Contentiousness and confusion mar incorporation discussion
at latest Glade Board Meeting
By BILL PIECUCH
For The Vista
As the monthly Fairfield Glade Community Club meeting at the Multi-Purpose Building began to wind down early Thursday, October 24, comments from the floor were solicited.
If the first 38 minutes portrayed the bliss of peaceful behavior, the next 40 minutes were marked with anger and hostility as residents revolted.
What lit the fuse was reference to a previous meeting on October 8 where incorporation discussion was muzzled and open dialogue restriction caused escalated procedural confusion.
But angry memories of that earlier meeting which stymied questions and answers regarding the Final Report were, by design, selective and inconclusive. This set the stage for a turbulent atmosphere.
Not surprisingly, is what followed at this meeting as nine residents took turns at the podium with an angry stream of questions and statements brewing from the earlier meeting held several weeks ago.
In the midst of the storm, Pete Cahill, Treasurer of the Community Club and also a member of the Incorporation Committee’s Final Report, pointed out that the Club remains completely neutral on the matter. “But it is also our duty to seek information on this issue and present findings to our residents,” he said.
“I am really disappointed at your (Board) behavior at that meeting,” one resident said as he chided Board Members. Virtually every speaker following voiced dismay at the manner in which the earlier meeting was conducted.
In reply to one resident’s question about spending $50,000 to hire an outside consultant, Board Members uniformly scoffed at the idea. But Pete Cahill, Board President, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Board simply lacks the expertise to navigate through an incorporation process. “We are chartered to serve and remain neutral.” he noted.
Bob Stackhouse, former Board President and now Vice President, said the Board’s responsibility to discover issues and, echoing Cahill, “remain neutral.”
“Let’s understand the questions, first,” he said.
Fairfield Glade is not an incorporated municipality, but is managed by the Fairfield Glade Community Club, a homeowner’s association. The Club responsibilities include enforcement of architectural standards, maintenance and operation of the golf courses and other resort amenities, road maintenance, and operation of the community’s sewage treatment plant
And, as the 9:00 am meeting trickled down to the 10:10 am adjournment, it left behind a slew of unanswered questions. And, like the smiling Halloween pumpkin, with its eternal smile – perhaps this silent season symbol enjoying the squabbles and awaiting the next encounter.
Bill Piecuch can be reached at [email protected]
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Here are a few 30 emails received about the issue of incorporating Fairfield Glade:
• “Taxes will go up to support some sort of a city government and county taxes etc will not go down. Not to mention the convoluted red tape that the glade community club will have to deal with regarding memberships and the various amenities. Further study by hiring a “professional” group would be a stupid waste of money. I hope this incorporation activity goes into the dust bin. “
— Tom Baldwin
• “Looking forward to attending the upcoming Board meeting as I presume the incorporation committee chairperson will give a report re the recent town hall meetings.When will there be a vote by the Club membership to stop the process or go forward, I get the feeling that there are no business owners, residents, and other “registered voters” within the Expanded/Proposed Growth Area conducting their own plans for incorporation. If this is a good deal for them then why are they not pushing the issue?? “
— Leroy Cook
• “I would like to point out that in the Vista, the Sun, the FFGCC web site, the information given at the town hall meeting, (if I heard correctly) there can be no going forward, i.e. contracting with outside planning consultants, until approval is given by the community club members.
“Further, if I correctly interpret the information given in the town hall meeting, all those Tennessee registered voters within the Expanded Proposed Growth Area will have a right to vote on a proposal for incorporation.
“I interpret this to mean petitions, referendums, etc. will be involved and who is to say will conduct all these legal requirements?
“The FFGCC Board cannot do so because of their commitment not to be involved – so stated as in the above references.
In answer to a question that no “revenue stream” monies would flow into the Club’s coffers if the Club should remain autonomous as recommended by the committee. I therefore question is what will the Club to gain by incorporation?”
— John Byers,
• “I thought the October 9 meeting was a waste of time. You could not hear the questions or the answers.
“This material would have been best to have been printed and mailed to the residents.
“WHO is back of this movement? I have talked to MANY people and none support the idea of incorporation. Some one must want in politics. “
— Leon Williamson
• “There is no reason to be a corporation (turned down every time it was brought up and put to a vote).
“The Town Hall meeting that I attended was one dialogue from the committee!
“The state is right, the Board does a great job of running the golf course, swimming pools, etc. We already pay dues. Now we will pay taxes and save save $7 per month for trash pickup. Want to bet the taxes are more than $7?
“The trained security force (sworn deputy sherriffs) and volunteer fire dept have worked fine.
“I do not want any more money wasted on an outside study group to prove that the citizens do not want a city.
“This is a retirement comunity. I guess there is a future mayor or town manager who wants to be a “Big Fish” in a very tiny pool.
“If it works — do not fix it! … Then it will be broken.
“I left D.C. to get out of the most disorganized, political mess in the world (I was a cop for 34 years). When politics start trouble, problems nd corrupting are not far behind.
“I guess you could say I am very strongly against corporation!”