letters to the editor

Reader likes Williams’ ‘tireless’ work, ‘insight, judgement’

This is to support Ron Williams for Mayor of Farragut.

We moved to Knox County in 1980. We chose to live in Farragut because the schools were considered the best by everyone we asked. We were not disappointed.

It was soon apparent that the new town had so much more to offer. Careful planning and dedicated leadership led to excellent streets, parks and services as Farragut rapidly grew. Farragut has led the way in correction of street and property flooding, appropriate planning for residential, commercial and greenspaces. The difference is quite evident to anyone traveling through other cities and rural areas.

As Farragut completes the development of its residential and commercial space, it is vital that it be done thoughtfully and carefully. The growth of our parks and public areas will also need thoughtful planning and completion. We need to support the sales tax base and seek additional sources of revenue to continue without a town property tax.

As a citizen and alderman, Ron Williams has worked tirelessly toward these goals. He has the insight, judgment and interest to represent us extremely well. He will be a great mayor for Farragut.

Jerry Blossom, MD


Markli ‘has saved millions’ in waste, is mayoral choice

The headline in last week’s July 5, 2018 (farragutpress) should have read “Alderman Markli draws line in sand on rampant spending, saves Town $2.1M on park expansion while fulfilling citizens’ requests for tennis and pickleball.”

Once again his negotiating skills and keen business sense have come to bear as they did in saving the Town hundreds of thousands in the purchase of the Dimmick Property on which the new park expansion is to be built, and the Campbell Station Inn, the resolution of the Knox County School Tax debt and the drainage fiasco in the Farm at Willow Creek, to name a few.

Throughout his tenure, Markli has saved millions of dollars in frivolous bureaucratic waste, generated millions of dollars of new economic development impact, while holding steadfast against any bad legislation that would necessitate a property tax, and consistently maintaining the high-quality standards and brand of our community as envisioned by its founders. His opponent has none of this type experience and often, as seen recently, is instead pushing for pro-tax and anti-business legislation. The only logical choice is Markli for Mayor.

But Markli is vigorously opposed at every turn by a toxic faction in Town, overtly hostile towards progress and innovation, that results in adversarial and unjust attacks upon the very businesses that are our tax base and which Markli supports instead of a property tax.

This faction has consistently tried and often succeeded in scaring off investment and opportunity, imposing numerous tax schemes and always wants to spend money our community cannot afford. Most recently they have once again come out to support “Impact Fees” and “Hotel/Motel Taxes” in an effort to turn back all the progress Alderman Markli, often joined by Mayor McGill, had made over the last nine years trying to restore Farragut’s competitive place in the business community and ensure our viability in the future.

It would be mind-boggling that his fellow aldermen would pursue such negative activities unless one considers that they did not serve on the key and special committees that Markli was tasked with over those years, and that as newcomers they do not respect the foundations and legacies that were previously set by professionals.

Markli’s opponent has clearly and consistently shown he favors pro-tax, anti-business and increased spending philosophies. These are completely antithetical to Markli’s philosophy of lean government, increase-the-tax-base-through-economic-development, and protect our neighborhoods, high standards and brand while ensuring our community’s legacy. Markli’s fellow aldermen who have shown themselves pro-tax, anti-business and favoring unlimited spending and bureaucracy are supporting Alderman Ron Williams.

Most dangerously, if Williams is elected mayor, he gets to appoint his successor, which equates to having three members seated without opposition in one election cycle. Williams, who was only recently installed without opposition and barely under the midpoint of his first four-year term, wants to be mayor with essentially no preparation and is desperately scrambling to get up to speed by attending meetings and doing weekly photo ops trying to show he is active in our community.

If Markli is elected mayor, Williams remains to fulfill his alderman term. The ONLY choice we have to protect our Brand, Competitive Advantage and Legacy is to counter the pro-tax, anti-economic development, pro-spending and bureaucracy faction by electing Bob Markli for Mayor.

Brad Aubry,


Mayoral election a ‘watershed event,’ so vote Markli

Having your friends flood the local paper with letters to the editor is an old political ploy to get free negative advertising prior to an election. The July 5 edition of the farragutpress was a classic illustration of this ploy by the Williams campaign.

This mayoral election is a watershed event for the town of Farragut. The next mayor needs to be fully committed to sustain Farragut as a highly desirable place in which to live, transact business and raise families. This commitment needs to be rooted in core values that animate every decision on every issue that comes before the council.

Bob Markli is a proven fiscal conservative who has, and will, continue to work tirelessly to make Town governance transparent, inclusive, ethical and supportive of high-quality residential and business growth and great schools. His strong moral character and conservative values are evident in the many scores of votes he has cast in over 9 years on BOMA and in his prior service on the Visual Resources Review Board (6 years) and the Economic Development Committee (5 years).

