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presstalk 671-TALK


• Hey, I’m confused. I voted for mayor and for aldermen, but I didn’t see the Town Attorney on the ballot. Oh, that’s right, Tom Hale only pretends to be an elected official.

• Let me start by saying I [inaudible] ride a bicycle and I respect bicyclists’ right to share the road. However, there appears to be a significant number of bicyclists that seem to believe that motorists are obliged to share the road, but apparently believe that bicyclists don’t have to share the road with motorists. Thursday evening, I got behind a pack of about 20 bicyclists on Everett Road. Even though I was in a hurry, I respectfully followed them for [more than] a mile. There wasn’t much of a place for them to pull over to let me pass, so I was understanding of that. However, when they did get to a convenient spot, they weren’t considerate enough to pull over to let me by. In fact, they started fussing at me, telling me I needed to share the road with them. I just want to say, “Yes, I will share the road with you and I expect you to be considerate enough to share the road with me.”

• I wonder if all of these people who are complaining about the traffic calming islands on Grigsby Chapel are the same ones who complained about the traffic circle that was put in on Northshore [Drive] and Concord Road. That has turned out wonderfully. I wonder if they can wait awhile to see how these turn out.

• I’d like to express my appreciation to the helpful editor at presstalk [April 2 issue] who suggested drivers using Grigsby Chapel Road simply leave 15 minutes earlier because of traffic backed up as a result of the islands. I’ll remember this as I set my alarm clock every night for the next 30 years. Let’s see: that comes out to 108,000 wasted minutes sitting in traffic as a result of the islands. I always thought the purpose of traffic engineering was to facilitate the flow of traffic, not slow it down. If the goal is to calm traffic instead of allowing it to flow, why don’t we just close off all the roads in Farragut and tell people to stay home?

Editor’s Note: Well, look at it this way. If you leave 15 minutes early, you will avoid the wait, you will arrive at work early making the boss think you’re one dedicated worker and perhaps receive more money or a promotion. You’re welcome.

• If anybody is looking for their Harvey Road street sign, we just found it today. It’s sticking up out of the water in Turkey Creek right off Virtue Road, it’s in the cove there. Somebody stuck it in the water. Strange pranks that young people seem to be playing, but [inaudible].

• I think that it is poor form for CBFO softball to start their softball season on Holy Saturday. I think all the teams that are having to have their team pictures, opening games and everything, I do not think that consideration was made for the Knox County Catholic school students that are on spring break and who would like to go out of town. I think someone misjudged the calendar this year and should have waited a week to start the CBFO softball season, just out of consideration for students who do not attend Knox County public schools and who have a different spring break.

• I just wanted to congratulate Mr. [Ralph] McGill on his landslide victory as mayor of Farragut. And I also want to remind him that his job as the mayor of Farragut is to serve the people: all the people, not just a chosen or select few. A town by definition is a group of people; it is not just one person, it is not just a small group of people. Mr. [Eddy] Ford forgot this, and this is why he is no longer going to be mayor after the end of the month. To those elected officials of Farragut who are not up for re-election this time, remember when your time to be re-elected comes up, if you did not treat your constituents fairly, if you did not serve them, if you served your own personal needs, if you served only the needs of a select group or organization, then you will more than likely be voted out like Mr. [Tom] Rosseel and Mr. Ford. The people have spoken.

• Congratulations to Mayor-elect [Ralph] McGill. The first order of business should be to fill in the dangerous new holes on Grigsby Chapel Road.

• Well, it looks like we have a new mayor in Farragut, and it’s about time. I hope the new mayor remembers, unlike the current administration, that the Town is made up of a group of people. No one person does all the work or can take all the credit or the blame. When Mr. [Eddy] Ford put on his Web page “Eddy Ford is Farragut,” that was just one more obvious, blatant examples of his arrogance and his being out of touch with the needs of the citizens of Farragut. I hope that the Board of Aldermen and the mayor and the employees of the town of Farragut will remember what has been going on for the past couple of years in Farragut, and start doing the right things for the right reasons, and remember they’re there to serve the community, not themselves.

