Pilot Oil is suing the City of Loudon because council refused to allow them to build their truck stop on Hwy. 72. The sad point of the lawsuit is that Pilot's case rests on the fact that they feel they were mislead by Director of Planning, Russ Newman. In the lawsuit Pilot claims,

"Russell Newman, the Loudon County planning director, "failed to disclose to Pilot and its agents that the BZA had previously redacted the phrase ‘motor vehicle transportation’ from C-4 with the intent to prohibit truck stops. This material fact and zoning interpretation was never disclosed to Pilot."

Either through incompetence or complicity Russ Newman has most likely set Loudon and it's residents up for failure in the lawsuit and they may have the Pilot truck stop shoved down their throats, like it or not. The cost of the lawsuit to the residents could easily go into the tens of thousands of dollars but will cost Newman nothing. This is not the first time Newman has cost the tax payers big bucks by his shoddy work and surely won't be the last time if he is allowed to continue in his current capacity. For $66,000.00 per year, residents deserve far more than Mr. Newman is willing or able to provide as county planner.

Newman has been responsible for more irreparable damage to Loudon County than could ever be overcome.  Hopefully Loudon, Lenoir City and County officials will finally realize that it is time to replace Russ Newman with a competent individual who will work for the people rather than big business and developers.

Some have stated that Pilot plans to present an alternate plan for their truck stop to the Loudon City Council at Monday's meeting, 10/15/07. But according to city officials, there is no discussion of the truck stop on the agenda. However it is a public meeting and anyone can address the council on any matter including Pilot.