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Term limits public hearing draws none


The town threw a party and no one came.

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen hosted an informational public hearing on term limits before its last meeting, Thursday, Oct. 15, but no citizens showed.

“Are there any questions?” Mayor Ralph McGill asked an audience of press members and Town staff, with a little ironic laughter.

“Otherwise, we’ll assume it’s perfectly clear to everybody,” he added.

“You just hope that people will read, and I think the language is very clear on the ballot,” Alderman Jeff Elliott said.

The Town decided to hold the public hearing to ensure the voting public was educated about Farragut’s referendum on term limits, which is on the Nov. 2 ballot.


If passed, term limits would limit any elected official to 12 years total in office, and only eight years in any one office. Those term limits would go into effect in 2014, and would only apply to officials elected after that.

Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said she’d only “heard from one person that they didn’t think we needed term limits because of the last election.”

In the last election, Alderman Bob Markli defeated incumbent Tom Rosseel (who had served one term as Alderman) and McGill defeated long-time Mayor Eddy Ford (who had served in one elected position or another since 1980). Alderman Jeff Elliott ran unopposed for former Vice Mayor Mike Haynes’ seat, who stepped down.

“People would argue that, well, there aren’t that many people who are going to want to run for office, but I would suggest that there’s a counter-opinion to that: when people think they have a chance, they’re more likely to run,” McGill said.

Early voting is underway from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Oct. 28 (except Sundays) at Farragut Town Hall, 11408 Municipal Center Drive.

Election day voting is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 2, at assigned election locations.

The official wording of the ballot states:

“Shall the laws of the Town of Farragut be changed so that going forward term limits as described below would apply to candidates for elected office:

(a) No person shall be eligible to serve more than eight elected years as either Mayor or as an Alderman,

(b) No person shall be eligible to serve for more than twelve elected years in any combination of service as Mayor and Alderman.

(c) Service in office following being elected shall count in determining years of service. Service in office following appointment to an unexpired term shall not count in determining years of service. Service in office prior to the adoption of this term limit law shall not count in determining years of service.

(d) These limits shall not apply to any elections until the election of Mayor and Alderman in 2014.”

The term limits referendum on Farragut will be the last question on the ballot Nov. 2, and voters will vote “for” or “against.”

For more information about elections and for a list of polling places, visit www.knoxcounty.org

/election

For more information about the referendum, call Town Hall at 865-966-7057 or visit www.townoffarragut.org

 

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