Why Not Arp ?

The very reason I chose to run for County Mayor was because I didn't feel the other candidates, Arp or Aikens, would be the best people to occupy the Mayor's office at this crucial time in the history of Loudon County. In fact I felt that one of them would be a disaster for the leadership of the county. Had I felt either was qualified to be County Mayor, I would not have run myself.

Given that Mr. Arp by all accounts is the front runner to be the next County Mayor, I feel I should share my views as to why I could not and will not support Mr. Arp in the August election. I feel Mr. Arp is more a part of what's wrong with County government then what's right with County government.

Commitment ?

Being the County Mayor is about commitment. Commitment to the job and commitment to the people of Loudon County. Mr. Arp is currently in his third marriage. This, with no thought to the moral implications certainly shows a lack of commitment to the most important of life's events, marriage and family. If a man can so easily turn his back on such a fundamental aspect of life, one could only question how sincere his commitment could possibly be to the County Mayor's job.

Statements by some of his close friends and some family members made it clear that the over riding reason Mr. Arp wanted the mayor's job was to enhance the amount of his retirement benefits, given that retirement benefits are based on your final five years of employment. And of course the Mayor's salary is substantially higher than his current assessor's salary.

Poor Management ?

Mr. Arp by all accounts is rarely to be found in his office leaving the operations of his office to subordinates. We should only expect the same if he were Mayor. Under his leadership his office expenditures have risen more than $130,000.00 over the last six years yet his staff has stayed virtually the same.

After hiring his current wife ($29,815.00) to work in his office and putting her in charge of personal property appraisals, that work was subcontracted to a private company (Tax Management Associates). Over the last six years this contracted work has cost the tax payers over $300,000.00 yet even though Mr. Arp has subbed out a large part of his work, his staff has not been reduced in fact as mentioned above his department expenditures have continued to rise. Incidentally the costs for the subcontracted company was not reflected in his annual budget. When asked why the expenditures didn't show up in his budget he simply stated, he didn't know. The company contracted to preform the appraisals was hired without taking competitive bids. Mr. Arp even took a campaign contribution from a marketing director at Tax Management Associates.

Good ol Boys?

In January of 05 a long time employee of Mr. Arp's retired and a new employee was hired. However the retired employee continued to work in Mr. Arp's office as a "contracted employee" for several months until the matter was brought to the attention of the Commission. The retention of the retired employee as a "contracted employee" was a violation of The Department of Labor contract employee regulations and a violation of State law which regulates the number of employees the Assessor's office is permitted to hire. Subsequently the Commission was forced to add over $10,000.00 to Mr. Arps budget to pay for the illegal employee.

Near the end of the 03-04 fiscal year Mr. Arp issued a $5,000.00 raise to one of his employees without consent or knowledge of the budget committee or the commission. This was a 25% pay increase while all other county employees received the standard 3% raise.

This same employee is currently under indictment for DUI and theft under five hundred dollars. The indictment stems from a 2005 incident where it is alleged that the employee was discovered stealing building materials from a job site in Loudon. When approached by the Loudon Police officer the employee fled the scene with the stolen building material. He was shortly apprehended and arrested for his crime. This is actually his second DUI. This employee is currently employed by Mr. Arp as a "Measurer & Lister." The employee currently drives a County car on a daily basis and by law is permitted to enter into anyone's home in the County. This matter was brought to the attention of the Commission by a letter from a concerned citizen who felt he might be using his position to "case" other sites for thefts. The Commission asked Mayor Miller to share our concerns with Mr. Arp about this matter. Mr. Arp's response was "ah he's a pretty good kid." The case is not scheduled for trial until January 07.

Special Interests ?

In a conversation with one of Mr. Arp’s senior employees about how property values are derived, I was told the following. And I quote "you have to work with developers. You can't just hit them with big assessments till they have time to sell some of the property. Besides in a place like Rarity Point it's hard to establish a value till more properties are sold to get some idea of their value. Besides you can only change property values every four years." Giving big breaks to developers is not my idea of good business.

And there are lots of other issues that I just cannot agree with Mr. Arp's views on. Morally and ethically, Mr. Arp stands a stark 180 degrees from most views I hold true.

Just Sour Grapes ?

I know the first impression some will have who read this is that I am just suffering from “sour grapes.” You might ask, if all the afore mentioned information is true and if I had this information before the primary election, why didn’t I use it then. To be honest, shortly after beginning my campaign it became obvious that Mr. Arp had very little support from most quarters of the County. Fairly or unfairly the few people I met who even knew who Mr. Arp was held very little respect for him feeling that in his capacity as tax assessor he had their property overly appraised causing their taxes to be artificially high. In fact after visiting over three thousand homes and meeting and conversing with countless number of individuals all over Loudon County I only met three people who admitted they were going to vote for Mr. Arp. The first was a very nice young lady in Loudon who politely told me she had heard a lot of nice things about me but Mr. Arp was her uncle and she felt she had to vote for her uncle. The second was an older gentleman again from Loudon who said he felt I was the most qualified and best man for the job but his family and the Arp family had been friends for many years and due to their friendship he would have to vote for Arp. The third was a financially challenged individual who stated that Mr. Arp had “helped him out” on his property appraisal. Given my impression from all I had heard there was really no reason to point out the flaws in Mr. Arps character or leadership. It seemed that most were fully aware his abilities of the lack there of.
Now that it seems we may very well be on the verge of an Arp administration, I feel it is very important that the voters have as much information about the candidates as possible to better make an informed decision about the leadership of Loudon County.
Please remember, I am not trying to tell anyone why they should not support Mr. Arp in August. I am just simply stating why I did not nor will not be supporting Mr. Arp.

In my opinion, Mr. Arp is motivated entirely by self interest and special interest. If you doubt the special interest please click on the link below to view the list of campaign contributors to Mr. Arp’s campaign. Mr. Arp's Campaign Contributors

We've all heard the old saying, "you get what you pay for." Well, here’s another saying you can count on, " you get what you vote for."