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West Knox’s Phillips to seek Knox Commission 5B seat

Kyle Phillips has always wanted to make a difference in his community and his view that Knox County Commission resists public input is what prompted him to run for the Commission District 5B seat against incumbent Craig Leuthold.

Phillips, 31, works in the sales department at Whirlpool Corp. He said the biggest reason he is running is because of what he calls an “attitude” from the county government.

“They just have the ‘we’re the County Commission and we’re going to do what we want’ attitude,” he said. “This is especially true in regards to the Wheel Tax. The people told them they didn’t want a wheel tax, but they did it anyway.”

It was this alleged negation of public input by government officials that prompted him to run.

“I’m a firm believer in small government,” he said. “I’m also a believer in accountability of the government to its people. That’s one of the foundations of my platform. Someone needs to get in there and do a better job and be more accountable to the public.”

Another foundation for Phillips is education. He said overcrowding in the schools is something he wishes to address.

Phillips said as a county commissioner, he would help the school board plan for the future.

“In the fifth district, the new high school has been a really big deal,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to have been much thought put into the matter.”

Phillips acknowledges schools come under the domain of the Knox County Board of Education, but he said Knox County Commission plays a role in how those funds are allocated. He said his background in business makes him an ideal candidate to help resolve fiscal needs in the fifth district.

Phillips said another foundation of his platform is to promote business growth in Knox County.

“You know how you hear these guys on the Commission saying they’re all for growth,” he said. “Well, I’m for business growth. I think we need it. But if we’re going to grow, I think it needs to be responsible progress.”

Phillips said he also is for

better fiscal responsibility

on the part of the County Commissioners.

“I understand that taxes have to be collected,” he said. “That’s something that is necessary. It’s how you use those funds that you have to be careful about. You don’t want to keep pigeonholing money to programs that just aren’t working.”

Phillips said he has run for political office in the past, so he is familiar with the inner workings of politics. He also believes the integrity he has earned in the business community as well as his experience as president of Heron’s Pointe Homeowner’s Association will serve him well.

“My integrity, responsibility and accountability have been evident in all my activities,” he said.

Phillips earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee in 1999. He and his wife, Debbie, are the new parents of an infant son.


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