Today #TheMegaBullhornofTruth names the 2018 Public Officials of the Year. We are naming two. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Knox County Commissioner at Large Seat 11 Justin Biggs
Since taking office on September 1, 2018, Mayor Jacobs has ended the costly Uniformed Officers Pension Plan lawsuit that Law Director Bud Armstrong has rung up more than $1 million in costs and fees. The Previous Mayor just let Armstrong waste County resources during his last year in office with no accountability.
Mayor Jacobs gained a $100,000 Contribution from WWE’s Vince McMahon for the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation, which aims to help first responders and their families after they suffer injury, illness, death or other life-changing events.
Jacobs replaced Doug Bataille and is cleaning up an out of control Parks and Recreation Department. The exorbitant BMX track that was intended to replace the one sold in Solway by the previous Mayor has had the appropriate checks and balances to an unwritten check and if the costs can not be contained the track may not happen.
Mayor Jacobs hosted an opioid summit in the first several weeks of taking office to address the epidemic locally and has been a guest of President Donald J. Trump, Jr. on the issue nationally.
Mayor Jacobs has hosted a regional mayors meeting with mayors from surrounding counties to develop new approaches to economic development by working together.
Knox County Department heads inform me that Jacobs encourages department heads to streamline their departments while not sacrificing services.
Jacobs has made the county more transparent by providing a weekly video update. I, also like how with Jacobs you don’t have to go exclusively to Vol Market or Wright’s to see the mayor as he has a community lunch weekly in all parts of the county. He does not have to be in a controlled safe space to meet with constituents and the public.
Biggs ushered in a new younger generation of leadership when he took office on the same day as Jacobs. On May 1, he defeated a former County Commissioner that had a $100,000 advantage over him in campaign funds. Biggs had a winning social media strategy that included a weekly Facebook video that by May 1, 2018 had more than 500,000 views.
Throughout the campaign he successfully stayed out of the turf battles with different political factions. Since taking office he has listened to both sides and has cast his votes without fanfare or anger.
He will be his own man. There will be issues that he will differ with the Mayor, Sheriff and other Commissioners but I believe that he will be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
So for 2018, the Public Officials of the Year are Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Commissioner Justin Biggs.