Indeed We Are
That was a satirical article, right? ["Mayor For a Day" by Jesse Fox Mayshark, Vol. 9, No. 5] Each person enumerated as a possible candidate isn't even a credible choice. How would the extraordinary, though necessary, funds be raised to endorse the incredulous campaign of an individual that isn't even electable?
Why so much space was devoted to running a non-story is beguiling.
Unless the piece was meant to be a parody (are we really that bad off?), surely the reporter could have chosen more suitable individuals. Attend a couple MPC meetings. Who knows who might appear on the local political horizon as a viable candidate to oppose Victor Ashe.
The comfortable mayor's chair could use an airing and a new occupant. From my vantage, I would prefer to see a woman occupy that chair.
Let's be honest...If you want a job completed conscientiously, thoroughly, and probably for less pay, a dedicated, hard-working detail-oriented woman for mayor is the only intelligent choice. She would undoubtedly surpass in energy and excel in achievements more than any man interested in vying for the job.
The cover of this particular issue was a blatant affront to all female members of the city. The blank-faced drawing clearly detailed that your publication's image of a mayor for the city is necessarily a fairly young, (50 percent of men's hair thins or recedes before age 35.) Caucasian male dressed in conservative attire. Just an empty suit?
A front cover consisting of certain attributes of many individuals in the form of a collage would have been a more suitable choice. For example, we need a mayor with the intelligence of Bud Gilbert, the dependability of Mary Lou Horner, the understanding of Theotis Robinson, the devotion to duty of Dianne Jablonski, the tenacity of Carlene Malone, and the diplomatic skills of Warren Gooch.
Knoxville needs a team player who can work to improve education, to attract jobs (other than those of a service oriented nature), to stimulate interest in the area, to help broaden the tax base, and to help Knoxville evolve into the great city it can become.
I read with intrigued interest the Jesse Mayshark article and his mayoral candidate dream team. I have to say, he picked some wonderfully qualified and potentially good prospects. There's one problem. To be a candidate, you have to put your name on the ballot. Each and every one of these capable individuals stated that he or she was not interested in running. Why?
Why would anyone knowingly and willingly throw themselves to the media lions and subject their family to the traumas of an election campaign and public service. The loss of quality family time and personal freedom is for many too great a sacrifice.
Contrary to public sentiment, most people run for public office with the best intentions and a passionate desire to better their community. We are led to believe that those who seek public office possess an inhumanitarian flaw combined with an insatiable ego. Generally, not a good combination.
Unfortunately, politics has become a very, very dirty business and thus has lost the luster that once attracted the best and the brightest candidates. Today, placing your name on the ballot is potentially dangerous and life altering. If you're not in the "right circle" or backed by the "right group," beware. The personal attacks and manufactured accusations can be devastating to an individual and his or her family.
Knoxville is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Knoxville has all the God-given natural amenities with the lakes, rivers, and mountains. The beauty of the region and the quality of the people are second to none. With so much to offer, why is Knoxville struggling to find its identity? Why are there not more qualified people willing to run for public office?
These questions are directed to Knoxville's leadership community. Not the elected bodies, but to the men and women who lead the companies that fuel the local economy. The men and women who are looked to for advice and guidance. The men and women who employ and empower others.
These same men and women need to encourage, groom, and nurture the next generation of leaders for Knoxville. Please don't demonize and destroy the integrity of those courageous enough to put their name on the ballot and challenge the system. Competition is good for any business and the same holds true in politics.
As the late, great Vince Lombardi once said "Winning is not a sometime thing, it's an all-the-time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
Knoxville needs to get back in the habit of winning.
Hal Hill, Tom Ingram, Dr. Overholt, Wayne Ritchie, Gloria Ray...If you reconsider, I can offer some great advice on what not to do in a campaign. Good luck to each and all.