Lowe warns against anyone interfering in city projects

Salt & Light Studios dancers get the new Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival started in Sweetwater on Friday with a May Pole dance. Though the festival battled rain and storms at times, organizers consider the two-day event a success.

Sweetwater Mayor Doyle Lowe on Monday gave a stern warning about any unauthorized person seeking to interfere in the city’s business.

It had been a quiet and quick May regular Mayor and Board of Commissioners meeting up until Lowe read a letter at the end stating the city had received information about alleged meddling in city projects, namely “Project Zebra,” a proposed development on Knoxville Developer Nicholas Canza’s 177-acre property on Exit 60.

“As mayor of Sweetwater, I believe it is my duty to protect the integrity of these proceedings and the staff and board members of the city,” Lowe read. “The city has received calls and contacts from several concerned citizens and representatives of both Monroe and McMinn Counties. I would like to go on record as stating that myself, the members of this board, the city recorder and department heads of the City of Sweetwater are the only authorized representatives of the City of Sweetwater. We have several cases where a particular citizen is contacting both Monroe and McMinn County and trying to undermine projects, employment opportunities and negotiations involving the City of Sweetwater. It is appalling to think that an individual would actively involve themselves for the purpose of undermining our local government and the city’s opportunities to the detriment of citizens. I want to be very clear that any contact from anyone other than myself, our board members, city recorder, or the department heads is not authorized by the city. Anyone outside of these named officials is not representing the city in any way. They have no authority, no influence, and no official capacity to speak or question anything on behalf of the city.”

Before Lowe read the letter, he spoke about the just-completed Blooms, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival in Sweetwater.

Lowe said despite rain on Saturday morning, the new festival was a big success.

“I thought it was great,” he said. “We fought the weather but it was still a good festival.”

Lowe thanked the Sweetwater Merchants and Property Owners Association (SMPOA), the event organizer, and all the city departments and volunteers who worked to make the two-day event happen.

Lowe said he received lots of comments from visitors impressed with Sweetwater and the festival.

Lowe announced the 31st annual Ride to the Wall is May 22. Well-wishers will be on the Exit 60 overpass encouraging the 1,000 motorcycle riders who will be on their way to Washington D.C. to honor Vietnam veterans.

Lowe also said Gov. Bill Lee has the paperwork on his desk that will name that same Exit 60 overpass after World War II veteran Clinton Riddle.

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