Knoxville mayor Rogero bashes former mayor Ashe

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has harshly criticized former Mayor Victor Ashe, who recently criticized her administration’s handling of a local greenway project, reports the News Sentinel.

In his column, Ashe, who served as mayor from 1987-2003 and later as U.S. ambassador to Poland, criticized handling of the greenway from the Buck Karnes Bridge on Alcoa Highway to the Naval Reserve Center. He wrote “delay, postponement, excuses and process” have been Goerlich’s greenway “watchwords.” (Note: the column is HERE.)

“Despite being on the job for almost four years, she has little to show for it,” Ashe wrote. “Rogero, who calls herself a ‘green mayor,’ runs the risk of becoming the ‘red clay mayor’ if Goerlich continues her snail’s pace.”

Rogero called that column the latest in a string of personal attacks by Ashe.

“It is one thing for you to criticize me or my senior staff — we get paid to make the decisions and take the heat,” Rogero wrote. “It is something else entirely for you to so nastily and unfairly single out a hard-working junior staff member.”

In the email, Rogero maintained Ashe’s “abuse” of city staffers — particularly women — is part of a pattern that she called “profoundly unfair” and “the classic tactics of a bully.”

She also took issue with the volume of questions Ashe has asked the city to answer for his “weekly gossip column” in the Shopper, writing that, although Ashe rarely uses the information the city provides, he has “taken up more time and occupied more city resources — by far — than any other member of the local media.

…Ashe said Saturday he wouldn’t comment on the email other than to reiterate “the issue of greenways is important, and I hope that the pace of their construction is accelerated.”

See also Knoxviews, which posts Rogero’s full letter and has a substantial number of comments, most agreeing with Rogero.