editorial (2005-36)

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Endorsements for City Council

Metro Pulse backs Pelot, Adcock, Frost and Brown

Endorsements for City Council

Early voting in the primary election for the City Council seats on the ballot this year began Wednesday. It’s an important year for the city, as the voters’ Council selections will be counted on to keep up the momentum that has been building in Mayor Bill Haslam’s first term of office. We wish to offer voters our endorsements of candidates in this primary, which concludes on election day, Sept. 27.

The First District Council seat is occupied by Joe Hultquist, the South Knoxville incumbent who is unopposed for reelection, and the 5th District seat and the two at-large seats are not up for re-election this year.

Metro Pulse ’s endorsements for the contested Council posts are as follows:

• 2nd District— Barbara B. Pelot

Pelot is the better choice, as her first term on Council has shown her to be an independent, progressive thinker who casts votes that reflect careful thought. She is committed to the completion of downtown redevelopment initiatives and to “development [that] has to be complementary to its neighborhood.” Striking such a balance “by always looking to the integrity of the neighborhood” is her watchphrase. Other priorities she believes should be established or followed up over the next four years include public transit improvements and the South Knoxville Waterfront redevelopment initiative, and she says she supports city investment for added parking downtown.

Knight’s political experience is limited to his successful push for a city referendum that prevents the city from investing tax money in support, directly or indirectly, of a new convention center hotel. His motives in that instance were self-serving to his company and existing hotel businesses.

• 3rd District—Ellen R. Adcock

Adcock’s seven years as director of the city’s former Department of Administration endow her with an understanding of the workings of city government that would give her, and her Council colleagues, an edge in getting things done. She worked inside the previous administration to advance many worthwhile projects, including the downtown revitalization that is still one of her loves. She also has a long record of involvement in neighborhood issues in West View, where she lives. “I’ve been on this trail a while,” she says, and she has. Her priorities, besides maintaining impetus for redevelopment downtown and on the South Knoxville Waterfront, include providing more sidewalks in the city’s neighborhoods and solving some of the city’s 911 emergency phone contact problems.

Hall’s tenure on Council has been marked by a series of perplexing negative votes on issues where he has been in the minority and has offered little in the way of explanation for his positions.

• 4th District—Rob Frost

Frost’s opponent, Kim Litton, a real estate agent, is making a first run at elective office, and though she voices good ideas and a healthy respect for neighborhood and citywide issues, we feel Frost has earned a second term on Council.

• 6th District—Mark Brown

The downtown is a part of his district, and Brown says he’s devoted to keeping up the redevelopment momentum there and “to keep us from falling back into our old habit of not finishing what we’ve begun.” The downtown, he correctly observes, is important to the city as a whole, as its vital core. In his own district, he has been instrumental in the redevelopment of Five Points and Mechanicsville, and he says that, though they are not in his own district, he backs similar efforts in Lonsdale, Vestal and the South Knoxville Waterfront, where redevelopment should spur the entire city economy and help to pad its tax base.

September Aretha Coleman Goolsby, who is running against Brown, is a retired District of Columbia motor vehicles department employee without prior political experience. Wayne T. Swann, whose name also appears on the ballot in the 6th District, has said he is not campaigning for the Council seat.

Barbara Pelot, Ellen Adcock, Rob Frost and Mark Brown are our choices, and we feel they should be yours, based on their experience and commitment to Knoxville. Vote for your own choice for your district representative in the Sept. 27 primary election, but be sure to vote.

Metro Pulse publisher Brian Conley has contributed to the campaigns of Barbara Pelot, Mark Brown and Joe Hultquist—The Editor

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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