guest view: Alderman Ron Williams

Strategic planning with a vision for the future

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, along with Town department heads, recently participated in two strategic planning sessions. The main focus of the first session was to develop basic goals that serve as “Critical Success Factors.” The plan called for two community meetings as well as an online survey to finalize the “Strategic Planning Framework.” This framework would be the foundation that would influence the second session priorities and initiatives within the following success factors:

Enhancing the Town’s Financial Position

Strong fiscal leadership has enabled the Town to maintain its excellent financial position. Expanded retail opportunities and additional revenue sources will support important programs and services. The Town actively pursues grants for infrastructure and park improvements. Examples are the red light replacement project, Union Road improvements and the Mayor Bob Leonard Park turf field/restroom/parking project. Th survey showed that the majority thinks we should still pay as we go with no current need to borrow or look at a property tax. The top votes for future projects were road improvements, McFee Park expansion and developing a Town Center.

Advancing a High-Quality Built Environment

The Town ensures a high-quality built environment through deliberate formal planning and community engagement, incentivizing innovation and promoting design before engineering. The Municipal Planning Commission, Economic Advisory Committee, Visual Resources Review Board are just few of the 11 standing volunteer committees that are involved in Town planning. The survey showed that the majority wants to see a master plan that includes a mixed-use Town Center, a plan to redevelop empty buildings and more expansion of parks and recreation.

Regional Leadership and Collaboration

The Town of Farragut sets an example for local government leadership and excellence by cultivating relationships with regional partners. The Town advocates its interest by participating in decision-making with other governmental and non-governmental entities. The list of examples is long and includes the Knox County Clerk’s and Trustee’s Offices in Town Hall, and participation in the Tennessee Municipal League and the National League of Cities. LCUB, FUD and TVA were the entities with the top votes on the survey and are also current regional partners of the Town. Future plans are to be more involved with Innovation Valley.

Building and Maintaining the Town’s Infrastructures and Assets

The Town of Farragut has established a safe transportation network for pedestrians, bicycles and automobiles. The stormwater system is reliable and well maintained. The Town’s investment in technology, parks and buildings is cared for through proper maintenance and ongoing improvements. Our well-trained staff meets the tough standards we set forth. The survey showed that citizens would like to see a continuation of road improvements, greenways, bike lanes, sidewalk connections and walking trails. At the top of the wish list is a big push to clean up vacant buildings.

Providing Excellent Parks, Recreation and Cultural Amenities and Programs

Farragut’s expanded parks allow for a variety of experiences for our residents and visitors. The Town provides events, programs and cultural activities that support tourism and enhance a sense of community. The Town’s neighborhoods are connected by greenways and sidewalks to commercial activity hubs and parks. The Fourth of July Parade and the Lawn Chair Concert Series are favorites of the dozen community events. The cleanliness of our parks, splash pad, playgrounds and restrooms, along with the overall walkability of our Town, were voted the best aspects of our system. The majority would like to see more music, concerts and programs like the Solar Eclipse Party.

Promoting a Convenient Retail and Services Destination

The Farragut area is known for family entertainment venues, growing commercial centers, neighborhood activity hubs and high building standards. The future will be a bold vision of collaborating with strategic partners to promote sound business development with effective public-private partnerships. Family venues like a Town Center that would include a community center/concert hall, an amphitheater or a market square were some of the surveys ideas. Most everyone saw the need to support our small business owners in order to keep a high-quality, small-town feel. Partnering with Shop Farragut and the Farragut/West Knox Chamber of Commerce are examples of supporting our local business community.

Supporting and Caring for a Committed Workforce

The Town recognizes that excellent service delivery happens through its dedicated and committed workforce. The Town is a model employer that attracts talent and provides competitive compensation and benefits as well as ongoing training and professional development. What did they say we do best? Town maintenance, events and programs, along with customer service. What should the Town try to improve? Business recruitment/retention, along with redevelopment/updating of vacant buildings. What we can all be most proud of is the large number of examples of receiving excellent and timely service from our Town staff.

All of these efforts will help us achieve our vision for the future: Farragut – redefining quality of life with a beautiful, close-knit, connected community where families and businesses thrive.