By Steve Hunley

It will likely be easy for some Knoxville residents to overlook or pay little attention to the various races for City Council on the November ballot, especially with a hotly contested mayor’s race in the offing.

Charles Thomas and Charles Al-Bawi will be squaring off city-wide after a primary vote solely inside the Second Council District.  The race has been something of a sleepy affair, although Thomas was the leading vote-getter in the primary by a country mile.

Charles Lomax is by any standard a respectable candidate; intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable, yet he trailed well behind Lynne Fugate, a former member of the Knox County Board of Education.

Janet Testerman, to the surprise of exactly nobody easily outdistanced David Hayes, who appears to be more noise than substance.

Amelia Parker edged past Amy Midis and Bob Thomas to lead the race for the At-Large Seat C in the primary.  Prognosticators are already pondering if Parker has a path to victory and the answer is she certainly does IF she can generate several thousand new voters.  Amy Midis is also going to have her hands full winning over those who voted for Bob Thomas and David Williams.  Both Thomas and Williams appealed to the fiscally responsible minded folks and if Midis does nothing to appeal to those folks they can skip over her and vote in the other Council races.  It seems highly unlikely those folks would back Parker who is a self-described “Democratic Socialist.”  In fact, Al-Bawi, Parker and Hayes are all proudly identified with the City Council Movement, which appears to be a conglomeration of Democratic Socialists?  You may ask yourself what is the difference between a Democratic Socialist and a Socialist?  There may be a distinction, but little practical difference.  Of course, those candidates who have a socialistic predisposition like spending other people’s money, so Parker, Al-Bawi, and Hayes will likely be advocating for increased spending by the city government.  Naturally, that means property taxes will begin to rise to accommodate all the social do-gooding they envision.

Midis, who only trailed Parker by a few votes, seems to have a clear path to victory by simply taking a more middle ground approach than her opponent.  Testerman may have to simply keep breathing to defeat Hayes with his loud and radical rhetoric.  There are those who loudly defend Hayes as a genuine community activist, while others denounce him as little more than an attention addict and a public nuisance.  David Hayes certainly doesn’t have the intellect, the ability to articulate an idea nor the appeal of Amelia Parker.

There are numerous things for voters to consider as to the different candidates for the Knoxville City Council.  What is their vision for the future?  Higher taxes and an urban leftist dream of a city or serious consideration of reasonable growth, spending and addressing the problems actually facing Knoxville?

That vision is largely one of your own making.  Start paying attention to what is going on around you; if you aren’t registered to vote now, do so immediately.  Most of all, be certain to VOTE.