Jacobs said he is committed to filling his administration with people who are aligned with his goal of providing services citizens expect while maintaining fiscal responsibility and transparency. “We’ve been able to hit the ground running with the staff now in place and we’re excited about the great things on the horizon for Knox County.”
As announced in his inaugural address there are two new positions under Jacobs’ leadership: Education Liaison Roger Kane, and Diversity Development Manager Darris Upton.
Kane’s new position as Education Liaison fulfills one of Mayor Jacobs’ top priorities. The purpose of his role is to take a comprehensive overview of the county’s entire education infrastructure and ensure it is providing our children with the tools necessary for success, not only in school but throughout life. Kane will also work with the Knox County Schools, technical colleges, private schools, home schoolers and the private sector with emphasis on career and technical education opportunities. Moreover, Mayor Jacobs plans to continue working closely with Superintendent Bob Thomas and the Knox County Board of Education.
Another gap Mayor Jacobs hopes to fill with the new Diversity Development Manager, Darris Upton’s role is ensuring equal economic opportunities are available to small, minority-owned, women-owned as well as veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Upton, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, recently worked in a community relations role with the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods. He also worked as a case manager for the Knoxville Community Action Committee.
Mayor Jacobs also named four other directors:
- Jim Snowden, Sr. as the Director of Engineering and Public Works
- Dwight Van de Vate as the Director of Community Development
- Zack Webb as the Interim Director of Information Technology
- and Paul White, Sr. as the Director of Parks and Recreation
The Mayor’s transition team, Bryan Hair and Rob Link, moved into their roles as Chief of Staff and Communications Director.
All of the other Senior Directors have been retained.