• Farragut is a great place to live; all of us want to see things improve. How about some improvements on the storage lane on Campbell Station Road going south at Kingston Pike? The left-turn lane there really backs up during peak traffic hours and creates quite a bit of congestion. Also I would hope the town of Farragut would recognize the need for a recycle center after seeing how thoroughly used the recycle center [that was] just closed up near Lovell Road and Kingston Pike. It was used extensively. It would be a good thing for our Town to do. Also, on Old Colony [Parkway] at Campbell Station, the right turn signal seems to me to be relatively useless. Most people can make a right turn on red or go with the green. The bulk of the traffic going out of there is turning left.

• I’m calling in reference to some of the articles and the comments that have been called in about the islands on Grigsby Chapel. No. 1, Grigsby Chapel traffic and problems is a result of poor planning on behalf of the town of Farragut and the developers who built all the subdivisions. When the developers went in and built that number of subdivisions, they should have just gone ahead and planned for four to five lanes, but of course that would have cut into the lot sizes and cost them money. And of course, the person who called in … defending the planning and the way the Grigsby Chapel islands have been constructed, it seems to me, they probably work for the engineering firm. Of course they’re going to defend how it’s being done because they’re making a boat-load of money off of it and they’re not going to sit back and say “Oops, we’ve made a mistake” or “We could do it better.” And we don’t even need to go into the corruption, the incompetency on the part of the administration of the Farragut town. I live in Farragut. I have lived here since it was Concord. I have used Grigsby Chapel Road for years and I will continue to do so, despite that one person’s comment, because I have friends that live off of that and there are people who do business, who live there, who visit friends. We have the right to use that road; it’s what you call a public road.

• Via e-mail: I am so excited about the election results. The people of Farragut have certainly spoken about many issues including these ridiculous “calming islands.” At least 20 people I spoke to personally designated it the one issue that took them to the polls for this election. Hopefully our newly elected Mayor [Ralph McGill] will take a second look at how dangerous and irresponsible our former Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III] was to start construction on them. Now this is the “change” I can appreciate.

• Via e-mail: For the past two weeks, I have read nothing but complaints (whiners) in presstalk about the GCR calming islands. I haven’t heard this much whining since I lived in Cary, NC. I do not live in a neighborhood off of GCR or Smith Road, but I do travel the road everyday in order to pick up my daughter from FPS. This shouldn’t make a difference. Upon reading all these complaints, I made more of an effort to observe where the islands were placed to see how cumbersome they might be. First, none of the islands’ curbs are placed outside of the yellow lines defining the middle lane; in fact, they are placed well within those lines. If you habitually drive left of the yellow line, you might want to correct that. None of the islands are placed where someone would have to make a left turn onto their street, unless you think you have to get into the turn lane way, WAY before your street comes up. The biggest complaint has been about the island closest to the intersection at Campbell Station. If you have read, you would understand that the left turn lane from Campbell Station onto Parkside Drive is going to be doubled, and the lights at the intersection are going to be timed accordingly. That is to include the timing turning left from GCR onto Campbell Station. Someone this past week wrote, “we have seen numerous accidents along Grigsby Chapel Road. These accidents have typically resulted in damage along the right side of the corresponding road. … The calming islands will not allow for any variance into the center portion of the lane.” OK. If you have seen “numerous” accidents already, it was probably for speeding or intoxication. The islands won’t help the drunk drivers, no obstacle will, but they will help with the drivers that speed. Both intoxicated drivers and speeders will wreck eventually, and not just on GCR. The wrecks that damage the right side of the “corresponding” road, they were most likely speeding or drunk as well. If you have to use the center lane for “variance,” then you are probably speeding as well. What do you do on a strictly two-lane road with no center “turn” lane? There are plenty of tight two-lane roads around here and I don’t hear many complaints about that. Maybe a refresher course in Drivers Education will help? All in all, change is imminent. This change is for the good, and I support it.

• Via e-mail: Bless Farragut’s little souls who must start out their weekday morning in frustration (boo hoo) caused by traffic delays lasting up to — oh at least 10 minutes. Hey, you know you could take presstalk’s suggestion and leave your humble abode 15 minutes e-a-r-l-i-e-r, rendering you refreshed and calm by journey’s end. Might as well suspend your bellyaching! You’re not morons are you? You knew life in Farragut (an up and coming affluent community) would bring a boat load of issues, one being the inability of our country roads to endure massive traffic at peak hours spawned by 37934’s dazzling inhabitants! Tsk, y’all better think before you spew out your frustrations, you sound like a flock of cry babies ... it’s uproarious reading what some of you say.

