Recode Knoxville: Powering it through

Sandra ClarkOn the Grow

In a marathon meeting Thursday (3 p.m. until 12:21 a.m.), the Knoxville City Council finished its review of Recode Knoxville. It then postponed a vote until the regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.

All nine council members and Mayor Madeline Rogero lasted until the end, but city recorder Will Johnson begged off having the meeting’s minutes finished by next Tuesday.

Rogero relaxed time limits on audience participation, giving both business representatives and neighborhood activists time to discuss each item. At one point, noticing fatigue setting in, Rogero challenged the council: “Let’s power this through.”


  • Andrew Roberto and Lauren Rider had done their homework. Probably others had as well, but Roberto and Rider were the kids on the front row with raised hands and comments on most items.
  • The council recorded more than 50 votes on amendments – some substantive, others clerical. Near the end, Marshall Stair raised a question leading city staff to promise revised language. “I need a motion that we come up with appropriate language (to 17-1),” said Rogero. “So move,” said a brain-dead council member.
  • Fountain City was well represented. Rider represents District 4 now. Also speaking were former District 4 council members Carlene Malone, Nick Della Volpe and even Rob Frost, who now serves as the council’s attorney. That’s some 26 years of experience.

Malone make a cutting remark near the end. After failing to get a motion on a suggested amendment, Malone reminded the council that the people in those seats change and present members can’t count on the good faith of future councils. “Councils change. I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse.”

Rogero said Thursday’s amendments will be added to the Recode document and posted on the website soon. For Gerald Green and his staff at what formerly was called the Metropolitan Planning Commission, it’s just another day at the office.

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