board view: Vice Mayor Povlin

Our community will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Farragut in January 2020. The book “Full Speed Ahead” by Heather Mays tells the inspirational story of the founding of this wonderful town in which we are so blessed to live. The foundation for all that our Town strives to be can be found in the pages of this book.

Essentially, we expect that our ordinances, regulations, land-use planning, building codes and every other legal power that has been delegated to the Town government by the State of Tennessee and the federal government are exercised with fairness, impartiality and integrity so we can remain a high-quality residential community that is a desirable place to live. If you have not read this book, I encourage you to borrow it from the public library or purchase a copy from the Farragut Museum in Town Hall.

Upon its founding, the Town had few funds to provide even the limited services it envisioned. It relied on the volunteer efforts of engaged and educated citizens to carry out its mission. That remains the case today. For the Town to operate, we need, at a minimum: five community volunteers to serve on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen – two alderman for each ward and one mayor; seven community volunteers to serve on the Municipal Planning Commission (along with two members from BOMA); five community volunteers to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals; seven community volunteers to serve on the Visual Resources Review Board and seven community volunteers to serve on the Board of Plumbing and Gas/Mechanical Examiners. Volunteers who are passionate about helping to fulfill the Town of Farragut’s mission are at the foundation of a fully functioning Town of Farragut government. Without informed and engaged citizens, the town would cease to function.

Engagement and education aren’t always easy. We aren’t taught how local government works in high school. When issues in the Town arise, people are inclined to take to social media to air their concerns. It’s easy, and sometimes cathartic, to get on a thread on Nextdoor or Facebook and discuss concerns. These forums are a perfect opportunity for individual residents to hone in and define their concerns.

The problem is, often times, the threads can misinform and provide inaccurate information, and when the threads become hostile, it’s difficult to provide any perspective or truth or education.

Engaged citizens should not be enraged citizens. At some point, citizens need to reach out to elected officials. A conversation with your aldermen or mayor will put you on a better path to understanding how to advocate for your concerns and, just as important, where to advocate for your concerns, because not all of a citizen’s concerns can be resolved at the Town level.

A town government is constrained by state and federal constitutions. It is also constrained by revenue and the requirement to maintain road and stormwater infrastructure and all its existing assets.

E-mail is the best way to contact me: lpovlin@