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Knoxville's Future Depends on You

By Jeaneane Payne

November 8, 2011 will be a critical day in Knoxville's future. It will be the day that Knoxville's citizens will determine the future of our city.

madeline rogero mark padgett

A mayor has the responsibility to ensure a city's continued growth and not allow that city to be caught up in constant internal battles that cause the city to become stagnant. Knoxville must have a mayor who is capable of performing significant responsibility and not merely performing ceremonial tasks, a puppet serving under the tyranny of the town bullies.

Knoxville has been a leader in the field of technology. It is critical to the success of our city that we continue to be a leader and an example to the world in this field.

I have watched the implementation of modern-day technology in the Knoxville area since 1995 and am very proud of how businesses and individuals have progressed and have been willing to make transitions to accommodate an ever-changing Internet society. Knoxville has been a strong leader in Internet innovations, and we are still far ahead of many cities in that area.

Internet technology, in particular, has resulted in the most powerful changes in our economy since the Industrial Revolution. Our former mayor Bill Haslam recognized that the Internet would play a vital role in the future of our city and world. If our city wants to stay on track and keep pace with a consistently changing world, we need someone who is familiar with the technology that runs our world today. We need someone who has first-hand experience with implementing Internet technology and understands its basis and its effect on businesses, the economy, government, and individuals.

Many small cities in our country can operate with routine paper shuffling in the mayor's office. Knoxville cannot. We must be progressive and have a mayor who recognizes where our city lines up with the rest of the world. Knoxville is no longer a city set in the backwoods of Tennessee. It is a city set on a hill. The world is watching.

Knoxville needs an innovative and energetic mayor who not only thinks out of the box but knows how to implement ideas and gain highly successful results. A lot of people can think out of the box; however, unless they recognize the tools and resources at hand to bring ideas to fruition, those thoughts are useless.

Knoxville needs a mayor who can show respect to community leaders without discrimination. The mayor should be surrounded by a staff who can show that same respect. Our city has no room for bullies or arrogant leaders.

Are we going to slip back into a paper shuffling gig or are we going to progress? Are we willing to do what it takes to make sure our city sees positive changes in the availability of jobs, reduction of homelessness, economic growth, safer communities, and growth in downtown Knoxville?

Knoxville needs about 100,000 voters to get to the polls to decide what direction you want this city to go in that will impact your life, your children's lives, our businesses, and our community as a whole.

Published October 23, 2011

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