Mayor Madeline Rogero has appointed three new members to the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, to replace commissioners whose terms have expired.
The new appointees to the 15-member body are Gayle Bustin, Patrick Phillips and Charles Thomas. They replace former Vice Mayor Jack Sharp, Bart Carey and Michael Kane, who continued to serve as MPC transitioned to its new Executive Director, Gerald Green.
“MPC is a vital agency that is central to much of what we do in the City, from urban redevelopment to neighborhood protection to historic preservation,” Mayor Rogero said. “We are fortunate to have such knowledgeable, dedicated citizens willing to take on this responsibility. I am grateful to our new commissioners, and to those who are departing for their years of service. I particularly want to thank the out-going Commissioners for the extended service during this time of transition.”
Under the joint City-County agreement that created MPC in 1956, the City Mayor appoints seven members to the volunteer board, and the County Mayor appoints the other eight. MPC commissioners and staff prepare and adopt general plans for the City and County; review subdivision regulations and site plans; prepare and recommend zoning ordinances and maps to the Knox County Commission and Knoxville City Council; review proposed zoning amendments; and prepare a capital improvements plan for the City of Knoxville.
Below is biographical information for the three new commissioners:
Gayle Bustin: A native of Mississippi, Bustin has lived all over the world since 1985 with her husband Baron, whose family is a third generation oil family. Her entrepreneurial parents shaped Bustin’s professional career and her involvement in the community through their strong work ethic and compassion for others.
Bustin was in education for many years and more recently, while living in Saudi Arabia, worked for Saudi Aramco to build and manage a division in the company to heighten the standards of all entities of a large modern community. While living abroad, Bustin discovered the substandard living conditions of orphan children in Russia and migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, among other human rights injustices. She championed campaigns to address these deplorable living conditions and provide a voice for those who could not advocate for themselves.
Since relocating to Knoxville three years ago, Bustin has become very involved in the community. She currently serves on the East Tennessee Community Design Center’s Board of Directors, the Legacy Housing Foundation Board of Directors and also the Holston Homeowners Association.
Bustin is passionate about the growth and interest in downtown Knoxville and loves to be an ambassador for the city and all it offers. Her goal as a planning commissioner is to maintain the unique character and natural beauty of our area by ensuring that development is consistent with environmental, social and economic goals.
Patrick Phillips: Phillips is the soon-to-retire Executive Director of the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, an independent governmental unit providing industrial and commercial marketing and recruitment activities on behalf of the County and Cities of Loudon and Lenoir City.
The agency focuses also on downtown redevelopment, grant writing and administration, construction project management, existing industry services, transportation planning and construction, and geographic information systems. Phillips has served as Executive Director of the agency for the past 16 years and previously was the Director of Planning and Community Development for Loudon County.
From 1980-1994, Phillips served as a Principal Planner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development serving local governments in East Tennessee. Phillips holds a B.S. in Horticulture and Landscape Design and an M.S. in Planning from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Charles Thomas: A former Knoxville City Councilman, Thomas is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and has been a practicing attorney since 1984. He has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University.
Thomas serves or has served on a variety of community and neighborhood boards including the Knoxville Greenways Commission, the Broadway Corridor Task Force and the Knoxville Transportation Authority, and was the chairperson for the James Agee Park Steering Committee.
He has traveled extensively in Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East, and has also done educational and human rights work in poverty-stricken areas of Central America. He is fluent in Spanish. He enjoys working part-time on weekends at downtown’s Union Avenue Books. His interests include biking, hiking, organic gardening, music and literature.
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