Not Voting For Bill Trohanis Will Cost Walden Property Owners $8,000 Over 20 Years - And Response (2)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Since 2015, the efforts of Walden’s Mayor Bill Trohanis to make our town a better place to live are legendary.  Everyone who knows Tro, knows that he has boundless energy, has the passion to perform the mayoral duties correctly and has the available time on a daily basis to devote to the details of making Walden a better place for all its citizens. Tro’s results are well documented from working with Hamilton County on our new Fire Hall to fit the Walden “look”, to the classy Walden town signs, to assisting with the renovation of the McCoy Property and the Puppy Patch, to helping with the renewal of the Pumpkin Patch.  Tro’s fingerprints are seen all over Walden. 

Although the above efforts are a benefit to all Walden citizens, they are not the primary reason that all property owners should vote for Tro.  He should receive your vote because of his fiscally conservative decisions.  It is well documented that almost one-third of the town of Walden’s revenue is being eliminated with the phasing out of the Tennessee Hall Tax.  As a result of the Hall Tax revenue being reduced, during each of the last three years, left with no other choice, the Walden property tax rate has been increased by a unanimous vote of all three board members.  Fortunately, the opportunity of a major sales tax generator to the town of Walden became a possibility with the grocery store development. 

The Hamilton County Planning folks made sure that the project met each and every standard that is required by Hamilton County.  That wasn’t good enough for Tro.  To ensure this development had the Walden “look”, the Walden board put an unprecedented 23 additional conditions on this project.  There has been much negative misinformation about this project spread through social media, which is quite unfortunate.   I suggest you each look at the town of Walden website, where the proposed renderings for this project are available for viewing.  I think you will agree that this development will fit the Walden “look” when complete. 

This development is projected to generate approximately $300,000 per year in Walden tax revenue, which, along with the recent property tax increases, should keep the budget balanced without further property tax increases going forward.  This will save each Walden property owner, on average, approximately $400 per year, each and every year going forward.  I am planning on living in Walden at least another 20 years and I know that it’s not worth $8,000 to my family to keep looking at the 50,000 square foot Lines Orchid Greenhouse “eyesore” as well as having to go off the mountain to do the bulk of our family grocery shopping.

I consider Tro’s opponent, Lee Davis, a friend and although a full-time accomplished attorney, Lee’s fiscal and business acumen is very misguided in this case.  Lee has voted down this development at every step of the way including at last night’s Walden town meeting.  Lee’s only option to keep the budget balanced would be to continue to increase all of the citizens’ property tax rates every year.  Without the steadfastness of the other two Board members, the town of Walden would have lost this opportunity to balance the budget in any manner other than property tax increases.

Is it worth $8,000 to my family or your family to leave the Lines Orchids property “eyesore” in place and to continue to have the inconvenience of going off the mountain to do your family’s grocery shopping?   I hope that the majority of Walden residents agree that the answer to this question is quite simple.

Vote for the re-election of Bill Trohanis as mayor Walden. 

David and Cindy Garvey
30-year Walden residents

* * *

We are writing this letter in support of Bill Trohanis for Walden mayor. Bill has served as mayor since 2015. His accomplishments are numerous. We have seen improvements across the board in our 17 years since moving here. We would like to highlight some of his key contributions to our community. 

Safety
Bill put an emphasis on roads. He has spent $800,000 improving roads, including adding highly reflective striping which is so important on foggy Signal Mountain mornings. He helped secure funding for a new building for WRES, which offers Walden a state-of-the-art fire hall. He also acquired a snow plow which helps the numerous healthcare professionals make it off the mountain on wintry days. 

Community
Bill believes in the charm of Walden and has fought to preserve it. He suggested a Memorial Day Community Picnic at McCoy Farms that opened it to the public. We, along with many others, love to run and walk with our family on the easily accessible trails. He also prioritized the rebirth of one of the great treasures of Walden, the Pumpkin Patch. Our children have always loved playing there. When it began to show its age, Bill worked closely with Regrow the Pumpkin Patch to improve the equipment and personally worked with the contractor to remodel the pavilion bathrooms into two ADA compliant facilities. These improvements have ensured that all families will be able to enjoy the Pumpkin Patch for years to come. Bill added a codes enforcement officer to put emphasis on town ordinances and zoning laws. Lastly,  he initiated new Walden signs to recognize our town boundaries. 

Budget
Bill understands money. Despite losing the Hall Tax, which accounted for up to $400,000 of the budget, he managed to keep the town budget stable. Importantly he did this without significantly increasing our property taxes. 

We want a mayor that is a great leader and committed to the prosperity of our community. Bill is that and so much more. We ask that you vote for Bill Trohanis to remain mayor of Walden, but don’t do it for him…do it for all of us.

Heath and Jennifer Giles

* * *

Walden Friends and Neighbors,

My husband and I feel very strongly about a false narrative that is being voiced by Mayor Trohanis' opponent's political camp.  It is being implied that they support development in Walden, when in fact, there is a vocal segment that opposes any development - at every turn.  What this camp seeks is maintenance of the status quo.

The status quo on the Lines Orchid side of Taft Highway, in the heart of our commercial town center district, currently holds an abandoned gas station used for school bus storage, an abandoned small church/former antiques store and a 45,000 square ft abandoned greenhouse facility.  We can do better than this. The new WRES Fire Hall is just one example.  The usual suspects opposed this addition and likewise opposed Ace Hardware.  The new fire hall replaced the former abandoned Lynn's Market, which sat empty for almost a decade.  Who, in good conscience, can say that the new fire hall isn't an improvement to our town center?  

Furthermore, Mayor Trohanis made a personal effort to work with the architect on the project to ensure the final design was fitting with our mountaintop aesthetic.  Did his opponent take time to contribute and discuss details with the architect?  No. This illustrates the advantage of re-electing Bill Trohanis as our mayor of Walden. 

I encourage all Walden residents to view the first drawings of the Town Center design on the town of Walden website.  Please make your own judgement that is not influenced by a vocal group that has opposed improvement at every opportunity for decades.  Go vote. We want to keep our mayor of Walden.

Donna and Moe Galbraith



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