Giving thanks in Farragut

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite holiday. When I became an adult, I decided eating really good food all day, then eating it again the next day, was better than presents. These days, stuffing myself isn’t as fun as it used to be, but I love sharing a meal with my favorite people more than I could enjoy any material thing.

I try to savor my thankfulness as much as I savor my slice of Thanksgiving chocolate chip pie. I have much to be grateful for in my personal life. I’m also thankful to be part of the town of Farragut in my professional life. I spend my workday with people who truly devote themselves to making Farragut a better place, and that’s not just PR spin.

As I write this, the Parks & Rec staff is hosting a public feedback session on future park projects. They’ve condensed data collected from surveys to come up with the most-requested projects, and the community can vote for their favorites by placing dots on posters. There are four sessions – morning and evening on two different dates – to make them as accessible as possible. The Parks & Rec staff really want the new parks master plan to reflect what the community wants.

The Community Development Department had a similar workshop. They wanted feedback on how the community wants the Boring Road area to develop so that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and planning staff can use that information as they update the land use plan and craft ordinances. They really want residents to have a say in how the town develops.

Mayor Ron Williams stopped by my office as he was leaving the Tourism/Visitor Advisory Committee meeting. (This is one of many groups of volunteers that regularly donate their time/talent to make Farragut a better place.) He updated me on current development projects and told me about his efforts to bring certain kinds of businesses to town. (He would personally like to have a seafood restaurant.) Every time the mayor stops by, I learn about something new he’s trying to accomplish. My guess is that he sleeps very little.

Before the mayor arrived, I answered a question from Michelle Hollenhead of the Farragutpress about an upcoming project to reconfigure Campbell Station Road at I-40/I-75 to mitigate rush-hour stacking. I told her that Brannon Tupper, our crackerjack assistant town engineer, came up with the idea. Our Engineering staff sees and recognizes traffic problems in town, and they’re always trying to find ways to make our roads better.

Speaking of better, do you remember what the northwest corner of Campbell Station and Kingston Pike looked like five years ago? Now it’s a beautiful plaza, and when the holiday lights come on this week, visitors and residents will flock there to see the stunning new tree erected by our Public Works staff. On any weekday, if you visit a Farragut park, or just drive down the road, you’re sure to see Public Works staff cleaning, fixing or installing something. They work hard to keep Farragut beautiful.

There has been an overload of negativity in 2021. As the town’s PR and marketing coordinator, I’ve been overwhelmed by the animosity aimed at town staff and volunteer elected officials on social media this year. As you enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, please take a moment to be thankful for our beautiful community and the hardworking people who dedicate themselves to keeping it that way.

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.

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