Knox cites tech skills as public-service asset

Betsy PickleSouth Knox

If you ask Greg Knox how to keep Knoxville moving forward, he’ll tell you, “There’s an app for that.”

Or at least, he’s working on one. Knox, a sixth-generation South Knoxvillian, is running for the First District seat on City Council being vacated by term-limited Nick Pavlis this year.

The candidate’s father and sister, Greg Knox and Jessica Briggs, wear their support for him.

Knox held his kickoff event Saturday at Mary Vestal Park. A solid turnout of family and friends from across the city and beyond kept cool in the pavilion and munched on all-American fare like hamburgers and hot dogs grilled by the candidate’s father, also named Greg Knox.

A software developer for more than 20 years, Knox emphasized his tech skills and how they could benefit constituents.

“My thing in this race that I feel separates me from the other candidates is my knowledge of technology, which I think is important given how much technology is changing,” he said. He has been working on an app he calls “District X.” Citizens can download the app and give Knox feedback on issues that come before City Council.

“Then I can let them know, ‘This is how I plan to vote on these issues, and here’s the reason.’

“I think that’s a good way to open up the dialogue about what’s going on in the city and inform people better, and that’s something that no one’s doing. And I think it’s the modern way to communicate.

Greg Knox listens to the concerns of Vestal residents Ruth White and Arnella Gregory.

“I’m still going to do the old-fashioned ways of going to meetings. I’ll still be accessible through phone, email, all the other ways. I’m not going to just rely on an app. But I think the app is a good icing on the cake for doing these things.”

Knox, who lives in Lindbergh Forest, says Knoxville is moving in the right direction, and he’s adopted the slogan “Keep Knoxville moving forward.”

“I like where we’ve been going. You can see this in South Knoxville – we’re finally doing something with the waterfront here in Knoxville. We’ve wanted a good riverfront here forever, and we’re finally going to be getting one.

“And of course we’ve got the Urban Wilderness, which is home here in South Knoxville. It’s bringing a lot of people here. I want to ensure that this growth continues. And one of the ways that you can do that is with greater interaction with the people in the community and with the city.”

Knox said his other main concerns are making sure that residents don’t get pushed out of their neighborhoods as property values go up, and finding a better way to handle the city’s opioid epidemic.

“And really, to create more government efficiency. With technology, you can streamline so many services; you can cut the costs of these services and what the tax burden is and whatnot. So you can potentially lower taxes through making more efficiency in services.”

Enthusiastic friends join Greg Knox at his campaign kickoff: Harold Ellison, Knox, Monica Campbell of West Knoxville and Joe Consumo, who lives downtown. Ellison, visiting from Denver, and Knox were to attend their 20-year Karns High School reunion that evening.


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