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presstalk 671-TALK


• I read that Vice Mayor [Dot] LaMarche was disappointed and couldn’t understand why more people didn’t come out to vote for her to thank her for her years of service on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. I guess she forgot how she supported the traffic islands on Grigsby Chapel Road, the red-light right turn cameras all over Town and term limits for everyone else but her, and then ran for a third time. Maybe she forgot her record, but it sure looks like the voters did not.

• Regarding [Tueday’s] election, we went and we voted for a write-in candidate and were informed, afterwards, that our votes would not count because he didn’t get some certificate before we voted for anybody. What is the use of having a write-in on a ballot if that person can’t even be recognized as having a vote? There were not 37 people [who] voted yesterday; there were more than that, it’s just that the votes don’t count if they’re not an official candidate. These things should be made more clear before the elections happen. Once again, Farragut keeps the same old group. Thank you. [Name redacted], Farragut resident, unfortunately.

Editor’s Note: According to Greg Mackay, former Knox County Election Commission administrator of elections, state law [TCA 2-7-133(i)] requires a write-in candidate fill out a form requesting his or her ballots be counted at least 50 days before the election. No write-in candidate did this for the Farragut election held April 12, so votes for write-in candidates were not official and thus weren’t counted. There were unofficial write-in votes — 48 for former Alderman Tom Rosseel and two for former Mayor Eddy Ford.

• Village Green residents should know our kids are being bypassed on life guarding duty. Our qualified kids should be considered first when hiring, and then the outside children should be considered. They have it backwards. Our kids are being bypassed.


• This is in regard to the uninformed comment about the Hardin Valley [Academy] Band’s “ridiculous fees.” It sounds like jealousy, to me, from another school because Hardin Valley Band is the best band in East Tennessee, according to all [its] awards. And oh, by the way, just for your information, the fees are being lumped together this year and it includes all the items that they normally pay for the semester; this is just the first time they’ve lumped them together. So if you’re going to make comments like that in a public newspaper, you should at least look into it before you make ignorant comments.

• We have red-light cameras in Farragut. I would like to know why we don’t have a red-light camera at the intersection of Old Colony Parkway and Campbell Station [Road] next to the [Farragut] Primary School. Once again this morning, I was sitting there waiting to turn and a minivan blew through the red light on its way to Kingston Pike. If I was the kind of person who, the minute the light turns green, had to slam on my accelerator and zoom out into the street, that van would have hit me. Any given morning, there is always somebody who is blowing through the red light at that particular intersection. We need a red-light camera there; we need a sheriff’s car there with radar. When we get our drivers’ licenses, we are told on our instruction manuals and when we take our tests that school zones are 25 miles an hour. There are flashing lights. This is a no-brainer. It just really amazes me, the number of people in Farragut who think they don’t have to obey the law. I absolutely resent the fact that they do not care or respect the lives of your family or mine. Come on, Farragut town. Come on, aldermen and mayor. Put a red-light camera where it is needed. You keep going on about all these different programs for the children, protect the children, and keep playing the kid card. Well, it’s time to play the kid card and get serious.

• Via e-mail: When is the town of Farragut going to do something about the intersection of Grigsby Chapel Road and St. John Court? What does it take? A traffic study? Which should be done during the school year and NOT in the summer. Or perhaps a serious accident and someone loses a life? No one in this area has any common courtesy or respect for school zone speed limits or otherwise. Yes, my children attend St. John Neumann School, we attend church there as well. I live in Farragut, but not on this road. It is dangerous. As a reader had mentioned a month or so ago, they have problems getting in and out of their neighborhood and can not turn without a “blind hill” to negotiate speeding traffic. Someone also mentioned that many places in this area have stop signs, but do not have the volume of traffic as this intersection has. Please do something! A three-way stop sign would be the most efficient and economical way to solve this. Anyone else have a better idea, go for it!

• Via e-mail: If you know the young lady (approximately age 16-26) with long, dark hair who was driving a dark blue medium size SUV (Pathfinder, Explorer, or similar) at 9:38 a.m., Wednesday, April 13, northbound on Virtue Road, just south of Kingston Pike, please let her know that she nearly killed me, or possibly both of us. She was either texting or dialing her phone when she crossed way over the centerline of Virtue Road causing me to run off the road. She never braked, and may have never even seen me, as I made every attempt not to hit her head-on or hit one of the large trees that align Virtue Road adjacent to Willow Creek Golf Course. If you know her parents, please let them know that their daughter came very close to changing the lives of both of our families. Please don’t text while driving ... it is simply not worth the risk.

Editor’s Note: Texting while driving is prohibited by Tennessee state law and is a fineable offense.

• Via presstalk: We have just held the least publicized Town election (thanks to the almost total lack of coverage in the local press and media), the least interesting Town election (thanks to no contested races, which meant no meaningful discussion of anything), and the most expensive Town election (based on TOF election cost per vote cast — 116 total) in the history of Farragut. How sad ... and no wonder our Town has such little credibility with state and local agencies and officials. What if Farragut had an election and no one cared?? I think we just did.

• I have a comment for Alderperson [Vice Mayor] Dot LaMarche, who apparently had her feelings hurt because there was such a low number of people who voted for her. Be grateful that anyone voted for you. There are a lot of people in our community who are very disappointed in your performance. I have been one of them; therefore, I did not vote for you. I would have voted for anyone who ran against you, and I know a lot of people who feel the same, and there’s a lot of reasons for it. And you probably aren’t aware of any of it, because I’ve been to Town meetings where you didn’t seem to be paying a whole lot of attention to what was going on. If you’re upset about the voter turnout, keep it to yourself.

• When I tried to vote on Tuesday, the [Farragut] High School gates were closed, making it very difficult to vote. Between blocked entrances and no “Vote Here” signs, it makes you think the city was trying to suppress the vote. If that isn’t against the law, maybe it should be.

• Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: The behavior and apparent expectations of the Farragut government are outrageous. Representatives, elected and otherwise, act like their sole purpose in life is to spend any and all money on which they can get their hands. After all the revenue is spent, much on nonessential projects such as traffic islands, other sources of income are generated without adequate public involvement, such as with the widely disdained traffic cameras. And now a property tax is explored. One surely knows where that will lead. Once the proverbial toe is in the door, even for a seemingly small amount, the opening is there for continual increases to feed an insatiable appetite. One reads in the farragutpress where the city has again authorized another study (at taxpayer’s expense and only three years since the last study) of employee compensation packages, but excepting the existing generous benefit package from the study. This is a city with no police, no fire department, and no trash pickup. How can it be inferred that anyone is underpaid? Perhaps they should baseline Bell, California where government officials were making obscene salaries in the million-dollar range. It doesn’t stop here. In addition to compensation levels, retirement benefit options are being studied, including provisions such as cost of living increases, a luxury enjoyed by few in the private sector. Moreover, while the private sector (the taxpayer) is moving to defined contribution packages, Farragut is considering a defined benefit package —- a position totally out of touch with the times. We have all read where, on average, the government sector salaries are twice that of the private sector, leading to the evolution of the government class and the working class. Enough is enough. It is past time for government at all levels, including the city of Farragut, to be brought to heel and listen to the will of the taxpayers.

Editor’s Note: As Town administrator David Smoak wrote in last week’s farragutpress (April 14), the Town is not considering a property tax. Property tax was a point of discussion during a workshop held by the Town. Tax revenue that fuels the Town is generated from Sales Tax and state-shared Sales Tax, much of which is contributed by residents living outside Town boundaries. Those monies would stay with the state or be allocated to Knox County if the Town did not receive them and the dollars would then be spent all over the state and county, not here in Farragut.

 

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