July 20, 2007 - Mayor Bill Haslam was a guest this week
at the Knoxville Police Department and Phillip Moore Outreach Center's annual "Boot Camp"
for children in the center's program.
Nearly 40 boys and girls, ranging in age from 8 to 16 years old,
are taking part in the camp this year. It started Monday and finishes
its weeklong run today.
It's designed to help children who are in "at risk" situations better deal with the
problems they face and give them some guidance that may keep them from straying into trouble.
KPD officers are the drill instructors for the camp, which mixes exercise and some public service
projects with fun activities like trips to visit the zoo and to meet some University of Tennessee
The group had some interesting questions for Haslam during his visit including:
How long had he been mayor and how long does he want to be mayor?
Does he want to run for president?
Has he ever met the president?
Can a girl be mayor?
How much money does he make?
How does he feel about term limits?
Is it hard to be mayor?
"I think after awhile you've been in office too long and start thinking you can do
anything you want," he said. "I think it's a good that people rotate in and out of office."
He told the group that a woman could certainly be Knoxville's mayor and added that his
opponent in the 2003 election, Madeline Rogero, very nearly was.
Haslam edged out Rogero, who is currently the city's director of community development,
in that race.
He said he doesn't want to run for president but has met current President George Bush
and some of his predecessors.
The mayor also said the job can be difficult at times because he has to balance the services
people want with what they are willing to pay in taxes - and the two do not match.
"You have to balance that out all the time, that's what makes it hard," Haslam said.
"You can't do all the good things you want to do."
The goal of the Phillip Moore Outreach Center/Lifesavers Inc. is to reduce violence
in the inner city through counseling and tutoring.
The KPD and the Moore Center have worked together on the boot camp for several years
and the KPD Training Academy is the primary location for the camp.