How Many Jobs Has Mark Padgett Created?

On Tuesday Mark Padgett’s campaign released the mayoral candidate’s latest television ad, entitled “Jobs.” The ad states, “Just like Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam, Knoxville’s next mayor should have a proven record of creating private sector jobs and strengthening the local economy. That leader is Mark Padgett. His company has created jobs in Knoxville and he’ll work with local business to grow hundreds more.”

But how many jobs has Padgett actually created? It’s a question the campaign has been unwilling to answer.

On Tuesday afternoon, we strolled down to Padgett’s Gay Street office and were lucky enough to catch the man himself. How many jobs have you created? we asked. “Ten people work at my company,” Padgett replied, “But it’s like Volkswagen—they employed 2,000 people or whatever, but those aren’t the jobs they’ve created.” So you’re saying your company has created jobs like automotive parts suppliers who have built factories near VW? “Yes.” Padgett ran downstairs to his office and came back up with a handful of promotional material. “Like, using local talent to produce this DVD. And every quarter we send out a newsletter, and a graphic designer lays that out. So how do you calculate the number of jobs that creates? I don’t know.”

But if we were to ask you for a list of your current employees and their names, would you give them to us? “No, because they’re not running for office.” So how do we know you have 10 employees? “Look, I’m gonna do something I never do,” Padgett replied, and yelled downstairs. “Evan, can you come up here?” Evan Lindauer came up the stairs. We shook his hand and got the correct spelling of his name. “You shook his hand, right?,” Padgett said. “He’s not a hologram?” No, we admitted.

Then we asked, Evan, how many people are working down there with you? “Evan, you don’t have to answer that,” Padgett said. “You can go back to work now.” Evan went back downstairs. “The guys asked me not to talk to the media. They’re software developers. They didn’t get into running for mayor.”

Much back and forth ensued. Padgett did not seem happy about it. “I’ve paid over a million in payroll and contract services while in the city of Knoxville.” But how many jobs have you created? You’re running on a platform of having created jobs?

Finally, under pressure from his communications director, Laura Braden, he gave in. “Including interns, and counting contractors that work more than 15 to 20 hours a week, I’ve had about 25 employees.” Since you started the company? “Since the middle of 2007.” And you had four interns? “Yeah.”

Now you know.

© 2011 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 2

thoreau writes:

Mark is classic "All Hat & No Cattle."

That goes for both his "lemonade stand" -sized business, and his claim to be carrying on family trad as a "public servant."

Gee, why has no one seen Mark at the many public meetings for developing Knoxville in the last 3 years?

Why is his Community involvement as elusive as his business?

So he's gonna learn on the job? He'll learn about which parts of the "Padgett Plan" are just copies of what's already in the City pipeline & which parts are illegal or impracticable?

Can Knoxville afford the training and education of Mark Padgett?

thoreau writes:

Actually the article above does not do the job - of getting a straight answer out of Padgett.
Don Bosch got him to say that he had 5 employees at present.
So if he's had 25 employees in 4 years, that would be a turnover rate of what - about 110%? So do you get points for creating unhappy employees? Same as creating jobs?

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