Hill, South Ward alderman candidate, takes issue with appointment process

The farragutpress issue of Oct. 4, 2018, reported the actions on Sept. 27, 2018 of the four-member Board of Mayor and Aldermen with regard to filling the South Ward Alderman vacancy created by the election of Ron Williams, a South Ward alderman who was elected mayor by popular vote in the August General Election.

The Sept. 6, 2018, issue of the farragutpress contained a notice from the Town of Farragut requesting bios from citizens interested in filing this vacancy. I filed my bio in strict accordance with the Town’s requirement as stated in the advertisement.

BOMA subsequently received bios from six applicants, including my application.

The election of the citizen to fill this vacancy occurred Sept. 27, 2018. At that time Mr. (Drew) Burnette was elected with (Aldermen Ron) Pinchok, (Louise) Povlin and Williams voting for Burnette and (Alderman Scott) Meyer voting for his nominee, Scott Russ. I was not nominated.

The Oct 4, 2018, farragutpress reported the following quotation from Williams: “All of (the candidates) were great,” Williams later said. “Mr. (Robin “Bob”) Hill probably had the most experience over anyone in the room — he would have been a good choice — but he didn’t want to run for reelection.

I stated during my five-minute pitch to BOMA that I did not intend to run for reelection in August 2020.

Up to that time I was an applicant because I had submitted my application, had been interviewed one-on-one by each alderman and had made my presentation at the BOMA meeting on Sept. 27, 2018.

The requirement to run for reelection was not a requirement in the Town Invitation and was therefore not a correct criteria to eliminate me from consideration. I was never told of this requirement. I voluntarily stated in my remarks to BOMA that I did not intend to run for reelection.

My reason for this are as follows in order of importance: 1. At age 90, committing to do a task that ends six years from now is a lot more uncertain than agreeing to serve the Town until the August 2020 election.

2. Electing a person who plans to run for reelection in 2020 confers incumbency on the recipient. That’s probably, in my opinion, about a 20 percent advantage over other candidates and discourages some prospective candidates.

BOMA inserted this new “running for reelection” criteria into the process some time during the period beginning with the submission of my application by the date specified and the BOMA consideration of the matter at the Sept. 27, 2018, BOMA meeting.

My application was tossed out by BOMA by changing the requirement for service to include a commitment to run for reelection.

As result of this series of events, I feel that my civil rights have been violated and the election of Burnette is invalid.

If the oath of office is administered to Burnette, it is effective immediately — right or wrong.

I will continue going to TOF meetings and making comments on the actions proposed or taken at those meetings. Farragut is my town. I have been a resident and property owner here since 1962.

I have a deep interest in seeing that my TOF government is open, fair and appreciated. I believe that my right to open and fair government at all levels is implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution of the Unites States of America.

BOMA is the vehicle for government in our Town. As citizens of Farragut, let’s all get active and make it our business to see that our Town is run correctly.

~Robert M. Hill, P.E.