letters to the editor

Problems cited with new Loop Rd. housing

I remember an interesting conversation as a young boy growing up in the 1970s. My father was a USAF pilot (SAC/TAC) who served later in his career at Space Command (SAMSO). I remember hearing a conversation per a new cruise missile. The missile (AGM-86) would be “undetectable by flying low under the radar with superfast velocity and annihilate the enemy with a surprise nuclear attack that would be so devastating to the enemy that it would literally be over before they knew what hit them.”

I use this example for illustrative purposes, as this is pretty much what just happened to ALL of the Knox County 5th District residents, including all of the residents living within the Town of Farragut, in regards to the multi-family “low and/or moderate income” housing [TCA 48-101-301 (8)] that will be developed on Loop Road bearing the name of Farragut Pointe.

Specifically, this project was virtually undetectable to the public, as it came in low and fast and was literally a “done deal” before anyone knew what happened because (unlike other developments) it only needed the Knox County Mayor’s blessing through a letter of support. All of us were pretty much blindsided by this derogatory initiative, especially our local representation of the Town of Farragut and the 5th District in addition to many homeowners associations and citizen groups.

Prior to me providing more analysis, I would like to acknowledge everyone who has spent a lot of time on the phone with me over the past few days in answering my questions per this critical issue, which included our local elected representation, leaders of benchmark communities, planners and developers. All developers need to look at creative ways to guarantee a return on investment (ROI) for their business, partners and family.

However, the real threat to the Town of Farragut and West Knox County is Mayor Glenn Jacobs and those who brazenly in the shadows are advising him /running the show.

In my opinion, what was most evasive about this was Mayor Jacobs’s “Letter of Support” dated Jan. 15, 2021, which was full of carbon copies to others but did not even CC Knox County 5th District County Commissioner (and vice chairman) John Schoonmaker and Town of Farragut Mayor Ron Williams at the very least.

In short, there was no courtesy “heads-up” and the public administration process of having active citizen participation and discussion had been circumvented in this case based on the special requirements given towards such classified developments. I see this as nothing less than a “scorched earth” Farragut (and West Knox County) play by Mayor Jacobs and others to slam dunk this opportunity.

Probably the most ridiculous aspect of this effort is the “business case (need)” to have this housing — as it is pure “bravo sierra.” East Tennessee is one of the most affordable places to live in the nation and there are plenty of options within our community and region. I have worked and temporarily lived in some of the most expensive housing communities in our country. This is a huge problem in Silicon Valley where there are multi-hour commutes for civil servants. but NOT here in East Tennessee!

Since this is a “done deal,” just sit back and wait for the future criminal statistics of our community and crazy presidential executive orders and local programs for housing as part of the continued suicide towards socialism/communism.

Finally, and for transparency of who is exactly leading our community, please read Mayor Jacobs’s financial disclosures and review some of the recent contracts involved in Knox County “business.” Nuts.

Bill Johns, Farragut