EDC adds youth representative

Farragut Economic Development Committee has added a new member to its fold.

Carson Scott, a junior at Concord Christian School, was appointed a non-voting youth member to the EDC during the committee’s meeting Wednesday, Dec. 7.

“Back in 2014, the [Farragut] Board [of Mayor and Aldermen] and Knox County Schools Education Committee got together and started talking about ways to get youths more involved into our government operations,” Farragut Town administrator David Smoak said. “One of the things we thought would be good was to start putting youths on our Board and commissions, so we started taking applications for that.”

The Town has one youth, Jack Coker, serving on the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, Smoak said. While the position is non-voting, he said the experience is an opportunity for students to learn about the Town.

Now, Scott has applied to sit on the EDC, at this point, he would serve until June. Then, the Town could ask for more applicants, Smoak said.

Scott plans to attend an in-state university and work toward a degree in business, Smoak said.

EDC member Knick Myers made the motion to approve Scott’s appointment, which received unanimous approval.

“It’s a great program. I’m really excited that someone would want to do this,” Myers said.

“Our intern program is just awesome,” Bettye Sisco, Farra-gut West Knox Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said. This year, Sam Landon is serving as an intern for the Chamber.

‘That kid has been awesome,” Sisco said. “He stayed to the bitter end [at the Chamber Open House] last night.”

The Town is seeking youths for every committee in the Town, Smoak said.

“So there are lots of opportunities,” Myers said.

“I would like it if we had five or 10 people who actually were interested in doing that,” Brandon Hackett, who chaired the meeting, said. “I think over time we will get there.”

“It’s getting the word out,” Myers said.

In addition to publicizing the search for youth members, Smoak said his staff has been talking to school principals to get involvement.

“We could run something in the Chamber newsletter as well,” Sisco said.

“The problem is the time the committees meet,” Smoak said. “[Scott] knows this committee meets at 8 a.m. on [the first] Wednesday. Apparently, his schedule allows him to come to these meetings, but the other committees meet at various times so we may have some problem getting them filled.”

On another matter, the EDC approved changes to its charter that it made during its meeting Nov. 2. The biggest change involved rebranding the committee to Economic Development Advisory Committee since it has taken a less active role in economic development action.

Smoak said the EDC has not changed its charter, other than making a couple minor changes, since its inception.

In other business, Farragut Town administrator David Smoak said he met with representatives of the hotels in Town about driving traffic into Farragut and the hotel/motel tax.

“[The tax] was a hot topic with that group, as you can imagine,” he said.