MANNIS CALLS FOR CREATION OF OFFICE OF ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
KNOXVILLE, TN May 30, 2019- Eddie Mannis, local businessman and former Chief Operating Officer for the City of Knoxville, proposes restructuring the current Office of Redevelopment and the Office of Community Development into a combined Mayor’s Office of Economic & Community Development. As one of the goals, he will challenge this office to be intentional by actively encouraging and supporting opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs and veteran owned businesses. This focus will allow the potential for growth to spread across all parts of Knoxville.
“As the owner of a small business that started at ground zero with almost no capital, I know the struggles of getting a business off the ground. We have some of the best, brightest and hardest working individuals right here at our front door and we need to do everything possible to support them.” Mannis will also seek to work with partners at The Knoxville Chamber, the University of Tennessee, Pellissippi State, The Haslam School of Business, and The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship. A key cabinet member will be responsible for nurturing and growing these strategic partnerships.
To support this effort, Mannis will take an in-depth look at the way the city addresses economic development and job creation. Within the first 90 days of taking office, Mannis will assemble a working committee that will be comprised of representatives from the development community, builders, affordable housing experts, entrepreneurs and relevant city department heads. Their primary goal will be to streamline systems, encourage communication and make processes more customer focused. “I believe that we must make our systems more efficient, our service more results oriented, and demonstrate that Knoxville is open for business,” said Mannis. “I will appoint a senior director who will wake up every day focused on ways to make Knoxville more economically vibrant.”
Final structure will be determined with appropriate staff, but the preliminary make-up of the department includes Building Permits, Inspections, Codes Enforcement, and Engineering. “In order to continue moving towards an economically vibrant city, we must continue to grow. Aligning these departments will help hone our focus based on economic growth and development. This department will promote responsible growth. Recognizing our quality of life and natural resources are also critical to our economic growth,” explains Mannis.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development will also play a role in aggressively supporting affordable housing opportunities in our community. Knoxville is an economically vibrant city and continues to grow, but we want to make sure it grows the right way. Mannis, as stated in an earlier release, will challenge his leadership team to work to preserve the existing housing stock and at the same time, aggressively support new affordable housing to help meet the challenging housing needs of our community. Quality of life is impacted directly by the access to affordable housing.
“Our economic growth should be felt by all. Unfortunately, a lack of affordable housing affects too many in our community, including educators, public safety workers, and many more. Affordable housing is a complex issue that will require an ‘all hands- on deck approach’, and this department, under my leadership, will be working to find a solution to this on-going challenge.”
“There are many issues facing our city, each with their own challenges and opportunities. Economic development is crucial because of the impact it can have on every aspect of our lives. I am not a politician; I started a business with three employees and grew it to over one-hundred & fifty here in Knoxville. I want companies to know that Knoxville is open for business, and our citizens to know we are actively looking to improve the quality of life through our economic efforts,” said Mannis.
I’m Eddie Mannis, and I’ve been fortunate to call Knoxville my home for my entire life. This is a city I love and believe in, and one that I think can be even better in the future than it is already is today.Read More