To My Tellico Village Neighbors:
In the past few days, a number of you have written to your Tellico Village Board members telling us your stories and expressing your concern about the Asian carp problem. I thank you for taking the time to write to us.
As a fellow property/homeowner in our wonderful community, I certainly appreciate and share your concerns about the carp and the damage that it can do to the ecosystem, the local economy and property values. Many of us are from parts of the country where we witnessed this fight first-hand and understand the efforts and technologies that have been deployed to stem the spread of this invasive species.
I assure you that your POA Board is acting with a sense of urgency and purpose. Through our discussions with concerned citizen groups; state, local and federal representatives; various agencies; legal counsel; and other affected communities, we are working to form a coalition that can influence those in power to move aggressively to stem this invasion. Those conversations have led us to the conclusion that our best means to accomplish our common goals is to pursue a strategy that entails engaging in a collaborative fashion with the people and organizations that have the power to take action. There are those that favor a more confrontational approach, and I certainly do not fault them for that. However, if we all pursue the same strategy, I feel that we will be easier to ignore – certainly not what we want. If, as we continually evaluate our strategy, it does not yield the desired results, we can always quickly switch to a more assertive approach.
The Board’s Asian Carp Committee has developed a series of letters and contact information that are being disseminated to the community as part of this Special Tell-E-Gram so that everyone can join us in our ardent request to install electrical barriers at the downstream locks on the Tennessee River. Such barriers are tried and proven in deterring the carp’s entry into the Great Lakes. I am asking that each of you join us in sending these letters to our leaders in Loudon and Monroe Counties, Nashville and Washington D.C. so they can grasp the urgency of the situation, the widespread concern in our communities and the economic calamity that the Asian carp portends.
Board members have met with Lowell Russell (our representative in Nashville) and Tim Burchett (our district’s representative in the House) to make sure that they understand the issue and will support our efforts. It is my impression that they clearly comprehend the danger and will commit to attack the problem forcefully. On Mr. Burchett’s advice, I have written to Chuck Fleischmann, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, to solicit his aid in securing the funding that will be needed to fight this menace. Our outreach actions will continue so that our message is delivered to anyone and everyone who can assist us in advancing our cause.
As you probably know, the POA Board meets in official and public sessions each month on the first and third Wednesdays at 1:30 at the Yacht Club. At each meeting, our plan calls for us to update property owners on where we stand and to receive input from members of the community. Your POA Board members are property and homeowners just like you. We share your concerns and view this issue through the prism of the carp’s impact on our lifestyles and property values as well as that of the greater community. We recognize the threat. We are working hard to prevent it and will continue to do so. Acting together, there is much we can do to protect our Village.
Again, I thank those of you who have written to your Board members, and I encourage each of you to join us in this battle.
Rick Blough, President
Tellico Village Board of Directors