Q & A by Larsen Jay

Sandra ClarkPowell

A good mix of Powell residents met with Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay at the Powell Library on May 7, 2024, to discuss short- and long-term goals for Powell and Knox County. Discussion was lively.

Jay triggered the conversation with open-ended questions:

“What is unique about Powell and Heiskell?”

PBPA – the Powell Business & Professional Association. PBPA supports local businesses and with seasonal events it builds community. Railroad town – Powell Station. Good schools. Beaver Creek and other outdoor amenities.

“What do you need?”

Connectivity, said Tracy Heard, especially for those “across the tracks” and even the area on E. Emory past Bojangles. “We lack lights and sidewalks. It’s like Powell stops at Bojangles.”

Lights on the greenway (to extend usable time); more neighborhood patrols by Sheriff’s Office; safer access to Powell Elementary School.

Better high school zone, said Heard. Currently, families west of Clinton Highway are zoned to Karns High School even though Powell High is closer and many youngsters have attended Powell Middle School.

Needs of seniors, someone said. The current community center on Emory Road is not county-owned or operated.

How about a community center for all ages, said Margaret Massey-Cox. All ages benefit from contact and interaction.

Andrew Sharits, an agent with Realty Executives, asked Jay specifically his opinion on density and rezoning.

Jay said he supports property rights; folks should be able to sell their land if they want to. He favors more town center-type developments with a mix of single-family homes, duplexes or other multifamily units, along with neighborhood commercial.

Jay currently is one of two at-large commissioners. He also is a candidate for county mayor in 2026 when Glenn Jacobs is term-limited. Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond also has announced for the mayor’s job. Both men are Republicans. And there may be others in the mix. Two years is a long way out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *