Endorsement of incumbent Town mayor
Four years ago, I met then Alderman Ron Williams when I was an HOA president advocating for a local sidewalk and crosswalk. To be candid, I was a little skeptical that Alderman Williams would be helpful because he didn’t speak up for my little project.
Now, four years later, I understand. He was simply collecting information to perform his “process.”
Having watched now Mayor Ron Williams over the past four years, I have learned firsthand that he is honest to a fault, competent, honorable, unbelievably hard working and has a prodigious recall of all things Farragut. Now let me explain my view of his “process.”
The “process” is Mayor Williams’ earnest and sincere method to evaluate each issue before him and reach an informed decision in the best interest for the whole town of Farragut. I have heard him say “I start with a blank sheet of paper with two headings, pros and cons.” Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Example 1— The development of the Biddle property under the “Old Kroger building”: During Mayor Williams’ 2018 election campaign, the leading complaint from residents was “help us get rid of our old eyesores, such as the old Kroger building, the old Ingles building, the old Texaco building,” and so on. For years, Farragut had been searching for potential developers to transform the old Kroger land into a suitable development. Finally, the present ongoing commercial/housing development was proposed.
Although not a perfect fit, it met almost all of the Town objectives with less negative impacts than other proposals such as big box stores.
Mayor Williams considered the compelling voice of the people, “get rid of the eyesores,” and he evaluated Farragut’s fiscal needs, the long-range goals of the Town’s future vision for a Town Center and for housing goals, local resident’s objections, business needs, the Town’s ordinances and the negative impacts compared to other proposals for the area.
He filled out his pros and cons list with facts and evidence and performed his “process” to reach a decision in the overall best interest of the Town of Farragut. He became a supporter of the project.
Example 2— A proposed development of the Ford property, the open land adjacent to the Kohl’s shopping center: Farragut received a proposal for the development of this large, commercially attractive land space. This time however, Mayor Williams had not received compelling public sentiment to develop this land, and once presented, this project received public opposition from the residents in neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the property.
In addition, the proposal did not fit with Farragut ordinances or planning documents. Once again, Mayor Williams considered the voice of the people, Farragut’s fiscal needs, the Town’s ordinances and so on, just as before, and with his “process” he arrived at a different conclusion. He did not support this project.
The examples above cite two of many, many issues that have come before the Town of Farragut in the last four years. Some issues had to do with residential or business developments, others with roads, a few stormwater issues, along with future planning and a myriad of other Town issues.
Each time, Mayor Williams considered the issues with facts and evidence and then performed his “process” in the best interest for the whole town of Farragut, both present and future.
Without any doubt, Farragut is fortunate to have Mayor Ron Williams working on behalf of our Town. I hope this letter helps to inform your decision for the upcoming mayoral election this August.
Reader ask mayoral candidate for ‘the details’
I am a 30-year Farragut resident and have indeed seen many changes in our community in that time. As such, I was disappointed in the letter from Bill Johns (candidate for Farragut mayor) that appeared in your June 8 issue. Mr. Johns seems to look at the dark side of the community, and, indeed, lists some community problems that I do not recognize.
Yes, traffic has become heavier with the growth of our population, but many of our roads have been significantly improved over what we had 30 years ago. Campbell Station, Smith, Grigsby Chapel, Concord, McFee and even Turkey Creek roads are far better due to major reconstruction efforts in the years I have lived in Farragut. If safety is an issue (other that that associated with increased traffic), I don’t see it.
We enjoy a level of safety here in Farragut that other parts of the Knoxville metropolitan area would covet. Just look at the sparse items in the KCSO Reports column in this weekly paper to gauge.
I can’t speak to the community vision, sound proactive planning and execution referred to by Mr. Johns, as I am not an expert as he purports to be, but I do see community direction, leadership and positive results that he seems to ignore.
Three times in his letter he speaks to actions and plans that he, if elected, will implement “beginning on Day 1 of being elected.” Well, Mr. Johns, I am not one to be comfortable buying a pig in as poke. If indeed you have plans to change the community, improve it, don’t make us wait until that “Day 1” after you are elected. These plans should be the platform on which you run for election and should be clearly communicated in the sunup to the election.
Give us the details, and let us, the voters judge whether that is the direction we wish our community to take. Please don’t ask us to buy that pig in a poke and hope all works out in the end.
If this is how you ran your two previous campaigns for mayor, then I can understand why you were not elected by the voters.