A tale of two mayors

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Knoxville had a great year in 2021, according to a blog post by Eric Vreeland. It’s worth a read here.

“This is Knoxville’s time,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “We’re a city on the move. We’re growing, we’re strengthening our neighborhoods, and we’re creating jobs. The city’s future is virtually unlimited, and the numbers clearly show that our residents are confident in the course we’re charting together.”

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs posted videos of his New Year’s message, in which he explains the difference between hope and optimism here and another of him reading Twas the Night Before Christmas here.

In the photo above, Kincannon gave a fact-filled advocacy for joint city-county support for a downtown baseball/multi-use stadium. Jacobs followed her, saying he had looked for a reason to oppose the stadium (“Believe me, I have looked”) and had not found one.

I could go on, but what we have here is stark contrast between an activist mayor (Kincannon) who dreams big and a somewhat passive mayor (Jacobs) who wants government to do as little as possible.

Knoxville tends to elect activists – Ashe, Haslam, Rogero, Kincannon take us back to 1987. Knox County is not as predictable. The current and previous mayors (Jacobs and Tim Burchett) were not eager to increase debt or taxes; but their predecessors (Mike Ragsdale and Tom Schumpert) were of an activist bent. It’s been said that history is written by the victors. It’s certainly true that buildings/monuments are created by the activists.

With mayoral elections ahead – county mayor in 2022 and city mayor in 2023 – think about which candidate best reflects your view of government activism – or not.

This ‘n’ that

Tennessee lost to a good Purdue football team last night (48-45 in OT). It’s always better to win, but gosh these Vols are fun to watch. Great game!

Titans should have threaded some grass into the playing field. What little grass they had to start, the Vols wore home.

Media: “The New York Times and the Washington Post competed fiercely for several years after Jeff Bezos bought the Post, and the Times won,” writes Dan Kennedy in Media Nation. He cites paid digital subscriptions. The Times now has about 5.6 million subscribers to its core news product (7.6 million to all offerings), while the Post has 2.7 million. And the Times’ numbers keep growing while the Post has declined from 3 million a year ago. So, if you hear the Washington Post wants Donald Trump back in the White House, you’ll know why.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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