Board ‘collaborations’ celebrated in detail
Often an elected official will speak of his or her “accomplishments.” I learned very early on while serving the Town of Farragut as an alderman that much of what one might consider an accomplishment is better described as a collaboration. So much of what I have advocated for required the guidance and assistance of the many talented professionals who work for our Town.
Trusting and valuing the experience and knowledge of our professionals not only provides for sustainable solutions to our challenges, but establishes an atmosphere where they can bring innovative thoughts to the conversation. To that end, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen continues to be very supportive of funding continuing education for our Town’s personnel so they are best prepared to do what’s best for our Town.
I have been blessed to share a collaborative relationship with many of the incredible people who work for our Town. As a result, we have been able to address many issues our citizens face. For example, the footprint and overall impact of the Union Road project was substantially reduced from what was originally proposed through extensive work with our engineering and community development directors.
With regard to the missing link in the pedestrian network on Smith Road, we were able to work through a compromise in its design that protected the homeowners in Andover subdivision. Another example of a targeted solution came from a conversation with our Town engineer regarding backups on Snyder Road turning onto Campbell Station Road. It led to the realization that a fairly inexpensive road project could provide a second lane on Campbell Station Road close to the interstate.
A recurring discussion regarding the future land use plan with the community development department led to critical changes in our future land use map and land use designations that will serve as guidance as we edge ever closer to full build-out. There are many more examples of both policy changes and projects that have resulted from the collaborative efforts of the board and Town personnel during my term of service.
What many citizens do not realize is that the Town of Farragut has made it a practice to accomplish its goals with a lean, productive staff. Cross training within our many departments has been an effective way to cover gaps and provide backup and assistance during times when all hands were needed on deck.
Even with all the efforts to run leanly and efficiently, recent growth has stretched our current personnel beyond their capabilities. With Fiscal Year 2021 planning under way, the board will be looking to add a few key positions that will help us to continue to provide services to our Town’s residents in an effective manner.
Specifically, with the number of capital projects in the planning process, we need a capital improvement project manager who will oversee all of these projects to make sure they are being completed per our high standards. The Farragut Community Center is need of a facilities manager to manage and help promote the Assembly Hall, classrooms and gymnasium.
With the addition of the community center and the Campbell Station Inn and plaza, the responsibilities of our Public Works Department have ballooned and more hard-working, energetic and talented individuals will be needed to continue the excellent work they do to keep our town beautiful and well-maintained.
Changes in trends, laws, standards, attitudes, demographics and technology are the only constants our community can rely on, and with the booming economy we will continue to see growth and change in our built environment, as well; status quo is an impossible condition to maintain.
Having well-educated and informed personnel to help guide us through this constant change is a necessity if we wish to remain a high-quality, desirable community.