Too Early To Slay Dragons

editorial-logo3A new cohort of the Jefferson County Commission and a newly appointed Jefferson County Mayor met on the County Commission floor Monday evening for the first Work Session since August elections placed nine new Commissions at the round table. Was it smooth? With no Chair in place and no opportunity to elect a Chair until the voting meeting, the position of gate keeper went to former Vice Chair Kesterson and County Clerk Herndon. For their part, things ran well. It was more the outliers that were the spoilers, so to speak.

I am not one that would ever suggest that speaking your mind is a bad thing but sometimes there is value in waiting and sometimes just saying the same thing over and over is more annoying than productive and sometimes it can provoke a negative response in those forced to listen to the same rhetoric over and over. I believe that we have at least made it to second base with the issue of Parrots Chapel and, with many of the audience, we have far surpassed the reasonable amount of repetition that can be stood without a serious increase in blood pressure. We get it. Everyone gets it. Some of the people in Parrots Chapel are unhappy that they are residents of Jefferson County and they want out. More specifically, they want to be a part of Sevier County. Never mind that they knew how far away there were from everything when they bought their property. They expect the people of Jefferson County to adjust our boundaries and give Parrots Chapel to Sevierville. Wow. They don’t expect much do they?

Listen. I have visited Parrots Chapel on more than one occasion. It is beautiful there, surrounded by prime lakefront property. It is also a bargain for prime lake front property when you consider that less isolated locations are going for far more money and the reason is that it is not easily accessible. But and this is the big but, anyone who bought property in Parrots Chapel had to know that it is isolated. There is no mystery. Lots of winding roads but no mystery. Buyer Beware. If the problem is your title company and they didn’t disclose issues with the property (and the drive to view the property didn’t clue you in) then take it up with the title company. But, stop pounding on the issue at every County Commission meeting. And County Commissioners, you have already addressed this issue so stop acting like anything has changed. It only encourages them to keep coming back when you feign that you might be willing to give up multi millions of dollars in revenue for Jefferson County to appease a small group of people. News flash. They cannot be appeased. The School system put another bus on route to answer the bus time situation for students and it did answer the need but they still come back and they never acknowledge the fix of that problem. Nothing, short of gifting that area to Sevierville is going to appease this group. The old Commissioners are well aware of the facts and the new Commissioners need to quickly get up to date on the issue. Everyone deserves to have their concerns heard but a few of these folks are bordering on badgering and that is not fair to the County Commission or to the rest of Jefferson County.

Sometimes silence is golden and that is more often true than not in meetings. Opinions are wonderful but sometimes you can cut off your nose to spite your face if you jump in too soon. Advice to new Commissioners is read the room. You may very well have some who agree with you but if you set yourself up to be the flag carrier for the anti vote you will have a hard time finding anyone to join your parade. I have seen it play out over and over again on the Commission floor and seen potentially good Commissioners with something important to say be dismissed because they said too much too soon. Give folks a chance to know you a little before you try and slay any dragons. Just some advice.

As for Mayor Potts, he is one week in and so far so good. He is new but he has been around for a while and this isn’t his first rodeo. Will he make mistakes? Sure we all make mistakes but he has at least one week in his hip pocket and no major gaffs to speak of. I expect that Mayor Potts will try to keep the white hat on as long as possible and try to give this Commission time to gel together before he brings up anything that might fracture the current peace, We will see. After all, what the County Commission and the newly elected officials have most right now is time. No need to rush head long into the abyss. There will be plenty of time for that in the new year. Congratulations to all the newly elected and the re elected officials. May your motives be pure and your endurance strong.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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