Attempting to personalize his relationship with Farragut constituents and create clearer lines of communication on issues, Mayor Ron Williams will unveil “Mayor’s Night Out” early next month.
Inviting his critics, along with anyone else concerned or curious about Town affairs, to ask questions and share opinions in a one-on-one dialogue over a meal, snack or coffee, Williams has planned his first Mayor’s Night Out for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Sam & Andy’s in Aspen Square.
“I notice on social media that people have a wild swing of opinions about our Town. You have people accusing us of taking bribes and a lot of other stuff,” he said in an interview after announcing this new format during the monthly meeting of Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance Thursday morning, Sept. 19, in Town Hall Boardroom.
Referencing “trolls,” he added, “They think because you’re an elected official this is Washington, D.C. and that they can hammer you all that they want.
“Well, fine, come and sit down with me and let’s talk. … I suspect we will have a few people who have some concerns that maybe would not come to a Board meeting or a Planning Commission meeting. But in a casual setting like that they may show up and talk.”
Moreover, “If you remember we had two (Knox County) Commissioners At-Large who did this for, I think, three of four years, Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas. It was quite successful,” he told SF/FBA members.
“… This will be a pilot to see how this works.”
While Brantley and Thomas “typically had it at Sam & Andy’s, I’m going to rotate,” he added.
A second Mayor’s Night Out is set for November at Water into Wine bistro & lounge, 607 N. Campbell Station Road.
“I think you have two different demographics there,” Williams said after the meeting. “People that eat at Sam & Andy’s may not eat at Water into Wine, and people who eat at Water into Wine may not eat at Sam & Andy’s.”