Knox Mayor Jacobs donating state-mandated raise to create scholarship

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs is donating his state-mandated salary increase to create a secondary education scholarship for children of county employees.

The mayor said he did not want to accept the raise that is tied to the county charter and population but the scholarship provides a way to help a child seeking a career or technical education degree.

“I didn’t want to accept this raise at a time like this, but it’s required to by law, so I want to create a scholarship fund to support the children of our county’s employees,” Jacobs said.

The raise – almost $5,000 – kicks in at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Mayor Jacobs said he will also supplement the “Mayor’s Knox County Applied Technology Scholarship Fund” with his own additional money each year. The scholarship will benefit a Knox County employee’s child who attends the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville.

TCAT Knoxville will oversee the application process and the scholarship is expected to begin this fall.

“Even with the support of great programs like Tennessee Promise, students still incur different costs,” Jacobs said. “I hope this scholarship will help offset some of that by helping students pay fees and cover other miscellaneous expenses or buy necessary books and equipment.

“Even graduates who decide to seek technical or vocational employment rather than attend a two- or four-year university will need some training and possible certification. TCAT Knoxville provides an extremely valuable service to our community by helping these students get where they want to go.

“Whatever career a young person wants to choose, their financial situation shouldn’t be a barrier to that.”

The Knox County charter requires the mayor to be the highest-paid elected county official, and the state requires that the mayor make at least 5% more than the sheriff. Therefore, this upcoming fiscal year, the mayor is mandated by state and county law to take the almost $5,000 raise.

Other county-wide elected officials, including the sheriff, law director, judges, district attorney and fee officeholders also automatically receive state-mandated raises that are tied to the size of the county.

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