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One down; more to come
Farragut’s new Town administrator reflects on his first day


David Smoak, coming back from lunch on his first day as Farragut Town administrator, joked about not having his own specific parking slot.

“I just hope I didn’t park in anybody else’s,” said the 34-year-old Marietta, Ga., native and University of Georgia graduate (master’s degree, 1999) roughly five-and-one-half hours into his first day of work in Town Hall Monday afternoon, Feb. 8.

“They haven’t told me if I have.”

Trained for his new position by most recently serving as assistant Town administrator in Collierville, a suburb of Memphis roughly twice the size of Farragut, Smoak said he’s “excited to get started; I’ve been excited for the last month.”


Smoak’s first few hours Monday were filled meeting and greeting “about half” of “right around 50” Town department staff under his leadership.

“Today was just a time to get around to all the departments, to see where everybody sits, to see where everybody’s at, and just to get to know them a little bit better,” Smoak said. “I’ve met most of the department heads already. Last week I came by and visited some folks.

“It’s going to take me quite some time to get caught up to speed,” he added. “Just information gathering for me right now, to find out how we do things. … Who to go talk to about whatever issues that may [exist].”

As opposed to a “my way or the highway style” of leadership, Smoak said he’s “pretty open-minded and willing to listen and observe and communicate with anyone who’s got a concern.”

“I think that’s been a strong suit of mine in the past,” he added.

One of Smoak’s first tasks, he said, is “especially getting prepared for the budget for next [fiscal] year. … Figure out what they’re goals are for next year, and so that way we can communicate that through the budget process.”

Smoak said Mayor Ralph McGill “certainly has helped me quite a bit in just understanding some of the issues that are ongoing.

“I’ve also been meeting with Gary Palmer,” Smoak added about the interim Town Administrator now serving as assistant TA.

Smoak, who lived in Collierville nine years, said helping to deal with rapid growth in that city “helped me prepare

 

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