Jan 18 2007
04:14 pm
By: Bill Lyons  shortURL

I know many folks here are interested in Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. I am sorry to announce that Jill Van Beke has resigned as Deputy Director – Downtown in the City of Knoxville’s Policy Development Department where she did a great job in a tough and demanding position. Jill is staying in Knoxville and will be working downtown in the private sector.

We have brought Madeleine Weil to take over for Jill in working with me on downtown and other issues, especially related to the surrounding neighborhoods. Madeleine grew up in Missouri and received her BA Magna Cum Laude from Carleton College where she majored in American Studies. She has a MA from Yale University in Environmental Management and later worked for the City of New Haven as an environmental planner. She also was a policy analyst and was involved in a number of downtown issue areas and worked with a variety of stakeholder groups. Madeleine received Connecticut’s Green Circle Award for environmental contributions in 2004. She wrote the smart growth proposal included in the Connecticut Governor’s climate change action plan.

Madeleine and her husband, Bob Morrissey came to Knoxville in August. They live in the Island Home community. Bob recently joined the History department at UT as an assistant professor. Madeleine is replacing Jill and Bob is replacing Bruce Wheeler. No pressure there!

I have already introduced Madeleine to a number of folks will continue to do so. She is very nice, friendly person and a real addition to the city.

Thanks, Bill Lyons

R. Neal's picture

Thanks for that update,

Thanks for that update, Bill.

What's the deal with all these new hires named Madeline with backgrounds in planning? :)

(Oh, I see it's "Madeleine". Pretty close. Pronounced the same?)

Bbeanster's picture

Very impressive credentials.

Very impressive credentials. Sounds like a real "find" for the city.

Bill Pittman's picture

Surrounding neighborhoods to downtown...

Hello Bill,
Just a quick note to say that I am very happy to see you mention the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Prior to your involvement with the city, I don't recall anyone seeing the need to make this reference...but as you know, I believe the sustainability of downtown's momentum is contingent upon critical mass; further, I believe that this critical mass can only be acheived by viewing downtown as not only the CBID but also its contiguous or very nearby neighborhoods.

Can you describe the authority that Madeleine will have or what her primary responsbilities will be?

Bill Pittman

Bill Lyons's picture

Madeleine's areas of concentration


Madeleine is the “go to” person on downtown development projects and public sector activities. She will be heavily involved in the Downtown Design Guidelines and updating of redevelopments area. She and will be working with me on a whole range of policy issues ranging from parking to public amenities. I will continue in the lead on the Fifth and Broadway area and the neighborhood task force but she will work with me. As many of you know our department takes on a range of tasks as may arise such as the public process for the downtown liquor store last year. And I appreciate your taking notice of the inclusion of the surrounding neighborhoods. Their economic and social vitality and connection to downtown and to each other is vital to that of downtown and the city.

PS..Randy, Madeline and Madeleine both remarked that they had never worked with another Madel(e)ine. The interaction effects could be interesting.

Bill Lyons

Sandra Clark's picture

Jill Van Beke

I heard Jill speak at an old-timers meeting in Fountain City a while back. She was very good -- Her departure is a loss for the city. -- s.

cafkia's picture

A suggestion

Madeleine could get a running start by having a serious bitch session with whoever is responsible for the holdup in restoring the parking to the Gay St viaduct. When last we were bitching about this, the target date was late Nov. Seems to me that someone is getting just a little too comfortable ignoring the needs of the public so, it would be fair and fitting for her to instill some discomfort.



It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
  - William G. McAdoo

Factchecker's picture

And furthermore

Madeleine could get a running start by having a serious bitch session with whoever is responsible for the holdup in restoring the parking to the Gay St viaduct.

Not to mention the seemingly temporary but frequently employed "No Parking" hoods that cover parking meters for no apparent reason. I thought we might see less of these after the new mayor came to town, but apparently not so.

Thanks for the updates, though.

Michael's picture

I thought we might see less

I thought we might see less of these after the new mayor came to town, but apparently not so.

New mayor, but many of the same department heads. Until that changes -- or we see greater leadership from the top -- expect more of the same.

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