Testerman for Council: Make the best better!

Knoxville City Council candidate Janet Testerman speaking last night in downtown Knoxville during a fundraiser in support of her candidacy.

It seemed like a good excuse for a party. Our friend Janet Testerman is running for an at-large seat on Knoxville City Council and needed a fun fundraiser. We have our new condo downtown that we haven’t yet occupied. (I swear we are going to move there one day!) We offered it for the festivities last night.

What a blast. More than 50 folks showed up in a mood for a good time and excited to support a positive, forward-thinking candidate. Her campaign slogan is “Make the best better!” Here are a few of the priorities she outlined during her brief remarks:

  • Knoxville is at a crossroads in its leadership. The county has a new mayor; the city will get a new mayor this year; the University of Tennessee has an interim president and is searching for a chancellor for its Knoxville campus; the Knoxville Chamber is in the midst of a search for a new president. The decisions we make about these positions and others — including four Council seats — largely will determine the future of our community.

  • There currently are 13 feasibility studies underway within a three-mile radius of downtown, including those dealing with the Austin Homes development just to the east, a possible downtown baseball park, the Clayton science museum, a new home for the police and fire departments, and a new location for the headquarters of the school system, among others. Someone needs to pay attention to how all these moving parts can best fit together.
  • Many companies in our private sector are changing their ownership and their focus, creating both challenges and opportunities. We need to recruit more new businesses.
  • The Knoxville Police Department is down by about 80 positions, putting extra stress on the men and women working there. Testerman is a strong supporter of the police department.

Janet’s sister, Muffet Buckner, left, and mom, Janet Testerman Crossley, both were members of the host committee.

The primary election for Knoxville mayor and four City Council seats is in August. The general election (a run-off of the top two vote-getters in each race) is in November. Testerman is running for At-Large Seat B. She has one announced opponent, a gentleman who spoke to City Council recently in opposition to the $150 million science museum that businessman Jim Clayton is funding with his own money.

In addition to the host committee members pictured, these folks also were members of the host committee for last night’s event: Jim and Natalie Haslam; Jim Clayton and Michell Witt; Jen and Matt Mowrer; Ralph Cianelli and Rick Fox; Matt Gallaher; Mark Grayson; Bill Regas; Grady Regas and Jenny Williams.

Mayoral candidate Eddie Mannis with Maria McHale, left, and Shaun Fulco, both of Moxley Carmichael. (Anybody recognize that photo-bomber? Ha)

Lynne Fugate, left, and Sherry Jenkins. Fugate also is running for City Council. She’s running for At-Large Seat A.

From left: Susan Brown, Bruce Anderson, Michael Covington and Tim Hill.

Yum! Lemon-rosemary chicken skewers with tahini vinaigrette. The delicious food was by Holly’s Eventful Dining.

Warm manchego-stuffed baked dates got raves.

Janet’s husband, Joey Creswell, left, with Cliff Hawks, both members of the host committee.

Host committee members Margie Nichols and John Gill.

Sam Maynard, left, and Michael Torano.

Monique Anderson, left, with host committee members Dawn and Richard Ford.

Janet with host committee members Mitchell Moseley, left, and Dino Cartwright.

From left, Lauren Miller, Jennifer Holder, Janet and Shaun Fulco. Holder is a member of the host committee.

Host committee members Kat and Eric Botts. He is the campaign treasurer.

But before he arrived, Shaun, the CFO of Moxley Carmichael, was diligent about collecting checks. Here, she hands them over to Botts.

Volunteer Maria McHale, left, signs up Katharine Pearson Criss for a yard sign.

The best thing about hosting a party is that I got to pick out my favorite of Holly’s appetizers. This is my number one choice: a sun-dried tomato torta!

Here’s my second fave: artichoke heart pissaladiere.

You can’t go wrong with cheese and meat!

Gary and Julia Bentley with Patrick Birmingham, right. All are members of the host committee.

Host committee members Craig Shelton and Jacque Hawks.

Susan Brown, center, with Bette and Richard Bryan.

Sharon and Dr. Bill Laing.

Host committee member Chris Davis, left, and Rene Yanes.

Host committee members David Butler, left, and Ted Smith.

Host committee members Jimmy Buckner, left, and Erin Donovan of Moxley Carmichael. Erin was a huge help with the hosting duties.

Pam Rhoades with host committee member (and my husband!) Alan Carmichael.

Shaun checking in Muffet Buckner.

From left, Kim Henry, Gay Lyons and Holly Hambright, caterer extraordinaire.

Two of the hardest-working guys in the catering biz: Todd Sherrod, left, and Chris Howe. Great job, fellows.

Joey Creswell with Rick Giecek.

The candidate with Karen and Dick Krieg, members of the host committee.

Gary and Julia Bentley relax for a few minutes with Nathan Rowell, right, a fellow host committee member.

Golfing buddies Alan Carmichael and Larry Cox.

Janet’s remarks were brief but thoughtful.

Special thanks to Patrick Birmingham for using his powerful whistle to get everyone’s attention for the remarks. (It also was helpful that he accidentally turned off the lights, putting a hush over the room!)

OK, everybody. You know what to do. Vote for Janet Testerman for City Council. Here’s her preliminary website. You can sign up for a yard sign, make a donation or knock on doors. See you out there!

 

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