The Destruction of Loudon County

Beyond any shadow of a doubt the greatest danger to the existence of Loudon County as we know and love it is the out of control development, residential and commercial. There are those greedy, nothing matters but money, developers who are determined to destroy our County for the sake of their own greed. Something must be done to stop the endless onslaught of development. Below is an open letter to all local governments and the citizens of Loudon County to stop the madness and take back control of our communities. The best thing the citizens can do is contact their Commissioners with their concerns.
County Mayor George Miller 458-4664 4th District Roy Bledsoe 458-2829 No Email
1st District Nancy Marcus 458-8581 or 5th District Harold Duff 988-6647
1st District David Meers 458-2414 5th District Van Shaver 986-6984
2nd District Earlena Maples 986-6772 6th District No Representative  
2nd District Chuck Jenkins 988-9608 7th District Don Miller 458-0658
3rd District Bob Franke 856-0303    


How has the quality of life improved for the average Loudon County resident in the last twenty-five years?

Isn't that really what every thing comes down to? The quality of life in our individual communities, for you and your family, me and my family and every one else in Loudon County.

I was in a meeting recently with Loudon County's number one developer and cronies. Shortly after the meeting when the conversation went to small talk, it wasn't long before the debate on the pros and cons of development entered the conversation. Given each of our personalities it wasn't long before the debate went into some of the decision we had made as commissioners. In my rebuttal to the developer on one particular issue that he disapproved of was, "we made our decision based on what our constituents asked us to do." The developer's response was, "that's the problem, citizens should not have input or influence in decisions the commission makes" (when it comes to development). Think about that statement for a minute.  Citizens should not have input or influence in decisions the commission makes. This is the mind set of developers. If we are not there to represent the views of our constituents then what are we there to do.

Loudon County is at a crucial point in it's history, in fact we may have already passed the point of no return. Back to the original question, How has the quality of life improved for the average Loudon County resident in the last twenty-five years? Given the out of control development, let's look at the good and bad. The good first.

The Good

We have a lot of restaurants, a Home Depot and a Walmart.

A tiny number of people have gotten wealthy.

Local governments have seen a windfall in tax collections.

The bad.

Taxes are higher than they have ever been. This is especially true if you own property in Lenoir City.

Traffic is worse than it has ever been.

Our air quality is recognized as one of the worst in the nation and coupled with that we have the distinction of being number one in cancer rates.

Apparently the crime rate is higher than ever, given the sheriff's statement that "we can't answer the calls we've got." The sheriff's department's budget and staff have more than doubled in the last twenty-five years.

If you believe the board of education's statements, most of our schools are grossly over crowded and the rest will shortly be and they need millions of dollars to solve their problems.

If you believe the reports from the state, the quality of education in Loudon County is mediocre at best.

Twenty-five years ago if someone had said, there's an illegal alien, most of us would have looked toward the sky.

Our beautiful lakes are all but destroyed. One is so nasty you can't get in it, the other is so crowded you could walk across it on the boats.

Foot note. As a child and a teenager, one of the nicest places you could go in the county was the City Park at the lake. We would sit on the old concrete picnic tables after dark and just admire the beauty of the lights of the dam reflecting on the water. Now, forget about the lights, you can't even see the dam from the park for all the metal sheds and house boats.

For those of us that are "Lifers" and even those who have only been here for the last twenty-five years, it would be hard to believe that what we have gained from all the development is worth what we have lost.

Where does it end? How does it end? Somebody look down the road twenty-five years from now and tell me how things are going to get better if we don't make some drastic changes.

Even though the developers and many of our government officials like to say we are "Knoxville's bed room," I am disgusted and angered by such a statement.

It has been said, "You can't stop progress," but what is progress? The destruction of everything we love about our community so that a few can get rich? I think not.

I will ask one more time, How has the quality of life improved for the average Loudon County resident in the last twenty-five years? The answer is, it hasn't and if we, the citizens and government officials don't do something our quality of life will continue it's downward spiral.