Page 78 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
P. 78

Around town
GeorGe Korda
Photograph by Keith Norris
Mayor Madeline Rogero
Now in her second term as mayor, Madeline Rogero discusses Knoxville, its budget, and her political future.
George Korda: If your tenure as mayor ended today, what would you look back on with the greatest level of satisfaction?
Madeline Rogero: I think our improvements to sustainability in the city and our community would be one; the massive private investment that we’ve helped capitalize in our public investment would be another; our focus on trying to reduce violence and create greater opportunities, particularly for young men and boys of color, would be a third. Those would be my top three.
K: Now, there are callers to my radio show who say the Rogero administration is the Obama administration come to local government. What would you say in response?
R: I’d say, “Thank you for the compliment.” I think that President Obama stood for a lot of the same things that I stand for: to address issues related to climate, to address the most vulnerable in our community, and to create more jobs that work with the private sector. We saw a lot of progress during the Obama years, so I would take that as a compliment.
K: To what degree does concern with the Obama agenda among Knoxville residents affect you?
R: My agenda is in sync with people in this community. I had no opposition when I ran for reelection.
K: Since you raised the issue about election, voter turnout in open seat mayoral elections has declined
precipitously. If this trend continues, how do you see it affecting the city of Knoxville?
R: We encourage people to vote. Both when Bill Haslam and I ran and Mark Padgett and I ran, we had pretty aggressive campaigns that reached
out to a lot of people. In a mayor’s race, the turnout is not that high, so we’re actually being very proactive to encourage people to get out and vote.
K: Encouraging people to vote is a great thing, but if an increasingly small number of people care about who leads the city, what does it portend for the future of the city?
R: To reach out to people as mayor,
we have a very inclusive public participation process for every new initiative that we present and for our

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