Page 82 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
P. 82

Around town
GeorGe Korda
and the rationale for closing it
was security. At the same time, government employees get a real break on what they pay to park in that garage. I have never believed, despite the studies, that this decision had anything to do with security. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have opened it up on weekends to make money by parking cars in there for football games and special events. Do you have any
thoughts, plans, or ideas about returning that garage to public use?
R: That started after 9/11 for security purposes because you have your courts and judges there. I agree that it’s unfortunate that there is not
closer parking for
the general public. When the court system, the sheriff’s department, and the police department look at it, their recommendation is that it should continue to be sealed off when the employees are there. The reason why it’s allowed on the weekends is that there is no city staff there, and the courts aren’t open.
K: What are some of the things you are working on right now?
R: What we’ve done over the last five-and-a-half years is work on a number of different topics. One is economic development. We work closely with the private sector, with the business community, and with the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, to recruit and expand businesses. We have the Knoxville
Entrepreneur Center and multiple activities throughout the year to encourage entrepreneurship and provide entrepreneurs the support they need. There’s the whole Knox Makers community that’s just built a new headquarters in the basement of the East Tennessee Technology Access center. We are seeing some economic development results, like Magnum Venus Products, which
in our city parks for example, like Suttree Landing. Additionally, we have focused on the quality of our greenways. Under Mayor Ashe, many of these wonderful greenways were created; now we want to connect them so you can seamlessly ride throughout our city.
When I was running, there were some business people who told me
just announced a big expansion. The House of Thaller is doing so well with their food products that they’re opening up a new facility in Knoxville just for hummus production.
We have focused on sustainability, with goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by twenty percent
from our 2005 levels. We’re about to change out our street lights; about 30,000 street lights will be fitted to more efficient LED lights. We are also promoting a lot of green development:
of the zoning code outdated. We have embarked on a major public process, to review those zoning ordinances. Those are just some of the things we’ve been working on. Thanks for asking.
K: Thank you, and thank you for coming by.
George Korda is a longtime news media political analyst and the president of Korda Communications, a public relations and communcations consulting  rm based in Knoxville.
that it was hard
to do business with
the city. Therefore, we opened an business support office to
help those who don’t understand the rules and regulations. We’re about to move many of our departments that deal with development, like the fire marshal engineering permits and inspections, to the same floor next to NPC so you have one spot to get all of the services that you need. We hope to simplify this process for developers and for the public who use those services. One of the biggest things we are embarking upon now is to rewrite the zoning code. As development has changed, and as culture has changed, our city council has found a lot

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