Madeline Rogero’s degree in urban and regional planning is very handy as she starts her sixth year as Knoxville’s mayor. When she spoke at North Knox Rotary the other day, she listed several plans.
Parks and greenways? Plan. Public safety? Plan. South Knoxville? Plan. She’s the perfect extender of former Mayor Bill Haslam’s plans; but, of course, as director of community development for Haslam, she helped write them.
A parent said she was “happy when Gibbs got their middle school,” and then she realized that rezoning could draw her Shannondale Elementary School student out of Gresham and into Gibbs. She and some 100 others came last Tuesday to Holston Middle for the fifth of six community meetings on middle school rezoning.
Most parents wanted their kids to move through school with their friends. They wanted siblings to attend school together. Members of the NAACP asked that East Knox neighborhoods be kept intact, and they spoke against busing black kids across town for racial balance.
State Rep. Roger Kane says he won’t seek re-election to a fourth term in 2018. He enjoys the work but said he’s tired of the commute to Nashville and spending time away from his family.
Kane, 53, was elected from the state’s new 89th district in 2012. A former schoolteacher, he has made education his primary focus in Nashville. He chairs the House subcommittee on education instruction and programs.
Hearty back-slaps and big grins were in order as the Powell Business & Professional Association presented a check for $5,497 for landscaping to Knox County at the PBPA meeting last week. Jim Snowden, assistant director of Engineering & Public Works, accepted the funds.
Kim Severance thanked the PBPA “for holding this money sacred for almost 10 years,” and Snowden said the landscaping project on Emory Road at I-75 was the vision of Lillian Williams, who “raised matching funds for the grant back in 2008 and 2009.”
A political conundrum has surfaced two years ahead of the 2018 elections.
Knox County Commissioner Ed Brantley confirmed Monday that he’s undecided on whether to seek re-election to Seat 11, one of two at-large seats on the commission. Former commissioner R. Larry Smith has already named a treasurer and is raising money as a candidate for Seat 11.
Knox County is poised to undo much of the rezoning for racial desegregation that has affected families and even home construction for almost 30 years.
The school board must accommodate the fall 2018 opening of two new schools – Gibbs Middle (600 students) and Hardin Valley Middle (1,200). Those 1,800 kids are currently zoned for middle school somewhere else. With several middle schools currently under capacity, the challenge is to fill the new schools while keeping the others open.
Joe Minicozzi says we must look at land like a farmer does – analyze it for best production.
The architect and Harvard-educated urban designer was in town last week, talking with policy makers about land use. Through his consulting firm, Urban3 LLC, he’s created a 3-dimension computer model to explain the tax yield of property for those who hold the power to rezone it.