Mayor Ron Williams: He’s talking up Farragut

Tom KingFarragut

Ron Williams is an affable, albeit very serious, and low-key persona of a politician, laser focused on improving the community he calls home – the town of Farragut. In 2018 he was elected the mayor of Farragut and in August won another four-year term. Somebody or a lot of somebodies think he’s pretty effective at the job.

Ron’s a Powell boy, reared there and then lived in Fountain City. He was educated at what was then Knoxville State Area VoTec (now the Tennessee College of Applied Technology) and the University of Tennessee. Then he and wife TC were off to Southern California, where he managed a large manufacturing plant producing aircraft and race engines. He likes engines and racing cars. Then he came home and spent 28 years on the road – 1.3 million miles traveled – as a machine tools sales engineer for Sunnen Products. But he’s still a consultant working with race teams on special products. His hobby is being in his garage restoring old cars and trucks. He loves to tinker. He’s a proud Granddaddy, too.

As it is said across the pond, “He’s a rather interesting chap.”

He also a member of the Rotary Club of Farragut and shortly after the recent August election, Williams spoke to the club about our community, a community he knows inside and out. He’s been a member of the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals and a graduate of the 2015 Introduction to Farragut program. And for “fun” he served five separate terms on the Sugarwood Homeowners Association Board and is a past president.

The town has a lot to crow about and Williams was crowing at the Rotary meeting at Fox Den Country Club. He loves to talk Farragut. His address centered around a list of 62 items that have happened, are underway or will be underway to improve the town.

“During my time serving as an alderman and as Farragut mayor, this administration took on many different projects. When I began my term as mayor my first priority was to start with a town-wide cleanup,” he said. “Long time derelict buildings needed to be torn down, remodeled or replaced or repurposed. This was a critical first step for the revival of the community. We’ve made a lot of progress.”

Here is a short list of some of the top projects he mentioned:

  • The recent opening of Topgolf on Outlet Drive
  • The coming construction of a Skore “Stay and Play” Hotel just east of Topgolf.
  • A future $48 million Campbell Station Road/I-40 interchange diverging diamond design.
  • A future project to increase efficiencies at signalized intersections throughout town.
  • Future Watt Road round-about at Mayor Bob Leonard Park at its southern entrance.
  • New Aldi grocery store that is open.
  • 4 billboards removed and not replaced.
  • New Farragut Community Center that’s open and busy.
  • McFee Park expansion & updates; dog park coming; pickleball courts are in and being used (a lot).
  • Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike intersection: two eyesores removed. One corner had an old closed gasoline station and is now the 35 North food truck venue and across the intersection was a shuttered restaurant. Today there is a Starbucks and other business offices there.

“There’s still work to be done and we’ll be doing it,” Williams said. “We have a great team that I enjoy working with on things.”

Someone who knows Williams well offered these thoughts: “He always gives credit to others about things in which he’s been involved and leading. He’s all about the team effort approach and does it all as an unpaid volunteer.”

Tom King has been the editor of newspapers in Texas and California and also worked in Tennessee and Georgia.

 

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