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McGill wins in landslide
First action as mayor: Term Limits


“This is a humbling experience and I just hope I can be worthy,” said Farragut’s newest mayor-elect, Ralph McGill, after his landslide victory against four-term Mayor Eddy Ford.

One of McGill’s most notable prongs of his platform is term limits, which he said he would begin pursuing at his first Board meeting, April 23.

“We’re going to move forward with my agenda as it was stated in the campaign because, apparently, that’s what people want.

“And I would be derelict in my duty if I don’t go about the business of doing those things. They sent a very clear message and we need to abide by that,” McGill said.

Enacting term limits would require a change to Farragut’s Charter, which could not be accomplished by a Board vote but by a public referendum.


“Any vote we take is simply the question of shall we have a referendum or not. It becomes a question of ‘Do you think people should vote on this,’” McGill said.

McGill also said he would take up moving Farragut’s election times to coincide with Knox County’s.

“That would mean we’re going to have to adjust the lengths of current people’s terms,” McGill said. The next Farragut election is scheduled for spring 2011; Knox County’s in fall 2010.

Openness and transparency are important to the mayor-elect, particularly in the formulation of a budget.

“We’re going to have a very open and transparent process for that. I understand that recent budgets have just been plopped on the table, and you’re told to vote yes or no.

“That’s not going to be the case anymore. We’re going to make it citizen-friendly,” McGill said, adding everyone from Board members, planning commissioners and citizens would have a chance at input.

“I think that’s the only fair way to do a budget,” he added.

Committee changes are next on McGill’s list, including replacing himself on the Board of Zoning Appeals and Bob Markli on the Visual Resources Review Board.

“We’re going to be making appointments” as terms for each of the Town’s various boards and committees ends.

Speaking of terms ending, the Town will soon begin in earnest its search for a new Town Administrator. Former TA Dan Olson resigned amid controversy in February.

“Beyond the immediate future, sometime we’ve got to factor in this interest in a community center,” McGill said.

The mayor-elect said he hopes to establish a citizen’s study group to “define what a community center would look like for us,” he added.

McGill promised to turn a new page in Farragut’s political climate.

“I’m low-key. I’ll never dominate any discussion. I’m not presumptuous; if anything, I’m self-deprecating,” he said.

 

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