lives in their hands as several have almost been struck by this mayhem of cars. Mothers driving their children to the Montessori School, and commuters who park in the parking lot, have almost been struck by teenage drivers who seem to believe they are the only ones in the parking lot. One driver of a white mini van loves to get at one side of the parking lot, rev his car and cross the parking lot to see how fast he can get to the other side. Death be to anyone in his way! One day there is going to be a crash, or a pedestrian struck, and someone will be seriously injured or killed.

• Via e-mail: Mayor Eddy Ford ran a full page ad in the March 12 issue of Farragut Press listing every business in Farragut. This ad implies that all these businesses support Mayor Ford, when this is not the case. Before such an ad is placed, does the mayor not need to get the approval of any names/businesses he lists on any re-election ad? As a small business owner I wish to state we did not open a business in Farragut because of Mayor Ford and he alone did not make Farragut the wonderful place it is. He does not support all these businesses, in fact he has never set foot in our business, nor many other businesses in Farragut. When you look at this ad, do not accept the fact that all the businesses listed support him for re-election. This ad is very misleading.

• Via e-mail: Wait a minute. The mayor files a complaint for a staff member “yelling” at another staff [member], in their office and requesting she attend anger management. Yet how many staff filed SERIOUS complaints against [former Town Administrator] Mr. [Dan] Olson and the mayor didn’t follow any recommendations for any of them? Two? And the sexual issues with Mr. Olson are a whole different issue. When Mr. Olson was in fact the only staff who was supervised by the mayor (& Board) and should have been reprimanded by the mayor. And when a staff is incompetent and is redirected, that is all part of management. Unless of course that person being yelled at is on ‘Team Ford’ and plays by their own rules, then it becomes a problem. Mayor, do you know your role?

• This is in response to Mr. [Doug] Dutton’s comment about the March 5 presstalk. No. 1, the statement about Belleaire Drive did not say anything about the town of Farragut paying for moving the First Baptist Church [Concord], only that they supported and allowed it, which was against the wishes and desires of the residents of Belleaire and the adjacent neighborhoods. And I didn’t see anything in that comment about this Town paying for the officers of traffic control. … He is allowed his opinion; we are allowed ours. But he seems to forget that. Mr. Dutton: we are the ones that live there, we are the ones who have been inconvenienced, we are the ones that your representatives did not live up to the promises that they made in public forums. … So please, before you call and make these statements, calm down, check your facts. Try something different for a change.

• I’m calling about the traffic calming islands on Grigsby Chapel [Road]. I live in the area; there’s been three or four bad accidents on that road and now they have even more things to hit. It is a total waste of money and a danger to the people who drive and walk along Grigsby Chapel. Take them down.

• Yes, I’d like to know when they put those pretty trees up on Grigsby Chapel in the middle of the calming islands, and they get ran over by a drunk driver once a month, are they gonna keep replanting them or are they going to put concrete in?

• Is the work on Grigsby Chapel the Farragut [Town’s] version of a government stimulus package? This is more waste by our incompetent government. Taxpayers can’t afford government waste.

• I do think that the calming islands on Grigsby Chapel will be a total disaster, especially the one that is so close to that shopping area there. I hope those residents are very happy for trying to slow down the traffic. I see some of them driving as fast, if not faster, than people that do cut though that road. But anyway, I do hope everyone is going to be happy with the mess they’ve created.

• This is in reference to the construction of the calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road. I live on Grigsby Chapel Road; I consider it a total waste of money. I don’t think it will accomplish anything. They could have put in some little traffic bumps to slow traffic down if they wanted to prevent people from passing or whatever their problem was. It’s a total waste of our money.

• This is in response to the person who said they didn’t like Coach [Bruce] Pearl [The University of Tennessee men’s basketball head coach] and his actions on the floor. This is just his style of coaching. If you don’t like it, just shut your eyes and sit and be happy next to your companion. Whatever. But your Lady Vols coach [Pat Summit] opens her mouth and runs and yells and everything up and down the sidelines, and she’s got a pretty well-proven record, I think. Maybe Coach Pearl can come up with her some, who knows?

• I am calling to talk about the dividers on Grigsby Chapel. It’s just going to back up everything, make crashes, and people are going to climb into them. It’s just going to make it worse. It’s not going to slow down people. It’s going to make worse crashes. Farragut should be spending money on stuff like baseball fields, entertainment for somebody actually doing, not just dividers that will stack up traffic.

