Fox setting sites on city’s future needs

Apr. 15, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Robbie Fox, former Sevierville Police Chief and current director of safety for Dollywood, was straightforward about what he hopes to accomplish as a city alderman.

“I want to work with the board to ensure that we’re prepared to meet our future needs,” Fox said. “We need to grow our current businesses, and we need to recruit new businesses, maintain our present quality of life, and maintain a low tax rate, provide safe and secure neighborhoods, and if it’s possible, improve the traffic flow by traffic coordination or by building roads.”

The 60-year-old, who has also served as an adjunct faculty member for Walters State Community College, believes his experience is what qualifies him for the administrative position.

“I have 30 years of local government experience, and 11 years of progressive business management experience with the largest private employer in the county,” Fox said.

Fox, like the other candidates, did not seem worried about the city’s finances.

“From review of the budget, I think we’re in good shape,” he said.

In response to the question of how to address the financial burden created by the Central Business Improvement District (CBID), Fox referred to his earlier statement.

“That’s one reason we need to recruit businesses,” he said. “New businesses will help offset those payments.”

Fox believes transportation infrastructure is important. He cited a couple of specific ways to improve transportation issues.

“The flow of traffic is important to our city, whether that’s traffic coordination or building new roadways. There’s a plan in place for the diverging diamond, and I think we need to pursue that if at all possible,” Fox said. “I would certainly consider extending Veterans (Boulevard) to (Highway) 66. I haven’t seen that particular plan but in concept I think it works.”

As far as the Dumplin Creek project, Fox said, “It’s my understanding that the city has applied for the grants, and I think we need to evaluate that and if it’s feasible we need to pursue it.”

Fox liked the idea of combining resources with the other cities in the county, and he wants to see more of that.

“I think there have been a lot of things done to combine resources, the most important being the landfill facility, and I think there’s opportunity for more combination and different areas of cooperation in the future,” he said.

Fox has lived in Sevier County all his life. He has served on several community boards as well as two state and two national boards.