Town leaders ignored ‘significant citizen objection’ with Town Center plan; ‘broke trust’ of 2012 CLUP
In 2012, the Town, working with citizens, businesses and others, created the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) to guide our growth and development. The Town government also agreed that major changes to the CLUP would be done through the Significant Public Outreach process ensuring citizens’ desires were included.
The Mixed-Use Town Center (MUTC) portion of the plan was later adopted into the Commercial Zoning Ordinance due to its importance.
During the Biddle Farm discussions from September 2020 to January 2021, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) ignored the most significant citizen objection to a development action in a decade. Over 1,500 petition signatures and 244 e-mails against approval of the Zoning Ordinance changes to allow the free-standing apartments were submitted to BOMA.
Prior to these changes, high-density residential was only allowed above the commercial property in this area to provide a high-class walkable area.
Johns’ HOA work stellar; choice for mayor
I was one of the very first people to welcome Bill Johns and his wife to Farragut in 2000, as they were new neighbors. I have remained good friends with Bill over the years and know him from several perspectives. Whether it was serving on a board with him, working on maker projects or having him be a sounding board to my entrepreneurial and business issues, Bill is an excellent advisor, leader and friend.
In the summer of 2001, Bill retired from being a software sales executive and consultant, and we started spending more time together in our neighborhood. He became quite busy again directly after Sept. 11, 2001, but in early 2002 he was recruited to become our homeowners association president. I served as vice president. We inherited a dormant organization that had many challenges that are, at times, found in volunteer organizations.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Bill, as within days he had laid out a plan of what needed to be accomplished. I never worked with someone like this before, and it was amazing the knowledge he had in knowing not only what to do, but how to methodically do it as well. Bill recruited so many volunteers that it was like having a true staff working on many subcommittees.
Numbers show Williams should be re-elected
Performance reviews, we’ve all had them, whether it’s a report card or a sit down with your supervisor. With 28 years in the military and another 10 or so years in the civil sector, I’ve written hundreds of performance reviews and been the recipient of many. The goal is to provide feedback, which can be both positive and negative.
As we are approaching an election of leadership for our wonderful Town of Farragut, I thought this would be a perfect time to do a performance review on our Mayor, Ron Williams.
A quiet, reserved man, he oversees a budget of about $13 million in annual revenue and expenditures of $8.1 million in 2021/2022 fiscal year. He can boast that total assets for the Town are $94.8 million (up by nearly $30 million since he was elected in 2016), with no debt other than a minimal time off obligation for Town staff.
He led the way for the McFee Park expansion; updated Anchor Park to ADA standards, including adding restrooms; and added numerous sidewalks and greenways to make Farragut a more walkable Town. He secured TopGolf, which will not only benefit residents but will also draw in tourists, boosting our revenue base.