By contrast, it seems to us that Mr. Williams and his supporters on BOMA have yet to encounter a tax increase or spending proposal that they did not like. Their voting record belies the lip service to fiscal prudence.

We need an adult in the mayor’s seat who has the demonstrated experience and skills to advance residents’ aspirations for Farragut as a unique and vibrant community. We think Bob Markli is by far the best qualified to protect and promote only the very best for Farragut. His voting record is testimony to his commitment to fiscal prudence and smart governance.

David and Brenda Folz

Farragut Crossing

Williams’ mayoral credentials questioned by reader

The Town of Farragut is about to have a major overhaul in its leadership this election cycle. Up for the position of Mayor are Bob Markli and Ron Williams, both current aldermen. Upon close inspection, though, you can see some big differences in the two.

Ron Williams boasts that he’s got a lot of time on his hands – see his letter published in the farragutpress on April 26, 2018. He’s retir(ed), and has spent the last several years attending numerous classes and cutting a lot of ribbons. If the main qualification for mayor is that you’re jobless, attend classes and like to smile for cameras at business openings, then perhaps we’d be better served by putting up posters at the high school and holding a beauty pageant at the Dogwood Festival, with the job going to the winner.

According to Ron, he’s ready to attend every single meeting in Farragut. In other words, his approach to executive leadership is to micro-manage every project. This has been proven to be a failed approach time and time, again. It erodes the trust of your staff, as it breeds a fear that you don’t believe they are capable of doing their own jobs.

It also creates a dependent culture, where everybody second guesses their own judgement and feels that everything has to be validated by the micromanager.

Finally, it also creates a bottleneck, which often leads to a swollen organization because if you can’t get enough work done, the natural tendency is to hire more people. We need our Town to work in a way that is smart and lean. If we need a mayor that spends as much time doing the job that Ron has suggested, then we need to make it a paid position, but it’s not, and with good reason.

We’re a small town that needs a small government, and the job of mayor is one that we have chartered as a part time, volunteer position.

Bob Markli has been criticized for not being as attentive to these types of events, and the reason for that is that he’s busy running his own business. This experience is exactly what sets him apart, in a good way, from his opponent, and in a way that the Town of Farragut needs.

For the past 9 years, Bob has served as an Alderman for North Ward, as opposed to less than two years of experience for his opponent.

He has developed both commercial and residential projects in our region, so he knows what it’s like to be on both sides of a set of arcane rules. The number of classes and ribbon cutting ceremonies he has attended are a sign that he knows how to prioritize, and that he can trust others to get the job done without him needing to be there in person.

Instead, he has focused on voting against Williams to defeat the Hotel/Motel Tax. He has, just this past month, worked to drop the budget for the McFee Park expansion by $2.1M, because the cost was too high for such a small improvement. I, for one, am glad that he’s treating our Town funds like what they are – our money that needs to be spent wisely.

Now is the time when Farragut needs to make a concerted effort to revitalize itself. If you look out at the number of construction projects happening within our city limits, very few will bring in new sales tax revenue – which is nearly our only source of income.

We lost Gander Mountain, and many are countering that with the fact that At Home is taking over the space, but they’re moving from another location that was already within the Town of Farragut limits.

Outside of that, nearly all construction is related to new or expanding projects at senior living centers, which not only bring zero tax dollars to the Town, but also bring in more residents that are the least likely to visit the business that do generate tax revenue.

Kingston Pike has numerous empty buildings that have been so for years, and when a new tenant does show up, they are more likely to be one that does not generate sales tax revenue.

We need to be asking our leaders why that is the case. We need true economic development in our Town, otherwise Ron will get his wish and enact new taxes. If you simply don’t want to think about the future, and are happy with how everything is, then I’ll offer up a new slogan for our town, and save some consulting money – “Welcome to Farragut. A GREAT place to wait to die.”

Personally, I’d rather make Farragut great, again.

Scott Milliken


Markli has business savvy, experience, listening skills

I will vote for Bob Markli for Mayor of the Town of Farragut.

Markli has 40 years of experience in running a successful smallbusiness in home building. He also has over nine years experience of dealing with the Town’s issues while serving two contested terms as North Ward Alderman.

Markli has by intention built only one house in Farragut since being elected alderman, and that house was built at the request of a friend.

Markli is dedicated to listening to his constituents and to being a part of managing the fiscal affairs of the Town so that we can remain free of a property tax.

I’m glad that Markli is willing continue serving the residents of the Town of Farragut.

I hope you will join me in voting for Bob Markli for Mayor.

Robert M. Hill