Writer expresses concern about March 24 Board meeting
To the Editor:
I’m a fairly new resident of the Town of Farragut. In an effort to learn about our new community, I’ve been watching town meetings, some in person, and some live streamed. This past Thursday, March 24, I was watching from home, and was really in shock at Mayor Ron Williams’s opening Mayors Report. He criticized out of state residents for not understanding how things are done here in Farragut and had a harsh and condescending tone.
Wow, being from California myself, I found his comments quite offensive. I’ve met so many nice people here, as have my husband and children. Never has anyone been so unwelcoming. I found this to be particularly disturbing that the sentiments came from an official town representative like the mayor. I had been thinking about going to the Farragut 101 class, thinking that was an engaging way to learn about the Town, but after that harsh remark, I’m really thinking twice.
Still a bit unsettled from the Mayor’s off-putting comments, I then watched as he continuously interrupted and berated a resident that was speaking during the public forum. The gentleman, Sean Murphy, was given time on the clock, and he could not finish his sentences without being harshly chastised by Mayor Williams and Vice Mayor Povlin. The speaker did not call names, was not loud or offensive, he was speaking to the development issues being discussed and yet he was continually disrupted and talked over by our Town leaders, even gaveled! Then, when the timer sounded, Mr. Murphy politely noted that the Mayor and Vice Mayor had used up portions of his time, they again responded rudely and cut him off.
As the Mayor did state, the Town of Farragut does things a little differently than California, but my understanding is that citizens have protected rights to speak at a public forum, even in Tennessee.
This is not a good look for such a beautiful town or its many warm citizens. I hope Mayor Williams and Vice Mayor Povlin can apologize to the many residents of Farragut that were offended by their behavior.
Kim Sprague, Farragut