letter to the editor

Mayoral candidate lists needed changes for Town

I would like to share a few perspectives per the opinion submittals of this past week and the upcoming election.

The Town of Farragut election will be held Aug. 4, with early voting running from July 15 to July 30. There are three Town of Farragut seats up for election: Mayor, Alderman North/Ward I, and Alderman South/Ward II.

I am a candidate for Mayor. Please also consider Adam Atherton for Alderman North and David White for Alderman South.

Per Mike Wilson’s Letter to the Editor last week, he nailed it at the recent Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting on his new traffic study request. As a supply chain / transportation expert, I attended and was waiting to hear all the in-depth discussion from FMPC per his request. Instead, it was “crickets” — literally no acknowledgement — and not even a simple “thank you” for his contribution and time, which my daughter properly acknowledged as being quite rude.

Per the “company line” that has been used over the years that “everything is great” in our community, I totally disagree. With my background, experience, expertise and insider’s knowledge, our readership needs to trust me when I say we have plenty of challenges to address.

By not ever having a robust vision, sound proactive planning and execution — and at times, common sense — it is evident how Farragut has been developed as seen with its aesthetics, unsustainable growth, traffic issues, safety problems and not establishing a definitive brand to date. I will correct that beginning on Day 1 of being elected.

With that being said, I would like to share something from my campaign:

“In the near future, Farragut will be facing many challenges in the areas of growth, planning and safety. We need to focus our efforts around addressing these challenges; enabling Farragut to become the place we spend our leisure time, the destination we choose to raise our families or retire in comfort and the community we are fortunate to call home.

“We can achieve these goals and make immediate progress by strengthening relationships with merchants, offering support to homeowners associations and developing a long-range plan that recognizes the impact that developments in neighboring areas are likely to have on Farragut.”

That was from my mayoral campaign 17 years ago in 2005 (ad in this very paper) and it speaks for itself.

Community safety is of vital importance, and it has been ignored in terms of preparedness, law enforcement collaboration and the legacy of cascading issues created with poor transportation planning. It is not if, but when we are going to have an increase in accidents/deaths on our roadways. A historical tsunami is also coming our way with supply chain, stagflation, recession and crime issues … and our community is not prepared for it. I have a plan already and will present it on Day 1 of being elected.

Another issue we have is that “citizen participation” is not a priority as evident in the BOMA Strategic Planning Session 2022 documentation, or not being listed as a one of the “Critical Success Factors” in the Town’s Strategic Planning Framework. It is my goal to bring “We the People …” back to our local government. I have a plan already and will present it on Day 1 of being elected.

Likewise, we are going to stop wasting money, resources and time on low-value assets/services. Under my watch, the days of “ready-fire-aim” are over, as we will manage only by data/process and not from hope/gut feelings.

Lastly, I am not running against anyone, but am running for my daughter’s safety and future. I with “We the People” will make Farragut a safe and vibrant community.

Bill Johns,

candidate, Town of Farragut Mayor