Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Fracas in Farragut

Advance Knox, the growth plan meticulously put together to address the myriad of concerns raised by more and more people moving here and the attendant changes necessitated in terms of building infrastructure, was the subject of a heated meeting in the Town of Farragut.  Originally, the growth plan was derailed by a 3-2 vote against it by Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  That appeared to have been reversed last week when the board met, as required by state law so that Aldermen could explain their votes against the plan.  That’s when Alderman Scott Meyer said following a personal conversation with Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, that he was moving to reconsider and would support the growth plan.  In a legislative body, a motion to reconsider must be made by a member who voted with the majority, which Meyer did.  Alderman David White was apparently aggravated throughout the course of the meeting and loudly and wrongly insisted it was illegal.  White also claimed Scott Meyer’s motion to reconsider was not legal.  Thomas Hale, the attorney for the Town of Farragut corrected White and informed the alderman that it was indeed a legal motion.  White got up in righteous indignation and said he would not sit there “and listen to the law be violated 20 times that you suckers all agree with.”

White also refused to explain his own vote against the growth plan, although required to do so by Tennessee State law.

David White seemed to be wrong just about every step of the way.  White claimed Mayor Jacobs had sent a letter to the State of Tennessee seeking mediation.  Jacobs, who was attending the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, got up and set the record straight, saying he had not sent the letter yet.  With the board set to reconsider the growth plan, there is likely little need for Mayor Jacobs to send the letter.

The growth plan was specifically designed to include the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and the Town of Farragut to limit sprawl, as well as compress development and ensure rural land is preserved.

The rapid growth in numerous areas in both Knoxville and Knox County has put a strain on infrastructure as well as seriously impacted travel.  One only has to look at the development along Chapman Highway to see the increasing strain on traffic all feeding out onto the highway, creating long delays and longer travel times.

When people pour into a community, there is increased pressure to build more, yet it also oftentimes proves to be a strain on existing infrastructure, necessitating more roads, schools, and services.  The fact 10 million people have entered the country across our southern border has increased that pressure throughout much of the United States.

The recent primary elections clearly demonstrated voters in Knox County are becoming more acutely aware of growth and they don’t like it much.  Nominees for the Knox County Commission in several districts — Andy Fox in South Knoxville, Adam Thompson in the Eighth District, and Angela Russell in West Knox and Farragut — all ran on platforms involving responsible growth.

For those of us who have lived here our entire lives, it is interesting to see many of the transplants who have come in recent years who are up in arms about growth.  Those are some of the folks who are the most vehemently against more growth at the present.

The rabidly anti-growth warriors who are fighting Advance Knox may well be cutting off their noses to spite their faces.  Advance Knox does preserve rural land and sets a blueprint for reasonable growth with a genuine and hard-fought effort to eliminate urban sprawl.  Otherwise, it will be a constant battle, fought hand-to-hand over every proposed development all across the county.  Advance Knox serves as a reasonable starting point.


Age-Appropriate Common Sense Needed

The Knoxville News-Sentinel published an article discussing the “banning” of books in Knox County Schools.  Let’s be very clear about this.  The literal definition of “banned” is to prohibit or forbid, which would make it unavailable for anyone to read, anywhere.  When the conversation concerns schools and children, it is entirely a different thing.  Any rational adult realizes there are things that are age-appropriate throughout a young life.  Books that are overly sexual don’t belong in school libraries.  There is also a difference between “challenging” texts and books with sexually explicit imagery.  There is such a thing as something being inappropriate content for minors.

The Sentinel invariably comes down on the side of the Left.  One of its writers, covering the conversation about age-appropriate books, cites the Southern Poverty Law Center as having identified “Moms for Liberty” as an “extremist antigovernment group.”  The Left routinely uses the Southern Poverty Law Center to label organizations it doesn’t like as “hate groups” or the like.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has regularly spread hatred in the guise of combating it.  The SPLC also is against parental rights and had to fork out a settlement of $3.37 million to a group it had falsely accused of being “anti-Muslim extremist.”


John Rose Considering Run For Governor

Congressman John Rose has acknowledged what many already knew — he’s thinking about running for governor in 2026.  A former state agriculture commissioner, Rose sent out a statewide mailer urging his election as a delegate to the Republican National Convention just before the March primary.  The Cookeville Republican evidently told state legislators he is giving the coming gubernatorial contest some thought.