As mayor, Eddie Mannis will lead the city to create a strategic plan that ensures Knoxville is competitive and all neighborhoods are included.

Knoxville Mayoral candidate Eddie Mannis announced plans to work with City Council and the community to develop a long-term strategic plan for the City of Knoxville during his first term in office. As mayor, Mannis will lead a process that begins with community-wide input to set a road map for the city’s direction in the decades ahead.

“The Mayor and City Council change every four to eight years,” Mannis said. “The lack of a strategic visioning plan leads to a lack of consistent momentum for our city. A strategic visioning plan is simply a documented, systematic approach by which a community anticipates and plans for its future, and provides a framework so that decisions are not made in a vacuum.”

Knoxville’s strategic planning process during the Mannis administration will depend on citizen engagement from every neighborhood of Knoxville. The process will include research into what residents want to see Knoxville become during the next several decades and will take that input to develop an exciting vision for the city, a clear plan for how to best accomplish those goals, and benchmarks to measure progress.  The strategic focus would include:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Economic Development
  • Efficient and Effective Government
  • Health & Safety 
  • Neighborhood Livability 
  • Transportation

“If you look around the Southeast, the cities that are attracting a lot of talented people and impactful new employers are the cities that have strong strategic plans,” Mannis pointed out. “We have tremendous resources including the University of Tennessee, the Urban Wilderness, and a thriving downtown. We are right in-between ORNL/Y-12 and the Great Smoky Mountains along interstates that reach much of the country in a day’s drive. However, if we truly want to be competitive in the years ahead, we must have a clear idea of where we are going and how we are going to get there.”

In addition to seeking input from all over the city, Mannis is emphatic that the strategic plan must include a vision that considers every section of the city.

“We’ve had plans for Market Square, Gay Street, the South Knoxville Waterfront, the Old City, Cumberland Avenue, and other small pockets mostly in or close to downtown,” Mannis said. “While those results have been locally transformative, and will remain very vital to my administration, it is important to me that we work together to set goals which include neighborhoods outside of the downtown area as well. We must make sure that Norwood, Burlington, Bearden, Inskip, Vestal, Fountain City, Cumberland Estates, Colonial Village, Parkridge, West Hills, Alice Bell and the rest of the city’s incredible neighborhoods all feel like they’re just as much a part of Knoxville’s long-term strategy.”

The initiative is so important that Mannis intends to dedicate a staff position to help coordinate the input, development, implementation, and measurement of the strategic plan.

“If we do this well, future mayors and councils will already have a framework to use when they take office,” Mannis said. “They’ll be able to adjust based on their priorities and new opportunities, but they won’t face the daunting task of starting from scratch. Knoxville will be positioned for success in 2030, 2040, and beyond. That’s why this election is so important.”

Early voting for the Knoxville general election begins on Wednesday, October 16th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th.