• Via e-mail: I was disappointed that the on-line story about Bob Markli’s campaign finance report didn’t appear in the print version. If it had, the public would have seen a $500 contribution from Gene Rudesill, the developer, who tried to rezone property on Sonja [Drive] and Campbell Station [Road] from low density residential to high-density apartments. I wonder how many other developers contributed to Markli and what they expect to get? I hope the farragutpress does a follow up story when the next set of financial reports are due!

• Via e-mail: My notice from the County property assessor has just arrived — with a whopping 15 percent increase in my assessment. I have done nothing in the past year to increase the value of my property. If anything, property values have declined in our area, if only slightly. As a retiree dependent on investments, my income has declined considerably. Yet I am supposed to pay an additional 15 percent in property tax to support more lobster lunches, inflated overtime payments, questionable travel expenses, and unnecessary positions in “community relations” and other absurdities! At a time when most of us are having to cut back, the County government wants an extra 15 percent to support a payroll that is under investigation by the TBI. This is outrageous. I wish someone in the county would explain how property that has declined in value could be assessed at 15 percent more than last year.

• Via e-mail: I am really getting annoyed at the continual complaining about music programs, etc., being cut in our schools. Sure, they have cut the orchestra program at Cedar Bluff Middle [School], they have cut one band director at Farragut High School and there have many other teaching positions cut. What really annoys me is that no one is willing to take a stand regarding what is behind all these cuts ... MONEY. No one has stepped up and said — I am willing to pay more in Property Tax to maintain quality education for our kids. Everyone wants to keep all the programs, all the teachers, improve our deteriorating, overcrowded schools, but no one wants to pay for it. Politicians are so afraid of losing their jobs if they even mention tax increases; everyone pretends the problem does not exist. Let’s just try to make more and more cuts to our education programs. No one in this county is paying the same for their utilities, transportation, home maintenance, food, clothing, etc., as they were five years ago, neither are the schools. They are hit hard by the cost of energy, transportation, maintenance, books, required testing and other expenses necessary to keep our schools open and up to standards, yet no one wants to pay for it. We voted for Wheel Tax to provide money for building Hardin Valley Academy … where is that money going now? To the schools? Does anyone know? I don’t. Lottery money goes to higher education and pre-K programs. Where is the help for K-12 education so we can get our children better prepared for higher education, instead we lowered the standards for scholarships because too many did not qualify. So if you are not willing to spend money on education, you are going to get what you pay for. If you are not willing to spend money to improve the school situation, stop whining about teachers losing their jobs, programs being lost, overcrowded schools and proposed schedule changes that may inconvenience you. Either be willing to give the schools the funding they need or face the consequences. Knox County Schools Superinten-dent Dr. McIntyre and the School Board face a nearly impossible task. They are cutting where they can and still provide basic education needs. If you can’t offer a solution to trying to provide 21st Century education with the budget they are provided, stop complaining. If everyone was willing to pay an extra $50 per year on their Property Tax in all of Knox County for the purpose of funding education, these cuts may not be necessary or quite as severe.

• Via e-mail: I think it is a wonderful time for all of us in Farragut [now] that Mayor [Eddy] Ford has been booted out of office. He has been the most uninspiring mayor we could have possibly had. It is so funny how the farragutpress routinely propped him up throughout the campaign. Very few nice things were ever said in the farragutpress about our new mayor while ex-Mayor Ford was usually complimented at every possible moment. Also, Mr. [Bob] Markli was never given a chance by the farragutpress, but again, the people have spoken STRONGLY against the “old boys system” Farragut has had for so many years. I only hope that our new mayor cancels the calming island project and continues to listen to the people. I had to laugh at ex-Mayor Ford’s comments published in the News Sentinel. He basically blamed the timing of the calming islands on his defeat. No, ex-mayor, it was that you contradicted the will of the people at all! I also hope the farragutpress gets behind our new mayor and not feel that they have to continue to politic for ex-Mayor Ford.

Editor’s Note: farragutpress does not and never has endorsed candidates for public office. The editorial staff covered events as they happened and gives credit where and to whom it is due. As to the calming islands: safety is provided for the individual and not the convenience of the masses.

 

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