New faces at city hall

Jay FitzDowntown

Mayor Indya Kincannon won a second four-year term this week and wasted no time in announcing staff changes.

David Brace will become her chief of staff. A 20-year career city employee, Brace has held a variety of roles. He currently is chief operations officer.

Grant Rosenberg will become chief operations officer. Rosenberg got his start with Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. He has almost 10 years as vice president with Denark Construction. Kincannon said he has “a deep understanding of the needs of Knoxville businesses.”

Kincannon is expected to announce additional staffing changes.

Leaving the city is Erin Gill, who has been deputy to the mayor and chief policy officer. Gill is moving to KUB as vice president of sustainability and government relations. Gill is a 10-year veteran of city government.

Flood control initiatives

The city is committing more than $2 million in mostly federal funding to redesign or repair stormwater infrastructure in three flood-prone areas – with more construction money to follow once designs are finalized.

The American Rescue Plan funding also will correct erosion problems and improve water quality at Mary Vestal and Holston River parks and at Rock City Ballfield.

And additional ARP assistance will help the city better manage drainage and flooding issues at Chilhowee Park and low-lying areas near the park.

Funds will be directed at seven trouble spots, Kincannon said.

“In West Knoxville, flooding at Bluegrass Lake and on Baum Drive has routinely closed streets and damaged private property. Likewise, any heavy rain is likely to close Cherry Street in East Knoxville.

“At Mary Vestal and Holston River parks and at Rock City Ballfield, eroded sediment has washed downstream, worsened water quality and harmed aquatic life. And we all know how challenging the drainage issues are at Chilhowee Park.”

Details of specific projects are here.

The city of Knoxville provided information and quotes for this article.


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