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• I read with interest/amusement your article in the May 12 addition [sic] “Town releases 1Q red-light camera statistics.” First I saw that less than half of the recorded incidents were issued citations, which made me wonder about using something that ineffective. Then I read this line “At the discretion of Traffic Enforcement Program manager Ben Harkins, almost 42 percent of total recorded incidents were rejected, although most were still violations of state law.” Considering the fact that these cameras have been sold to the public as ways of improving safety and not as moneymakers, isn’t there a conflict that we are throwing out 42 percent of the citations even though they are violations? And just how is Mr. Harkins making the determination which citations to eliminate even though they are violations? Are they running the tag numbers and eliminating all Farragut address citations, or maybe just the opposite? Are they eliminating all city and county vehicles that have violations? I would think that with this big a discrepancy in the numbers a reporter would have been immediately asking some questions? Did they? I honestly don’t care whether you have red light cameras or not because if you obey the law you don’t have to worry about it. But reading this report I have to question why are they really there and are they being used fairly since obviously some are ticketed for violating the law and some are not? How about some additional investigation and reporting on this issue?

Editor’s Note: All aspects of the Traffic Enforcement Program have been covered in previous issues of farragutpress.

• Via In the past several years I’ve made it my mission to shake any soldier’s hand who is either in uniform or wearing any identifying emblem which signifies that they served America in any capacity. I look them straight in the eye and ask if I may shake their hand while I thank them for a job well done in their willingness to serve me and our country. Each time I do this it’s very emotional for both of us; it’s hard to show appreciation without emotions tugging at your heart, but I am willing to come out of my box and show my gratitude to every single soldier of any branch for their willingness. All have been overwhelmed by my kindness. I wonder how many of you say “Thank You?” It had always been my desire to pay for a meal of a soldier at an eatery; I’d heard of people doing this and ha[ve] also seen it done, so wanted to do it as well. I finally got my wish. My girlfriend treated me out to dinner in Maryville for my birthday recently, [and] as we were finishing we saw a service man sitting with a gal. I asked my waitress if she could bring me their check so that I may buy the meal as we were leaving. I asked that I not be revealed at the moment. I was not doing this favor for recognition but rather out of gratitude for his serving our country. I would have liked to hear or see his reaction when he was ready to pay out and was told that an older woman had paid his tab out of love for our soldiers; it’s better to give than to receive and I felt wonderful knowing I’d made one feel appreciated. Have you thought of reaching out to our young men and women who serve to keep us safe? Try it — you might like it.

• Let us all hope that the leaders of the town of Farragut will do everything they can to accommodate Costco and that they will not run them off.

• When I first read Mr. Herod’s letter [Thursday, May 19, edition] I thought it was a joke: a clever and sophisticated attack upon those who make sweeping generalizations and inaccurate comparisons about a group of people, made without benefit of actual facts. Alas, I was wrong. Apparently, Herod doesn’t think this Board needs to make right the wrongs perpetrated by the previous Town administrator who, either through incompetence or ignorance, misinformed Town staff about their ability to earn Social Security while working in the private sector. Instead, the aptly name Herod congratulates those on the Board, who eagerly lopped off a portion of staff’s retirement and called those who were cheated greedy. Not greedy, brother Rick, jut hoping this Board would right the wrong perpetrated upon their retirement plans and upon their families. The fault, dear Brutus, lies not with the Town’s purported greed, but with the mendacity of your beloved Board members.

• I am a small business in the town of Farragut and I would like to address my question or comment to the mayor, the aldermen and the town administrator, Mr. [David] Smoak. Does anyone think that the Farragut Business Alliance board being on the Economic Development Committee and voting for, or recommending, that $44,000 be funded to their group is a conflict of interest? What’s next? I do understand that the organization does work in our town, but $44,000, in this day and age, much less the conflict of interest of board members of one organization approving funds to their own organization [sic]. Does that strike anyone else, any other business in the town of Farragut, as strange and funny, how this group can ask to have, or recommend, money to be allocated to their organization? I sure hope we have some people who will take a close look at this and perhaps put the brakes on spending that amount of money on an organization that has very few members. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: There are several members of Farragut Business Alliance on the Economic Development Committee, as there also are members of Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce on the EDC. In votes about funding, members of FBA and FWKCC commonly recuse themselves. The EDC also is only a recommending body — it does not have the authority to make decisions; it only makes recommendations to Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

• Via e-mail: I work at a small business in Farragut and have noticed when people sign up to be on our list that none of the people living in the 37934 ZIP Code list their address as Farragut, they all list it as Knoxville. Does this effect business tax revenue for Farragut? Also, why doesn’t the Town begin a campaign for residents to list their addresses as Farragut?

• Via e-mail: There is a portion of Kingston Pike that needs attention. At the exit from Firestone and McDonalds it has a sign that says “no left turn;” however, people attempt this all the time. Not only does it create a backup of the traffic turning right, but I have witnessed near accidents numerous times. Just today someone turning left waited and waited, then pulled out in front of a car heading west, went behind a car in the turn lane and almost hit a car in the lane going east. The other day, I was pulling into the turn lane to pull in and a car turning left almost T-boned me. With the kids from Farragut High School using this exit a lot, someone is going to be seriously injured. Whose responsibility would it be to put a median so cars cannot turn left? People aren’t obeying the law, so the only solution is to physically block it so people cannot turn left.

• Editorial freedom is a wonderful concept, but it does come with its responsibilities. With that in mind, the farragutpress has developed policies that will be followed regarding the publication of presstalk comments:

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That’s it. The forum is open for comments regarding anything you have on your mind — local politics, world affairs, sports, religion, community affairs, city-county unification or anything else.


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