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Term limit vote nears

Term limits in Farragut could be up for a referendum vote as soon as November.

At the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, May 27, Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill announced the State legislature had passed Farragut’s term limits bill.

“As far as I can determine, through all their committees and the House and Senate, it received not one dissenting vote,” McGill said.

He expects to hear official word from Nashville soon.

“We will contemplate then the crafting of an ordinance to set up term limits for the town of Farragut, and that ordinance will be voted on in a referendum, most likely in November,” McGill said.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved a change to its stormwater ordinance, allowing the Town’s Stormwater Advisory Committee to be an appellant body for stormwater issues.

As the process stood before, anyone charged with violating Town stormwater ordinances had to go before Town staff, the SAC and then the Board. The change would streamline the process.

However, Alderman Bob Markli, also a homebuilder, took issue with the timeline set forth in the ordinance — it allows the SAC to hold a public hearing for any aggrieved party at its next regularly scheduled meeting or at most within 60 days.

The SAC meets every 30 days.

“Time is money. … Thirty days is a big deal,” Markli said.

He asked that the ordinance be changed to either limit the SAC’s reaction time to 30 days — rather than 60 — or to require the aggrieved party to turn in its application for a public hearing 10 days before the next SAC meeting.

“I would like to see the language make this as quick as possible,” Markli said.

Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer pointed out that a public hearing with the SAC was the last step in a long process of stormwater violation notices and meetings with Town staff.

“This is a last step. It’s after we’ve exhausted everything else,” Palmer said. By the time the SAC held any public hearing, the entire violation process likely already would have been going on for three to four months.

“Government exists to serve the people and not the other way around,” Markli said.

“If [the SAC and Town staff] can’t get it together in that time, we should forfeit the right to penalize that person. We can’t hold up a project indefinitely for our own convenience,” he added.

Town Administrator David Smoak reminded Markli that the Town was required to publish notices of any public hearings at least 10 days before any meeting. And because those notices normally are published in farragutpress, the Town could need as much as 20 days to ensure Farragut complied with public notice laws.

Alderman John Williams said he’d be comfortable simply leaving any judgment up to the body that actually would hear complaints — the SAC.

He moved that the ordinance be changed to say any request for a public hearing would be heard at the next regularly scheduled SAC meeting for which the requirements for public notice could be met.

Markli seconded the motion and it was approved, with Alderman Jeff Elliott dissenting.


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