Incumbent mayor, newcomer for alderman profiled

Williams, Layman: Part 2

Seeking re-election, Town of Farragut Mayor Ron Williams answers questions raised about Town government concerning public input, growth, transparency, traffic and emergency preparedness, while briefly refuting social media claims.

Marty L. Layman, South Ward (Ward II) alderman candidate in his first run for government elected office, lays out his vision for Farragut as a whole, South Ward needs in particular and Town changes he would like to see made — all later in this story.

Ron Williams

“A positive Town culture in Farragut is alive and well.

• “Every Board and Committee is full of engaged volunteers of all ages. We have a diverse resident population who attends our meetings and provides input on agenda items that are of concern to them.

“Citizen input is important for the continuation of our Founders’ vision and continues to play a strong role in planning, policy and ordinance amendments.

“The Comprehensive Land Use Plan adopted in 2012 was the result of considerable public engagement and input.

• “The CLUP has guided the growth of our Town. Several corridors of the CLUP have been reviewed and revised based on public input. That work continues. The Board has budgeted for a consultant to assist in updating the overall plan, as many of the issues that Farragut faced in 2012 have been successfully addressed. The CLUP serves to protect the Town’s rights to plan while preserving the constitutionally protected rights of property owners.

• “Traffic is an ever-evolving issue for towns that are experiencing growth in and around them. The Town of Farragut has invested and continues to invest in building a strong transportation network that benefits Farragut residents and those outside of Farragut boundaries.

“By working with both City of Knoxville / Knox County mayors on the TPO Boards, we are able to coordinate traffic projects in our area and hope to be electronically connected to both Loudon and Anderson counties soon.

“There are several projects just recently completed and still more planned. We have also seen many of our roads improved with a cost share coming from developers as they build their developments. It is important the burden of road improvements is shared by the ones who produce the extra impact.

• “Transparency and ethical conduct are at the foundation of good governance. The Town publicly notices and posts agendas for all committee meetings. Citizens can receive text or e-mail notices when new agendas are posted; all meetings are open for the public to attend. Meetings of the regulatory boards (Board of Zoning Appeals, Visual Resources Review Board, Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and Board of Mayor and Aldermen) are broadcast live, recorded and posted for residents to view.

• “Making up charges of ethical violations and posting these charges on social media is a favorite tool of some political campaigns. Town of Farragut has a code of ethics adopted by ordinance in 2007 (Chapter 2, Article 4), which covers ethical violations and the procedures for filing complaints.

• “Emergency preparedness and response plans have been in place in Farragut for years. The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency is the central point of contact for all major emergencies and disasters in Knox County, including the City of Knoxville and Town of Farragut.

“Recently I was able to observe a double-training drill conducted by KEMA director Colin Ickes. It was interesting to watch the EOC professionals in action as they conducted two simulated emergencies at the same time. KEMA is well -equipped to guide emergency operations should an emergency occur in our Town. Duplication of efforts would be a waste of taxpayer money.”

Marty L. Layman

A Farragut resident for 24 years, “I have an accounting degree and I am employed as a chief financial officer.”

• Concerning Town growth, “Farragut is a wonderful place to live. Our great qualities have attracted new residents and even development just outside our borders. As a result, we must work on traffic flow and how it impacts our residents.

”We must grow in a responsible manner by carefully considering the impacts of growth on traffic and infrastructure. Our parks are some of our greatest assets and we see a great deal of use in all of our parks and community center.

“I believe a great addition would be an indoor swimming facility for our residents. We have great swim teams within our Town that could benefit from year-round training and competition right here within our borders. I have more information on my Facebook page, Elect Marty Layman for Alderman and on Instagram: @electmartylayman.”

• As for making changes in the Town, “A great thing about our Town is that all of our boards and committees are comprised of Town resident volunteers. We have people who have our best interests at heart, but we all make decisions sometimes that we might prefer to change, even though we might not be able to do so. Based on the makeup of our community, we have new apartments coming that are not in ideal locations.

“If elected, I would want us to work with owners and developers on lower density development. As stated before, we have traffic and infrastructure to consider in a Town that already has a population per square mile of 1,471 according to U.S. Census Bureau, compared to 751 in Knox County.

• Specifically concerning South Ward, “We are blessed in Ward II. We have a great variety of residential options, commercial businesses, which provide needed services, Anchor and McFee parks and other recreational options.

“We also need to plan for future growth. So, we need to address traffic flow and speeds along Old Stage and Boyd Station roads. Turkey Creek Road is also seeing a good amount of traffic. McFee Park is a gem for our Ward.

“I would like us to continue our efforts to add options there, including the planned dog park and basketball and tennis additions. An indoor swimming facility within our Ward would be a great addition.

“Lastly, working with and listening to our residents is an important need that I want to fulfill. Working together, Farragut will continue to be the premier place to live in Knox County.”