No "Ramblin" In My Meeting

At the last County Commission meeting workshop, there were several items on the agenda for commissioners to address. One of the items was discussion of rezoning 30.5 acres at 3060 Old Kingston Road. The developers wanted approval to build 3.8 units per acre on the thirty acres. If approved this could add nearly 116 housing units in a very rural area with no sewer, inadequate water supply and narrow roads. Needless to say, this proposal caused concern for some neighboring property owners who attended the meeting to voice their opposition to the proposed development.

Commission workshops are the venue for this very kind of discussion. This is the time that citizens have every right to address their elected officials. Unfortunately Mayor Arp apparently doesn't feel this way or at least only to a certain point. There were a couple of gentlemen in the crown who had indicated that they wished to address the commission on the matter of the rezone. These weren't crazy men nor were they children, they weren't even members of Arp's infamous "Triple A Club" as he likes to call them. These were just average upstanding Loudon County residents and property owners who wished to address the commission about a matter they felt strongly about which would have a great impact on them and their families.

Arp set the tone quickly giving them his rules as to how long they had to speak to the commission even insinuating that what they had to say was "ramblin" making the point that "the Lady Vols play tonight" apparently meaning he had to get home to watch the game. The mayor even told the visitors they would have another opportunity to address the commission at the next formal commission meeting as those they would have more time to speak.

Mr. Arp showed a lack of respect toward these men that might be expected from Mayor Brookshire in Lenoir City but is unprecedented for Loudon County Commission. His statements to these individuals should be a point of embarrassment to himself and everyone he represents.

From locking the county building doors to holding unnoticed meetings to preventing access to public records and now trying to curtail public input at public meetings, Mr. Arp seems absolutely determined to keep the public out of the affairs of local government.

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