Best Knoxvillian: Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam, voted Best Knoxvillian in 2009

Photo by David Luttrell, David Luttrell

Bill Haslam, voted Best Knoxvillian in 2009

Bill Haslam, voted Best Knoxvillian in 2009

Photo by David Luttrell

Bill Haslam, voted Best Knoxvillian in 2009

Best Knoxvillian Runners-Up: Bruce Pearl, Benny Smith, Pat Summit

Maybe the most popular mayor of our time, the affable blond jogger, gas-station heir, and mayor-turned-gubernatorial-candidate, whose philosophy seems to be friendly, thoughtfully careful progressivism, disarms would-be opponents with a smile, and hasn’t done anything that pisses people off much—which, for a second-term mayor, is quite a trick. We haven’t yet heard anyone grumble, “That’s Haslam for you.” He is not the butt, as far as we know, of any jokes.

It may mark the first time in Best balloting history that Best Knoxvillian was won, in purely open competition, by a non-Vol. The Haslam victory might have gotten a valuable assist from the fact the Vols have tanked in the last several months. But we don’t doubt most of the vote is sincere. The main thing is that folks just like the guy.

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