Knoxville mayoral candidates face off in debate

Knoxville mayoral candidates / Source: WVLT News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- There was standing room only as voters turned out to watch the Knoxville mayoral candidates debate on June 25.

Six candidates faced off as they hoped to secure votes. They covered issues that the city faces from policing to poverty, as well as Recode Knoxville, a plan that would radically change the city.

Three mayoral candidates, Michael Andrews, Indya Kincannon and Marshall Stair, said they were for recoding plans.

"Things like walkability, mixed use housing, different housing options," said Andrews, "I think this code does that by channeling the growth to the corridors and nodes, and therefore protecting the neighborhoods we know and love."

Kincannon agreed saying, "53 percent of the people in Knoxville are renters, and we have to make sure that we have enough affordable housing for them. Recode can be a part of that solution."

"We need to be brought to the table along with everybody else," said Stair. "Sit down, take our time and come up with one solution that best fits the masses, not just for a few people."

The other three candidates, however, weren't so supportive of Recode.

Eddie Mannis said, "Our citizens don't know how it's going to directly affect them. I think we need to step up. At the end of the day, this is a one size fits all four our city, and Knoxville is extremely diverse."

Calvin Taylor said, "We have to recognize that there are unique needs in particular districts and respect those needs because especially when it comes to development we need everybody involved, everybody engaged."

Fletcher Burkhardt said, "Two years ago there was a mention of updating the zoning ordinance, and I think the initial conversation was increasing density in a commercial corridor, and that's a whole lot different than where we are today."

Now, it will be up to the voters to decide which candidate they support.

Copyright 2019 WVLT News. All rights reserved.