Just who is Mark Padgett?
With $5,000 from his savings and a borrowed laptop, Mark launched eGovernment Solutions in 2005. The company’s software allows government to work for the people, not the other way around, by making key services available online. Today, he is a CEO who has more than doubled his client base and has created jobs during the worst economic downturn since the Depression.
In 2003, Governor Phil Bredesen appointed Mark to be part of a team assigned with improving state government. With innovative thinking and technology, they improved customer service while slicing 5-10 percent in waste from multiple state departments.
A Knoxville native, Mark was raised in the Lonsdale and Halls community and raised to value public service and working-class values. Mark’s father, Mike Padgett, owned a restaurant in Lonsdale and served as Knox County Clerk for over two decades. Mark’s grandfather, Bill Padgett, owned a grocery store in Lonsdale and served as city council member during the early sixties.
Mark, his wife Katie, and their daughter Kirby live in the Westmoreland/Rocky Hill community with their dog, Cappy. Mark is active with the First Baptist Church, where he serves on the Outreach Council, Young Professionals of Knoxville, Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board, and LMU National Alumni Board of Directors.
If Elected Mayor, Padgett Will Focus On…
- Job Creation and Economic Growth: Increase support for local small businesses, recruit world-class companies to create new jobs, promote public-private partnerships with UT and Oak Ridge, provide additional resources to entrepreneurs.
- Stronger, Safer, and More Connected Neighborhoods: Support neighborhood associations, strengthen codes enforcement by creating a senior-level advisor position, expand greenways and parks to connect neighborhoods to downtown, and invest in all our neighborhoods from Lonsdale to West Hills to keep families safe.
- Accessible and Efficient Government Services: Always protect taxpayer dollars; evaluate services, records and process, and put them online so they are accessible to everyone; and use new, innovative technologies to make services more efficient, effective, and transparent.
- Responsible Downtown Growth: Invest in infrastructure (bricks & mortar and technology); leverage private investment for revitalization projects, like the Magnolia corridor, that feed into downtown; increase city revenue through activities and growth, rather than tax increases; expand services and retail like parking and grocery stores; and create and support events that engage Knoxville’s diverse residents.
10 Questions for Padgett…
- Favorite Local Guilty Pleasure: Ham n’ Goody cookies, Bruster’s ice cream, and Senor Taco’s salsa bar
- Favorite Childhood Memory of Knoxville: My father owned the Homestead restaurant on Heiskell Avenue when I was very young. Every morning around 5am, me, my father, and my brother would go get the days produce at the Fresh Market (when it was on Forest Avenue). It is a great memory of spending time with my brother and father when it seemed like all of Knoxville was still asleep, but that little street was always filled with merchants and business owners and good friendly people preparing to feed Knoxville each day.
- Favorite Local Restaurant: Pete’s Coffee Shop
- Favorite Annual Knoxville Event: Boomsday
- I’m Rooting for: Marble Alley Project.
- One Word that Describes Knoxville: Home
- I’m Currently Reading: Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser
- I Can’t Start My Day Without: Something hot to drink, and a little Jimmy Buffett
- Most Inspirational Politician/Statesman: My father Mike Padgett and grandfather Bill Padgett have always been my inspiration and mentors, but outside the family, Phil Bredesen.
- Quote that Sums of Your Worldview: I don’t know who might have originally said this, but my grandfather would always say he believed that, “God makes us strong only for a little while, so that we may uplift those around us.” I think that’s what it is all about…uplifting each other. No one can do this (life) alone.
ABOUT THE SERIES: This fall, the city of Knoxville will elect a new Mayor and City Council members (see helpful explanation here). This series is intended to inform our readers on the various candidates – and hopefully help illustrate the real people behind the campaigns. We reached out to every candidate and offered them the same format, and asked them the same questions. Over the coming weeks, we’ll continue to release a new profile (publish dates are determined by who submitted their answers first). We encourage everyone to be informed and make his or her voice heard! You can register to vote here, and follow the Knox County Election Commission on Twitter and Facebook.