Gender balance in the Knox County Commission

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Nine of the existing Knox County commissioners are discussing the appointments of three different districts, including district four that currently has no representative.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has more on why there are no females on the commission right now and how that could change.

Diane Jordan was the sole female on commission for years.

Now there are nine males left in charge.

Nine females versus 31 males ran for county commission in last week's primaries.

Amy Broyles won District 2, Seat B and Ruthie Kuhlman won District 4, Seat A.

But how much should gender play a role in deciding the future appointments.

Commission Candidate Ruthie Kuhlman says, "I ran this race because of what happened in January a year ago, but I wish more women would run."

Kuhlman was one of just two women who won the primaries for Knox County Commission, "We want to show that we know how to run this town. We're just as smart as they are."

The County Commission is currently run by nine men.

Kuhlman says, "These men get so excited and they just go at each other. The last commission meeting proved that."

Former commissioner Diane Jordan was the sole female on commission just before the Sunshine Lawsuit Ruling, "The right word is balance. I think that's what women bring to the commission or to anything."

Jordan says women tend to think differently than men and without that gender balance, issues surrounding Knox County could be at risk, "They look at it sometimes on the surface and we have a tendency to go deeper with situations."

Kuhlman says, "We study things. We're calm. We listen."

But commissioner Mike Hammond says gender has nothing to do with the appointments they're about to make, "We need to look at their backgrounds. We need to look at what they would bring, and I think we need to choose the best person from the district. So obviously we have some very qualified females, some very qualified males."

Barbara Pelot is one of two women on Knoxville's City Council and says, "When I ran for council, I felt it was a matter of qualifications, not a matter of gender or race."


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