John Gotta is the newest member of the Knoxville City Council, as he was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Cal Stephens’s resignation. The seat he holds was scheduled to be up for election Nov. 5 prior to the resignation.
Gotta says he appreciates the vote of confidence the council gave him by making the appointment. His interest in serving on council began when he completed the Knoxville Leadership Academy. He highly recommends the course to everyone, as one can learn so much about the various City departments, operations, budgets and other issues.
“It’s very interesting,” Gotta said. He had previously served on the Board of Adjustment.
Gotta has been with the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics for 25 years, but he was born and raised in Knoxville. He has always loved the small-town feel.
“I still think Knoxville is a good place,” he said. Like any town, Knoxville is not without its issues. He remembers the town’s pinnacle in the early 1980s, before things began to leave town. Today, Gotta believes Knoxville is making its comeback and headed in the right direction.
He expects the full recovery of Knoxville to take some time, and he would like to be a part of the leadership to help make it happen, as well as seeing Knoxville grow beyond what it ever was.
One of the biggest issues he has identified is housing and the lack thereof. There are projects in development, but more needs to be done. Expansions at Weiler and 3M have increased awareness of the need for Knoxville to have homes available for those workers. Opportunities for housing developments exist with the former East Elementary property and, some day, the former VA campus.
Beyond that, Gotta wants to work toward a Knoxville where everyone realizes all the good things going on in town. He points to the recent library renovation, all the work put into streets the past several years and the City’s good relationship with the Chamber of Commerce.
“Leadership at the Chamber is awesome,” Gotta said. Working together is a key to success. “Change is hard when pushes go in different directions.”
Budgeting will always be a challenge for the City government, but as Gotta says, more housing will increase the tax base to provide more revenue to provide more services. He is proud of what the City has done with its infrastructure with the funds it has available.
If reelected, he would like to see the next phase of the multi-use trail extended.
“Any town that’s doing something has a trail system,” Gotta said.
Gotta believes the City government is truly trying to help things improve in town, even though that may not have always been the case. With projects being discussed relating to growth at KHC and Knoxville Schools, the town is headed in the right direction.
Though more competition will spread out votes, Gotta is glad that six people have thrown their name in for the council race because it shows interest in the community. Whether you vote for Gotta or not, he encourages everyone to get out and participate.