"Bill is running for his daughter Leilani"
My name is Bill Johns, I have lived 40+ years in Tennessee (equally split among Germantown and Farragut) and am celebrating 30 years this August with my wife Margaret. I am an unapologetic American, Tennessean, man of faith, conservative, and devoted supporter of our great Republic. The best title I have ever had is “Dad” and it is a privilege for me to be a father of my daughter Leilani. I am semi-retired consultant who previously worked for the Fortune 500, “Silicon Valley”, and various public sector entities.
I once sought the office of Mayor as a newcomer to Farragut in 2005 in a campaign to prevent the situation we are in today. Specifically, it was a time in Farragut’s history to be proactive in planning, bring in professional help, develop consistent standards, control our growth, focus on safety, and address our infrastructure needs while incorporating the perspectives of our citizens, businesses, and community stakeholders. I have seen what proactive planning and execution along with citizen involvement looks like in creating a very well planned and aesthetically pleasing community of Germantown and I wanted to support Farragut.
Now, I am seeking the office of Mayor again in 2022. What led me to this decision was a series of events beginning on March 4th as witness to the BOMA Strategic Planning Session 2022, taking my daughter to visit Germantown, Collierville, Brentwood, and Franklin, watching the infamous March 24th BOMA meeting, and spending several hours in fireside chats with our current Mayor which I am very grateful for his time, enthusiasm, and volunteerism. I am not running against anyone, but am running for my daughter Leilani and the citizens of our community known as WE THE PEOPLE…
I believe our community has been heading in the wrong direction in many critical areas. As I result, I believe these are the immediate issues that we need to address:
Putting citizens first in everything Farragut does.
1). Putting citizens first in everything Farragut does. We the people are paramount to any successful community. We need to start respecting our citizens and not suppressing their voices (or even attacking them). Everyone must be treated equal. We will solve this by putting citizen forum first on the agenda for every meeting, including more opportunities of participation, and developing a Town culture that is friendly, welcoming, and inclusive to all its citizens, stakeholders, and visitors. Unlike the Biddle Farms Apartments / Town Center approval process, citizens will be front and center in everything the Town does.
Controlling Farragut’s growth to match its infrastructure and services.
2). Controlling Farragut’s growth to match its infrastructure and services. Because there has not been a proactive vision or plan, growth has been out of control and independent to the capacity of our infrastructure and service capabilities, and transportation impacts have been an afterthought, everyone’s quality of life has been negatively impacted. We will address this immediately by slowing down (“pausing”) how we grow and plan our community by examining our comprehensive land use plan (CLUP), ordinances, zoning rules & regulations, and land use policies to make them consistent with all development opportunities moving forward. This includes making the Town itself consistent. Likewise, we need to stop the urbanization of our community. We will also compare our community to other peer communities who have been developed and planned better than Farragut and invest in the training, travel, and resources necessary to have the best decision outcomes for those serving on the Municipal Planning Commission representing the citizens’ voices.
Building trust and confidence through transparency and ethics.
3). Building trust and confidence through transparency and ethics. We must gain the confidence of the entire community of citizens, stakeholders, media, and volunteers. This entails first being transparent in everything the Town does, video broadcast every formal meeting including all committees, and have clear and consistent expectations, boundaries, responsibilities, and consequences for everyone representing the Town. We will need to implement a citizen ethics committee as I suggested in 2005, develop reporting and auditing standards, have regular training and education opportunities, and foster closer relationships with watchdog, open government, and Tennessee regulatory entities.
Traffic is a nightmare, and it is only going to get worse.
4). Traffic is a nightmare, and it is only going to get worse. In our community, everyone has noticed that not only we have traffic now, but it is in recent years just getting worse. This equates to not only longer travel times, delays, and challenges that impacts our daily lives, it is also impacting our road safety and physical safety of our citizens, pedestrians, and students. The first thing we need to do is “stop digging when we are already in a hole” and truly look at the root causes (overbuilding, not proactive planning, creating roadway nightmares with high-density developments, etc.) that are causing these problems. As someone with a transportation/supply chain background who worked in a city transportation department, I will be able to quickly address our current situation and provide better solutions to this ever-growing quality of life and safety problem.
Creating an emergency preparedness and response plan and culture for the Town.
5). Creating an emergency preparedness and response plan and culture for the Town. The Boy Scout motto is simple: “Be prepared”. This resonates with me as someone who grew up in a military family, studied criminal justice in Memphis, has a supply chain management background, and has first-hand experience with emergencies in communities and volunteering with our region’s preparedness groups. Farragut does NOT have a plan and relies on other government agencies. Our community can no longer take this risk with the variables that surround us and the new world we are living in. With the pending crisis of supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the recession with associated increase in crime, Farragut needs to “be prepared” for any scenario. Farragut will have a robust plan. Our community is home to many experienced specialists that we will leverage in a new committee supporting our plan. In addition, we will welcome more collaboration with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement / first responder organizations and security entities.