Old Ingles shopping center renovation among latest ‘Mayor’s Night Out’ subjects

Discussion of old Ingles shopping center, which has been under renovations for most of the 2019 calendar year, was among the topics Farragut Mayor Ron Williams discussed with citizens during his third “Mayor’s Night Out” event.

Although the building is not yet ready for occupancy, “People are very interested in that, in wanting to be there,” he said during the gathering, hosted by The Shrimp Dock, 11124 Kingston Pike, Tuesday, Dec. 10.

“There are actually two people fighting over one of the sites there now” without giving names.

Despite accumulating snow, which had started earlier in the day, resident Jerry Blossom was among those attending.

“The mayor and I are friends, and I appreciated the opportunity to get to visit with him,” Blossom said.

The Shrimp Dock owner, Phil Dangel, said he opened his shop for the event after seeing previous Mayor’s Night Out events publicized in farragutpress.

“I was reading an article about it — that he was looking for another place to hold it, so I thought, ‘Why not?’” Dangel said.

“I can certainly do that since the Town has been very good to me.”

About the Mayor’s Night Out concept, “It has been good, but it is probably the last one I’ll do,” Williams said. “We tried three different times, and had about a handful of people who came. There is just not enough interest, but I guess maybe when things are going good there’s not too much of a need for it.”

Previous Mayor’s Night Out events were held at Sam & Andy’s and at Water Into Wine bistro & lounge.

He had decided earlier this fall to host the events in response to prolific social media commentary, and because many years ago he had seen the mayor of Huntington Beach, California host similar events “with great success.”

While Williams has been known to be responsive via e-mail, phone calls, social media posts and when encountered face-to-face, the Mayor’s Night Out concept was an attempt to publicize “I am here and available if they want to talk to me,” he said. “Sometimes all that needs to happen is to be able to share some facts, and it reduces the misinformation.”

Among other citizens and Town leaders attending were Town administrator David Smoak and Shop Farragut executive director Stephen Krempasky.