Sincerely Yours, Victor Ashe

This year marked a new era of communication between Metro Pulse and hizzonor the mayor—in other words, we printed stories, then he wrote us letters. Here's a selection of the Best of Victor.

Vol. 7, No. 22:

It is simply untrue that I talked with Pepper Martin about the Executive Director of the Civic Auditorium as reported by Joe Sullivan in the May 29, 1997, edition of Metro Pulse.

Had Joe bothered to call me, you could have avoided this error.

Mayor Victor Ashe, Knoxville

Vol. 7, No. 27:

Once again, Metro Pulse has run just one side of the story. The June 19 "Ear to the Ground" interviews Bud Gilbert about his lunch with me, but the only other person at the lunch was not interviewed, namely me. The same article prints a rumor about me which I am neither asked to confirm or refute.

This isn't anything new for "Ear to the Ground," which ought to be named "Ear to the Air," as it's quite willing to print any rumor without contacting all parties.

Mayor Victor Ashe, Knoxville

Vol. 7, No. 34:

Joe Sullivan is entitled to his opinions of Don Sundquist as Governor ["Run, Phil, Run," Insights, MP Vol. 7, No. 33], but as Mayor of Knoxville, I want to speak clearly to his excellent support of Knoxville and East Tennessee.

Gov. Sundquist is making sure that Knoxville and East Tennessee are getting their fair share of state highway construction money. For years, East Tennesseans paid their gas taxes only to see that money go elsewhere. Now, we are getting what we deserve in terms of road money, even [in] light of the fact that it costs more to build roads in East Tennessee than in the other, flatter areas of Tennessee.

The low-tax philosophy Gov. Sundquist has adopted has helped create 134,000 jobs in Tennessee since he took office. The first two years of the Sundquist administration were the state's two best years ever in terms of attracting business and industry investment in new and expanded facilities...

Gov. Sundquist has the backing of many Knoxvillians—Ben Atchley, Jim Haslam, Phil Keith, Tim Hutchison, Lillian Bean, Jim Clayton, Baxter Lee, Jimmy Duncan, and Mike Conley. I am happy to be counted among these persons who also admire his record of achievements for Knoxville.

Mayor Victor Ashe, Knoxville

Vol. 7, No. 42:

Betty Bean's assertion in the October 16 Metro Pulse that the city "exploited" Kingston Woods to secure annexation is untrue.

The city was initially contacted by numerous Kingston Woods residents.

The city was happy to solve the problem of a high-density apartment complex allowed by inadequate county zoning. Some 258 homes are now part of the city of Knoxville. They are now receiving city services. An additional 42 homes are petitioning for annexation. This West Knoxville neighborhood is no longer threatened by massive traffic. This is hardly "exploitation" as defined in Webster's.

Mayor Victor Ashe, Knoxville

And in a "Guest Speaker" column in Vol. 7, No. 11:

What is my "vision" for Knoxville?

This question was raised by Jesse Fox Mayshark in his column in the March 6-13 edition of Metro Pulse. Mr. Mayshark and Metro Pulse must be "asleep at the wheel," because the answer is the same now as it has been since I took office.

More likely, Mr. Mayshark and Metro Pulse hear only what they want to hear when it comes to city government.

Despite this alternative reporting, I think it is important to repeat what others already know—that I have a vision of improving public services while maintaining a level tax rate...

And if Mr. Mayshark had asked about the waterfront plan, he would have learned that it is more than just a sidewalk. Volunteer Landing is a new waterfront park that includes the public improvements between First and Second Creeks as well as the private housing being built behind the Hyatt overlooking the river.

It also incorporates the new village at Gateway Pavilion for which we will be opening construction bids this spring. The Gateway Pavilion is the multi-million-dollar theme building for our waterfront project, and it has as its theme "Where Nature Meets Technology"...

So there is a clear vision developed for downtown and all the rest of the city's neighborhoods. I hope Mr. Mayshark will take the time to study what has been done and become a member of the team of citizens that are working to move Knoxville forward to meet the challenges of the next century.

© 1997 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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