• This concerns the traffic aid or nuisance about the Grigsby Chapel Road islands. I purposely traveled Grigsby Chapel Road today at 5:10 [p.m.] because we had been watching the work in progress on the traffic calming islands during the week. Only time is going to tell if this is going to work or not; people just need to address their speed and their awareness of the unexpected. It could turn out to be a wonderful thing, just as the roundabout on Northshore [Drive] at Concord Road. What I do want to address though, is where walkers and bicyclists, and mainly about the plantings that are going to be in the islands. I guess that’s what’s going in there. I hope it’s going to be low-maintenance because of water conservation and up-keep, but also that it doesn’t obscure the driver’s visibility in case there is a bicyclist or a walker in the road, particularly there at Walgreens and St. Mary’s. Another concern, also, is that these islands seem to cease going toward Smith Road up to, probably, Chapel Point up to past where the school is, and then the school becomes a two-lane road. But a traffic light seems to be needed there, because people come around the road from Smith Road up to the school, where the road is two lanes, and they really do speed around that curve and through the school zone area. Maybe this is a plan that is going to be attended to at a later date, I don’t know, but I think right now we just need to give it a chance and watch our speed and hope for the best.

• I think the islands on Grigsby Chapel Road are an absolute nuisance and a waste of money. I think they’ll be a hazard to the driving public.

• This is regarding the traffic on Grigsby Chapel Road with the islands. We don’t need islands, we need a traffic light by Farragut Commons.

• I live in Farragut Commons, and I was just calling to make a comment about the construction work they’re doing in the turning lane there on Grigsby Chapel [Road]. It’s very dangerous; it’s gotten very hard to get in and out of Farragut Commons. And I just don’t understand why don’t [they] spend the money to paint the lines on Campbell Station Road. I’ve lived here six years; they’ve never painted those lines, and when it’s dark and rainy, it’s hard to see in the morning, hard to see what side you’re driving on. And yet, they’ve spent money for whatever it is they’re trying to do on Grigsby Chapel. They’ve blocked the turning lane where people cannot get in and out, so it’s just really a major problem. Wish they would undo this.

• I had to make a comment after reading a comment by this hillbilly over there that wants to impeach [President Barack] Obama. Where has this idiot been for the last 10 years when we went from a surplus to a magnificent deficit? … Let’s ship this moron back to Tokyo or China or wherever he belongs … I guess that goes to the rest of Farragut too. They have their hands out for a stimulus but they brag about who they didn’t vote for.

• I’m calling about the islands out here in the middle of Grigsby Chapel Road. Please take them out. Someone’s going to get killed. There’s no lines there or anything. It’s dark in the mornings and people don’t need the islands there. We probably would rather have a redlight. Please take them away before someone gets killed.

• I think the traffic calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road are a total waste of money and will be a big hazard to the traffic going down Grigsby Chapel, and the people coming out from the side streets won’t have a chance of ever getting on to Grigsby Chapel. Total, total waste of our taxpayer dollars.

• I am a Farragut resident and I just want to comment on the traffic calming islands they’re putting on Grigsby Chapel Road. I feel it is going to cause more of a hazard than it is going to be a safety issue. Most of the wrecks and things are caused at night by high-speed teenagers. That road probably needs to be patrolled more, but on the mornings, it already backs up before they did these islands, so it is going to cause more of a backup with traffic getting to work during the week. I feel like they’re going to be more of a deterrent than a help.

• I want to talk about the Grigsby Chapel Road improvements. I think it’s a great idea. Whoever thought of that had a really good idea. I drive that road every day, and I think it’s going to make a big difference for the better, so I think it’s a great idea.

• Could you all please print exactly when the election is for mayor and the members of the Town Board of Aldermen. I’m a little confused: somebody said it was in April and somebody else said it was in August. And I definitely want to vote because I feel like the town of Farragut has gotten away from serving the people and the citizens and residents who live here. I think it’s very important we all remember that if you don’t vote in local elections, that’s how people get into the state elected positions and federal elected positions and then get voted in over and over and over again, because, unfortunately, we do not have mandated term limits like we should. There comes the expectation of entitlement and they start serving their own personal agenda and special interest groups and not the people they were elected to serve and protect. So please, please, please take the time to vote. It doesn’t take that long to do; there’s plenty of different days you can do it on, and it’s very important. Our ancestors fought and died for this. Not only 200-and-so years ago, but we have soldiers dying in Iraq now defending our freedom. So you might want to think about that, one of the things they’re defending is our right to vote and choose our leaders, unlike what they have in many parts of the world. So please, please vote.

Editor’s Note: The town of Farragut election, which is the first time Knox County Election Commission will try “convenience voting,” or an extended voting period, will be held at Town Hall.

• From March 18 to March 21, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to noon. March 22, polls will be closed.

• From March 23 to March 28, polls will again be open from 8 a.m. to noon. March 29, polls will be closed.

• From March 30 to April 4, polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Polls will be closed April 5.

• Finally, April 6 and 7, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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