‘Renaissance’ Town era is Pinchok view; wife thanked on their 50th anniversary

This will be the last column I write as a member of BOMA since my term ends in August.

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost eight years since I was first elected alderman for the Town of Farragut in August of 2014. During these eight years,

I have served not only as an alderman but also as vice mayor and mayor.

As I look back over these years, I have been blessed to work with dedicated and positive-thinking Board members, (one of the top if not the best in the state) Town administrators (including David Smoak) and a staff of over 50 employees who are exceptionally good at what they do.

Not only are they hard workers and dedicated to the Town, but they have been a pleasure to work with.

The public can’t begin to realize how much time and effort board members put into the decision-making process we use each month to make strategic decisions about running our Town.

We review staff reports, attend workshops and, at times, attend countless meetings each week to make sure we have all the facts to make good decisions.

I’ve learned we can’t please everyone, but we do what we think is best for the Town as a whole.

In eight years, I feel that we have accomplished so much that I would describe it as a Renaissance era. We have replaced several deserted eyesore buildings — some, big box stores — that now give our Town a much cleaner look and make it far more appealing than when I first took office.

Some major additions during this time frame are a community center, a senior center, restoration of the Campbell Station Inn and the new McGill Plaza, completion of Phase 3 of McFee Park — with plenty more amenities to come — improvement of our other parks, i.e., three turf fields at MBLP, improvement of five major roads and passing a Hotel/Motel Tax that funds our new Visit Farragut program.

This will help grow our local businesses and our retail tax revenue so we can continue to avoid a property tax. In addition, we have TopGolf, which is scheduled to open in August and is an entertainment venue for all members of the family, whether you like golf or not.

The one real surprise to me is the start of the Mixed-Use Town Center project. This was high on my list of goals over the last 12 years — including four years of committee work prior to elected office — but I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime.

The Town tried for years to find someone, even across state lines, to develop this project for us, but to no avail. The only way to get the financing for this project was to allow apartments to be part of it. I have opposed apartments since I first took office.

Budd Cullom has taken on this project, and I am very pleased with what I have seen so far. He has promised to add townhomes as well, which there is a need for. I feel confident we will all be pleased with the results.

Thanks Budd for completing my goal list.

I want to take a moment to thank those who have served with me on the Board of Mayor and Alderman these past eight years. Without board members who were willing to devote their time and energy to serving the people of Farragut, we never could have accomplished all that we have.

I also want to thank the citizens of our Town for electing me to these two terms of office. I greatly appreciate your vote of confidence in me to perform this very important and highly responsible office. I have never taken it lightly and have always tried to do my best. My goal was to do what I could to leave this office with the Town in a better position than when I first assumed the office.

Finally, I want to thank my wife, Debbie, for supporting me over these last 12 years, allowing me to give back to this Town that we both care for so much.

I want to also acknowledge our 50 years of marriage, as we celebrate our golden wedding anniversary this week.