Let's Be Clear

I had the opportunity to attend the candidate meet and greet in Tellico Village last Thursday which turned out to be a total bust.

The agenda of the meeting was reversed at the last minute which had the candidates speaking at the beginning of the meeting rather then the end. Some folks missed the whole thing thinking the candidates would speak at the end.

Each candidate had five minutes to speak then only one question was taken from the very large audience, who appeared to have many questions based on the hands raised. Each candidate had about a minute to respond to the question. That question is the reason for this story.

The question was, what about these lawsuits against industry? This refers to the ongoing legal action taken by corn syrup manufacturer Tate/Lyle disputing their property tax assessment. Their legal actions have been ongoing for five years.

Here's where we need to be clear. Tate/Lyle is going through the legal process to dispute their tax assessments. The county has taken no legal actions against them. In fact, last year, the county voted to come to a settlement with Tate/Lyle over the dispute. County commission voted to accept a proposed settlement from Tate/Lyle to settle. Shortly after the vote to settle, Tate/Lyle reneged on the agreement which put everything back to square one.

Loudon County officials have done everything they can to settle this dispute with Tate/Lyle to no avail.

So again to make it clear, Tate/Lyle is the one who has caused all the legal issues and the county has tried to settle it. Not the other way around.