Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Farragut Needs a New Alderman

The Town of Farragut has an election coming up. Beginning tomorrow March 18-28 from 8 a.m. - Noon; Noon-8 p.m., March 30-April 4; ending with 8 a.m.-8 p.m., April 6-7. No voting on Sundays. The voting will be held at the Farragut Town Hall.

Now, Alderman Mike Haynes is giving it up and Jeff Elliot is currently unopposed. Barring a successful write-in campaign Elliot will be the next Alderman from the South ward.

In the North ward we have the current incumbent who is completing his first term of office, four long years. There is a challenger that will bring to Farragut a fresh new leadership. A Leadership of Change that mirrors the beliefs and values of the residents of Farragut. For that reason, eligible voters in the North ward of Farragut should cast their votes for Bob Markli.

Here is why the current incumbent is not worthy of an additional term. First, he negotiated a purchase price for land that exceeded the appraised value. Secondly, he desired to take the land and give it away to another governmental entity. A government entity that currently receives taxpayer money from the residents of the Town of Farragut. Thus the residents have been forced to double dip for the benefit of one entity so that the incumbent looks good and feels good. The current incumbent has VERY liberal leanings. He is also been known to spend time with another alderman at a local watering hole after alderman meetings, thus giving the appearance of violating the Sunshine law.

Who is Bob Markli?

He is a native East Tennessean, He was raised on 14 acres on the Clinch River between Oak Ridge and Clinton in Anderson County. His first job was as a bicycle-mounted News Sentinel carrier/salesman on an eight-mile-long rural route made an athlete out of me as well as an entrepreneur. He has operated his own business continuously since 1974.

Today he is a runner and amateur photographer, but most of all a constant reader and student of the human condition. He located back here in East Tennessee after a stint in Texas in 1987 and after building some 49 homes in Tellico Village and Wal-Mart shopping centers in LaFollette and Jamestown under contract to a large local general contractor, He built his first home in Farragut's 1st Ward. For eighteen of his last twenty-one years, he not only lived in Farragut, but has earned his family's livelihood here as well.

They have raised 4 children in Farragut and they have all attended Farragut schools from kindergarten through high school where our youngest is now a Junior. During those years, he has been a part of four of the finest communities in the 1st Ward; Smithfield, Wyndham Hall, Berkeley Park and now Chapel Grove.

In building the hundreds of homes in Farragut over the years his company has worked closely with the town's planning and zoning officials, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Metropolitan Planning Commission and with our excellent Town Staff.

He has served for many years on the Visual Resources Review Board working to maintain and enhance the aesthetics of the Town, and when asked, have served on special assignment for the Town.

He has been members and supporters of the Farragut/West Knox Chamber of Commerce for many years and Members of the National Association of Home Builders, as well as the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville where he has served on the Governmental Affairs Board. His company has participated in the Parade of Homes for seven years running to promote quality and affordable housing in the Knoxville area and showcase residential opportunities in the Town of Farragut.

He is an Elder in his local congregation and have attended his church (which in January inducted six more extraordinary young men into the rank of Eagle Scout) with my family in the 1st ward for nearly twenty years. For many years he has taught youth Sunday School or served as an instructor in my peer group.

Why is Bob Markli a Candidate for Alderman?

A Board of Mayor and Aldermen working together in harmony for the Town's best interests is important. Teamwork, quick conflict resolution and the ability to put aside secret agendas and personal issues for the greater good of the community are key. He will live this attitude.

He will promote the Town's environmental friendliness by encouraging "green" development, public transit, recycling, stream and resource management.

He will insist on accessible, responsive, transparent, accountable Town government that employs a conservative, cost-effective, debt-free, pay-as-we-go fiscal policy. We must reinforce our partnership and cooperation with all State and County agencies providing Town services to promote effective application of their programs and avoid duplication of effort. We must aggressively pursue available State and Federal funds and grants. And we must provide effective, unified leadership, oversight and support to Town staff to ensure excellent stewardship of all Town resources.

He will not support or vote for new Town taxes or fees of any sort, including so-called "IMPACT FEES" that burden our citizens and stifle businesses. This has been one of the major contributors to Farragut's success. Through sound management, we have historically maintained a surplus equal to approximately one year of Town expenses as a buffer to protect Town employees and maintain continuity. Now the Seal property acquisition, curiously negotiated in secret by my opponent at 25% ABOVE appraised fair market value, and without the consent of the full board, has eliminated much of that cushion. This was not in the best interest of our Town and is an example of my opponent's poor judgment. This was approved over the objections of the two most seasoned members of the board, Mayor Ford finally approving the purchase only to end the Board conflict created by my opponent.My opponent is the major proponent of Impact Fees, a tax on development which would have raised the cost of a typical new home in Farragut by thousands of dollars and created a one-time (+-) $250,000 roadblock which would have turned away several new businesses each of which will now provide more than that amount annually in a continuing revenue stream to the town through sales tax. He will never support this hidden tax.

He will work tirelessly to create an atmosphere that attracts, rewards and retains the best quality businesses to our Town. Ensure fair, even-handed and reasonable application of our Town's body of codes and ordinances, and continually critique and refine them. Target and recruit desirable businesses.

This benefits us in three ways:

Broader tax base to increase the revenues available to improve quality of life.

Improved environment by shorter commutes to goods and services.

Convenience and simplicity for our citizens enhancing quality of life and making our Town the best place to live, work, shop and play.

He will continue to develop, maintain and improve our parks and recreation opportunities, roads and infrastructure, and promote traffic safety. And do it within the financial means of our Town through strategic planning and wise use of those funds. He desires to expand support for our local schools.

He will work to facilitate new partnerships between schools, parents, citizens, and the business and technology communities to foster, develop and retain our best talent in the Town and region and put resources into the hands of teachers to strengthen mathematics, engineering and science proficiency.

He will work to expand partnerships with U.T., O.R.N.L. and our other unique resources.

He wants to expand citizen involvement by enhancing public awareness and recognition of opportunities to serve, creating additional citizen Boards and Committees, and energetically recruiting volunteer committee members. Our volunteer citizen committees are the lifeblood of our progress and success. They deserve enormous credit. An Education Board, a Business Development Board, and a Recycling and Ecology Board could all contribute valuable assistance and work hand-in-hand with the PTA, PTSO, Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce and various environmental groups without significantly burdening the Town with additional costs.

Please visit his website here or contact Bob Markli by email here or by telephone at 865-675-6875.

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