letters to the editor

Town observations

A few observations are in order with respect to a number of recent goings on in the kingdom of Farragut.

The Election: Ms. [Louise] Povin worked quite hard for the alderman position; obtained an appointment to fill Mr. [Ron] Honkin’s vacancy (try to unseat someone holding a position unless they are arrested for armed robbery); paid ads; no lack of farragutpress attention; and flag carrier for FBA — a lot of visibility. With regard to her goal to host town hall style meetings “where people can come in in [sic] a casual atmosphere and ask questions and get answers … .” Residents can do that now at any BOMA meeting either at the Citizens Forum or during agenda items.

The atmosphere will be no different because the aldermen will not alter their stance on any resident question because of a casual atmosphere. They will only explain why you don’t understand the problem and why they must proceed as explained. The only exception to that is if a sufficient number of especially agitated residents show up at a [Board of Mayor and Aldermen] meeting. Town hall style meetings is hardly a bright star campaign item, but it is touchy feely.

Dixie Lee Junction: An article in the July 14, 2016, issue of farragutpress described this TDOT project, which begins at the west end of Kingston Pike and Farragut. It is entirely in Lenoir City, but it’s still our tax dollars, being a state and Fed project, and used by “Farragutonians.” To get to Lenoir City at present, you enter a long sweeping curve at the end of Kingston pike, past Ace Hardware and on to US 11. All this without a traffic light, and works wonderfully well except for lightly trafficked eastbound US 70, which requires a stop street to cross the sweeping curve of US 11 to get to Kingston Pike East. TDOT, with 80 percent of project cost from the fed[eral government], found a non problem that they can fix now instead of waiting for a problem maturity date of 2035. The only thing needed at present is a turn lane on the long sweeping curve for easier and safer turns to Ace Hardware or other businesses.

TDOT examined a number of alternatives and selected one which aligns US 11 and US 70 for a 90 degree crossing with traffic lights at a cost of $8.5 million. If this unnecessary work must proceed, I would prefer the option featuring a roundabout (traffic circle where I come from) with no traffic lights. I have e-mailed Congressman [John J.] Duncan [Jr.] (his web site has place where you can send an e-mail to him) asking him to look at the project and consider withholding federal funding.

Branding/Logo: When the logo selected by BOMA was introduced to the residents, the reaction went from puzzled, to laughter, and when it became known that it took two years, a committee of 10, a consultant and cost $60,000 to produce four words, “Live Closer. Go Further,” anger and disbelief mounted, in addition to a grammatical correction. True to the political template, BOMA circled the wagons because they had too much invested in time, money and hype to admit a misstep. Instead, they proclaimed a jewel was born and plastered their jewel on signs and stationary, making it impossible to retreat.

To a visitor seeing a sign with that logo it will not register with any meaning.

A logo containing the following would tell what we are: CITY OF FARRAGUT, TN; Artwork here: Anchor? Ship under full sail? Residential Living; Shopp-ing; Medical Facilities; Univer-sity; Sports; Artwork here depicting movement/speed; Now you would be telling the story of what we are.

FBA: Farragut Business Alli-ance (FBA) certainly has a star-crossed existence. The residents either don’t know about the Alliance or are not convinced it serves a useful function. It is like a child to BOMA, needing guidance and protection.

What other organization could receive a stipend of $23,000 from Farragut in this year and seek $585,000 over the next three years. A soupy mix is obtained with the town’s Economic Development Committee (EDC), on behalf of BOMA, negotiating a deal with FBA. The vote was 3-1 in favor, but with four abstentions and one absent — a strange vote that David Smoak declared valid.

It should be noted that Alderman [Ron] Pinchok sits on EDC and Mayor [Ralph] McGill and Alderman Povin sit on FBA. A conflict of interest concern was refuted by Town Attorney [Tom] Hale because they would not personally benefit. Mean-while, between February and June 2016 FBA accepted $70,000 for one year.

And so, as the world turns, two bad seeds are joined as FBA has been given the task of promoting the Town’s branding program. Sic transit gloria mundi. At any rate, a number of residents with more knowledge about FBA and Town affairs than I, have expressed concern on these pages about the amounts that was attempted to pass on to FBA, their effectiveness and should we even have any association with them. We need to be on the lookout for any FBA agenda items for BOMA meetings.

Ken Frazer