Brad Anders is a native of the Holston community and graduate of Holston High School and Tusculum College. He is on leave as a Lieutenant in the Knoxville Police Department, where he supervises the Special Crimes Unit, handling child abuse, human trafficking and other crimes.
Brad was elected to a partial term on County Commission in 2008 and was elected to a full term in 2012. He served as Chairman in 2013 and 2014. His efforts on Commission have focused on serving the needs of his district and promoting educational advancement and economic development across the county.
In addition to his service on Commission, Brad also serves on the Board of Visit Knoxville, the Knox County Emergency Communications District (E-911) and is on the supervisory committee at the Knoxville Law Enforcement Credit Union. He was named one of Knoxville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2011 and is an alumnus of Leadership Knoxville Class of 2012.
Brad and his wife, Jennifer, have been married since 1999 and have a nine-year-old daughter, Addison. They live in the Karns community. They have been members of Grace Baptist Church since 1999, where they have served in a variety of leadership positions.
What do you believe is the Knox County mayor’s role in education? Do you believe schools are in need of additional funding? Are there any educational priorities you think our school system should be focused on?
The mayor should lead the way in promoting Knox County Schools and should have a great working relationship with the leaders of the school system. Our goal should be to strive to provide an education system that gives every child an opportunity to succeed after they graduate, and that should never be lost in the conversations we have on how to achieve that goal.
Since I was elected to County Commission, we have increased funding every year, and we are spending 100 million dollars a year more today than we were 10 years ago. Any new funding for the system should go directly to the classroom tools, teacher pay and to programs related to workforce development.
One of my priorities for the school system would be to provide a stronger focus on career and technical education. I also think it is vitally important that we look for ways to fix the obvious system flaws that have allowed theft and unaccounted for spending in the last four years.
What is the biggest challenge facing Knox County businesses today? How do you plan to address this issue if elected?
One of the biggest challenges facing Knox County business is the availability of trained talent in the workforce. There are good jobs available in some of the traditional trades and in technical careers that do not require a college education but require post-secondary education at a technical school or training program. We must find ways to better promote career and technical education in Knox County.
The partnership with Pellissippi State on Strawberry Plains and the Byington Solway School is an excellent start, but we can do better. I would like to see us pursue a career and technical high school, developed in partnership with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and the trade organizations in our region to produce quality programming that helps us meet the workforce needs in Knox County. Providing training to get an improved job can be a life-changing opportunity for an entire family that could impact generations in Knox County.
We must also improve our customer service as a county. Business looking to open in Knox County are important stakeholders in improving our community. Particularly as it relates to permitting, we must update our processes to streamline and provide a better experience to ‘’customers’’ wanting to open a business.
What do you see as the biggest infrastructure needs in our county? How would you address these as mayor?
Knox County is operating on a 30-year-old road plan. We must update this plan to meet the needs of our exponential growth. I will make sure our plan is up-to-date and we are prioritizing projects that match our needs for now and in the future. Our paving and maintenance plan is lacking and I would like to ensure we use the new revenue coming from the state to make sure we are catching up on that program.
We also have some aging schools that will need attention sooner rather than later. I expect we will see continued growth in revenue from natural growth, but we must also efficiently manage our debt service so that we can utilize those growth dollars rather than funding debt service.
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