This is part of our Voices series with City of Greenville Mayor Knox White, where he breaks down his thoughts about what’s going on in the City – in just one minute. Want to join the conversation? We invite you to write for us. Learn how to share your voice here.
Greenville Mayor Knox White was sworn in for the first time on December 11, 1995. Today, he celebrates 25 years of leadership.
“I’ve always wanted Greenville to be the most beautiful, livable, welcoming city in America.
We had a long way to go in 1995. Many of the key assets people enjoy now simply weren’t here. The Poinsett Hotel was boarded up. The Reedy River waterfall was covered by a four-lane highway. Downtown was a place you did not go. We had the Hyatt and the Peace Center, but nothing in between. We certainly never had any tourists. We weren’t on any “best of” lists. But we had so much potential.
I ran on a platform of livability. For me it started with the neighborhoods + four priorities:
○ Sidewalk construction
○ Traffic calming and speed humps
○ Creation of Neighborhood Associations
○ Inviting citizens to participate in government
If I am proud of one thing it is that we have never turned back on that.
During a quarter century as Mayor, I have carefully chosen just three photos for my office wall. They represent transformational projects. The Westin Poinsett. The Liberty Bridge. Fluor Field.
The Poinsett Hotel reopening after being closed for thirty years brought retail and restaurants to this end of Main Street. Removing the Camperdown Bridge and reclaiming the Reedy River falls gave Greenville an identity and a touchstone for the community. The public-private partnership to build a downtown ballpark spurred development of the West End none of us could have imagined.
I have space for a fourth photo. Unity Park. I can’t wait for our citizens to enjoy 60 acres of greenspace, restored sections of the Reedy, affordable living, and a visitor’s center for community recreation opening in the spring of 2022.
Thank you, Greenville for allowing me to lead, serve, and shape the growth of my hometown.”