Republicans Jay, Weiner vie for At-Large Seat 10
Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay is running for a second term, and said he is running for re-election, “Because I still believe that good leadership is important, and is never passive. I believe that who governs matters and public service should be selfless, not self-serving. And, I believe that local governance is what affects us most.
“In my first term, I have enjoyed the direct constituent service where I am able to help solve a problem or amplify a citizen’s voice.
“It’s amazing how much of a positive impact an elected official can make if you make yourself available, show up, listen and be responsive.”
The former executive director and founder of Random Acts of Flowers currently is working full-time as the director of business alliances for PYA, a national top-100 accounting and tax firm.
Jay said he believes his strengths as a county commissioner have included, “My business experience across multiple industries, communication with constituents and problem-solving skills.”
Additionally, “I’ve found most major challenges in our community can be tackled through compassionate, common-sense leadership that brings people together to find consensus while navigating through ever-changing conditions.”
If re-elected, Jay said his focus would continue with “my priority projects (mental health awareness, Beaver Creek cleanup, Northshore pedestrian safety); if I’m given the honor of being elected to another term, I would like to spearhead a Junior Commission civics program, work on Knox County’s new growth plan and support for public school playgrounds.”
In his spare time, Jay said, “I continue to volunteer with local organizations like Random Acts of Flowers, Legacy Parks Foundation and Boy Scouts. However, my most important role is being a dedicated husband and father of two boys — and that’s the best job ever.”
Steve Weiner said he’s running to provide special “leadership in the Seat 10 (Knox County Commission) position, which is not what we have right now.
“There’s some commitments I will make that I call on my opponent to make as well:
• “First of all, I pledge never to raise property taxes or sales tax in the county. We will not go through that. We can find areas in the budget where we can make some adjustments. Taxpayers should not bear the burden of increased government spending. You know how to spend your money better than the government knows how to spend your money.
• “I pledge to serve a full four-year term. That may sound odd to say, but not everybody’s interested in doing that.
• “I pledge to be responsible in development. We have a housing shortage here in Knox County. … The point is we have many, many people coming here from all over the country because we’re such a great community.
“What are we going to do?
“We need to learn how to accommodate these people while taking into account the needs of service of the existing residents, small businesses and other stakeholders.
Among Weiner’s other stances:
• “I support public participation in government. I believe, as your commissioner, we should hear what people have to say. I believe the Commission’s work is not done until everyone’s had a chance to say their piece, because that’s what we’re there for.
“… That’s something that’s kind of been lacking recently in Commission, that search for public input; there’s been restrictions put on it, time limits and so forth. I get that (citizens can’t) speak forever, but we need everybody to have a chance. If anybody wants to speak about a particular subject, be able to speak about it.
“ … I worked at Peninsula psychiatric hospital in Louisville as a program counselor. I worked with people who were wanting to be heard but couldn’t express themselves.
“Sometimes it takes just an extra effort” to listen to people.
Having established his own legal practice “on Cedar Bluff off CrossPark Drive … Now I run a successful practice.
“I went to law school in 2013, graduated in 2016.
“During law school I worked in a wills clinic, where I served people who couldn’t afford estate planning services,” which helped him “be a lawyer, that’s why I think clinical experience is so important.
“… I believe we can do great things here.”