Apr 11 2018
07:43 pm

Forum: Knox County Mayor (League of Women Voters ,April 11):

Bob Thomas- elected not to come
Glenn Jacobs- had a scheduling conflict

Q: what would your role be in improving education?
Brad- bully pulpit, more technical/career education, including a career/tech high school
Haney- we have apprentice programs at the unions, I know the programs and goals.
Gallman- be more in touch/engage with faculty and staff, more meetings with everyone, incl students.

Q: How to make schools more safe?
Haney- opposes arming teachers, teachers and schools don’t want it.
Gallman- better communication
Anders- Continue plan of funding security upgrades

Q: How to better recruit jobs?
Gallman- more engaging with Chamber
Anders- develop a better workforce, better transportation, too.
Haney- appeal to our quality of life here, but also well trained work force. We need good living wage jobs, not more minimum wage.

Q: Tax Increase? If not, how to handle debt?
Anders- taxes should be last option, but won’t take it off the table.
Haney- we’ve probably found waste lately, would never take taxes off the table either. I’m willing to invest in education even though I don’t have kids.
Gallman- Don’t want to answer. Asked audience who wants taxes raised (about two-thirds of audience raised hands, surprising her).

Q: Funding a technical high school?
Haney- Good idea, need buy in from school board, teachers, parents. Worth investment.
Gallman- Would have to work with school board, since they propose budget.
Anders- could dual purpose buildings, apprenticeship programs with unions, etc.

Q: Assisting low income families
Gallman- school programs like GRAD are critical
Anders- experience through law enforcement
Haney- community schools, better jobs

Q: Affordable Housing Trust Fund?
Anders- continue working with KCDC
Haney- worth looking at as solution, problem is big
Gallman- I support solutions to create affordable housing.

Q: Metro Gov’t
Haney- I wouldn’t advocate, most people dont want it. I’ll be dead before we have metro Gov’t.
Gallman- City and County mayors need to work closely. But it’s up to the people.
Anders- Strong public opposition. Not in my lifetime either.

Q: Plan to combat opioid addicition.
Gallman- Support KCSO initiatives. Add rehab center next to jail.
Anders- Lead coalition with KCSO, DA office, etc everyone has to work together.
Haney- work legislature for more funding.

Q: Infrastructure Priorities
Anders- We need a new / updated road plan.
Haney- New road plan, bridges inspected, work state and feds for funding; need more careful development that doesn’t outpace roads.
Gallman- engage and better communication in community.

Q: How to make Gov’t more transparent and accessible
Haney- Don’t do anything behind closed doors, be open during discussions.
Gallman- engage community, social media, always asking what people need.
Anders- Put key docs online, budgets, purchasing, meeting; Open Records upgrade not requiring people to purchase copies anymore.

Q: Tax subsidies to new businesses, how to ensure the value exceeds cost?
Gallman- tie to good wages $15 to $20/hr
Anders- We brought in 3rd party review of PILOTs and TIFs
Haney- Would be very careful, dont want to hurt existing businesses

Q: Who do you look to for advice?
Anders- long time friends, my faith, pastor, or if I know someone with expertise
Haney- I know a lot of people through party who are knowledgable on a variety of topics, my husband and friends are strong help
Gallman- church prayer team, higher power of god

Q: Plans to improve public transportation in County?
Haney- work with city to expand KAT
Gallman- meetings to expand service
Anders- KAT is mostly City, but we have CAC, continue to make sure services used and funded.

Q: Policing undocumented immigrants?
Gallman- need to look at, maybe avoid if not causing crime
Anders- We don’t ask for papers; will continue that policy
Haney- 287g, I opposed KCSO program,

Q: What department needs most reform?
Anders- Parks and rec
Haney- pollution (solid waste, water)
Gallman- Chilhowee park

Q: How would you deal with environmental problems.
Haney- Overdevelopment issues, development approval needs to confirm that drainage and plans are in place to protect streams.
Gallman- Consult experts.
Anders- Continue to create ‘storm water parks’ in major flooding areas, we have some successes.

Q: What policy area are your strengths and weaknesses?
Gallman- community engagement as strength.
Anders- finance experience, bringing people together. Would lean on advisors for environmental and health issues.
Haney- Bringing people together. I listen well to people I would seek advice on.

Q: What is County’s weakest link? Plan to improve?
Anders- Planning for future drive by election cycles.
Haney- County should be a destination for tourism.
Gallman- Welcoming diversity, I would lead here.

Q: Legislators overriding local governments?
Haney- yes, County should make decisions for themselves, our legislature is not helping communities with overreach laws.
Gallman- Need more info on this.
Anders- State taking taxes from local government, that’s what bothers me; engage local delegation. Need to retain a lobbyist for Nashville.

Rachel's picture

Where's Bob, Bob Thomas, the

Where's Bob, Bob Thomas, the man for you and me?

reform4's picture

Bob Thomas

They indicated he either declined or didn’t respond, unclear which.

Jacobs said he had a conflict with a previously scheduled event.

R. Neal's picture

Thanks for this!

Thanks for this!

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