Don't blame Tellico residents for land loss
Letter To The Editor Knoxville News Sentinel

I wish to respond to all the articles I’ve read regarding the “Northerners” moving into Tellico Village.

We chose this area for its beauty, the majesty of the mountains and the peacefulness of the area. We are not wealthy. My husband’s father died when he was 12 and was raised with four other siblings. He went to college on a basketball scholarship, then on to the Marine Corps. He served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, returned home to raise his family and became a commercial airline pilot; later on, with the Marine Corps he retired as a colonel in 1985. In private industry he became a vice president of a Fortune 500 company.

I became a volunteer firefighter in 1981; and in 1984 I was hired as a professional firefighter and raised to the rank of engine man.

As I recall, we are “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Which, I think, means, I can live anywhere I want.

Living in Tellico Village, we pay property taxes that wouldn’t be there had it not been for this community. What percentage of our taxes goes for schools? I would say roughly 90 percent of the people paying taxes don’t have kids in schools. Our community supports local businesses and local charities. Local volunteers pick up trash that keeps appearing on Route 444.

When we moved here, we had no idea the hurt and pain that had transpired over the years to the families that have lost their land. That is not our fault. If there is anyone to blame, it is your elected officials. If they have done you wrong, then it is time to vote them out. Do not get angry at us. We want to live in peace, harmony and love for the area.

Betsy Graves