Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Family Is the Building Block to Our Society’

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Family Is the Building Block to Our Society’

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Gulbransen welcomed Tennessee’s favorite mayor, Glenn Jacobs of Knox County to the newsmaker line to discuss his governing style.

Gulbransen: On our newsmaker line, Tennessee’s favorite mayor, my friend, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. How are you this morning?

Jacobs: Good morning, Aaron. How are you?

Gulbransen: I’m doing well. So I think this is probably a little insight that people don’t get to get to have often. As the audience knows, I get to work at the General Assembly and I’m there every day. You were just there this week doing the business of Knox County. Touch on that and what that kind of looks like.

Jacobs: Yes sir. It was county down the hill where the Tennessee County Services Association which represents the interest of counties across the state. We all gather and have a meeting and talk about issues facing our counties and then go over and in many cases talk with the General Assembly.

A couple of things that we’re working on that are really internal to the workings of the government, of how sales tax administration is done and that fee, as well as a single item of sales tax and the splits.

There’s a cap on that as far as the local amount which is a little different than how sales tax is run and everything else. But those are more internal to the workings of local and state governments.

Gulbransen: As everyone probably realizes at some point in their lives without thinking about it a lot of what you see often in your daily life is what happens in local government.

So it’s important to have a good working relationship as a county mayor with the General Assembly. I know you have a very good one. You’ve been mayor for several years now. What was it like the first time you went to the General Assembly?

Jacobs: (Chuckles) The, the first time, of course, it’s really cool and you get struck a little bit because there are just so many things happening and you’re getting used to it. It’s a little different now cause I’m used to going over and talking with people and all that sort of thing. For a wrestler now it’s a little different.

I remember the first time that I wrestled here in Knoxville, the Civic Coliseum, and you know, I was like, golly, this is like the biggest place I’ve ever been in. And of course, it sees about 7,000 people and we’ve been to much bigger places now. But I always remember that as the biggest. It’s probably the same there. The first time you go it’s like, oh, that’s so cool. And nothing compares to it after that.

Gulbransen: No, this is very true. Although I will give the audience a little tidbit. I’ve worked in several different state Houses and when you get to the office building they all start looking the same after a while. The turns in the elevators and that sort of thing.

Of course, the governor did sign two bits of legislation and of course, made a lot of national news. Leader Johnson was the sponsor of SB 1 and SB 3. He was the common denominator. Leader Lamberth and Representative Todd were sponsors in the House respectively on the two bills. Can you talk about the importance of SB 1 and SB 3?

Jacobs: Sure. One bill prohibits genital mutilation of minors in the state of Tennessee. Sex change operations are what we’re talking about here. The other outlaws all-age drag shows in public and defines what a burlesque show is and includes some of the things that we’ve seen around the country.

You know, we’re in the middle of a really, of a counter-revolution to the American Revolution. We are in the middle of a cultural Marxist revolution with the people on the far left, not everybody. Cause I don’t think everybody realizes what’s really going on. They want to destroy the country and destroy its institutions.

I think that the family is very important. It’s the building block of our entire society and also ensuring that kids can grow up and not have their lives run by things that are going on now as far as, oh, it’s in vogue to say I’m not sure if I’m a boy or a girl.

And then in almost all cases, that gets worked out even for youngsters that might suffer from gender dysphoria. I’m really happy that the state did that. And of course, I believe we’re the first state in the Union to take those steps.

Gulbransen: I think personally and in my capacity as executive director of Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, I think those are model bits of legislation that the rest of the country should follow. Of course, I agree with you entirely on it.

It’s somewhat become fashionable to question yourself as a teenager and there are a lot of social media issues with how people get pressured into it. Of course, when I was young, I seem to remember the fads of the day being baseball cards and did you know what Michael Jordan did on the basketball court that day? There were odd jeans that people wore and that sort of thing.

Jacobs: Life was a little simpler back then. (Chuckles) It’s like we are old fogies now. (Chuckles)

Gulbransen: Yes. I remember walking to school in the snow at five in the morning. I know I’ve had you on so much. I forget if I’ve asked you or not, but I think it’s a good time. Can you give us your generic governing philosophy? It’s a fun question. I’d like our audience to hear that from you.

Jacobs: Sure. I’m a small government conservative which means I would keep the government out of my life and out of everybody’s lives as much as possible. There’s a certain role the government is going to play, and I think that needs to be confined and constricted to a case of the federal government within the confines of the United States Constitution and state constitutions as well as local governing documents. So, uh, for me it’s pretty much live and let live as long as you’re not hurting other people.

Gulbransen: That’s a very important distinction to make. Those on the left, say they wanna live and let live, but they really really mean they wanna live and then force their worldview on everybody else.

Jacobs: That’s very well, very well said.

Gulbransen: Did, did you see the bill that passed the Senate that’s banning TikTok and WeChat on Tennessee Public College networks?

Jacobs: I did not. No, I did not see that. It’s very interesting to see where we are as a country in a world and what people sometimes believe is, you know, innocent, no big deal is really more than that. I didn’t see that, but you know, South Carolina of course has prohibited TikTok use on state-owned telecommunication devices.

There is a security risk there when you’re using a government device, you are making your network vulnerable to folks like the Chinese government and those sorts of things. There really are major concerns with platforms like that.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Glenn Jacobs” by Glenn Jacobs. Background Photo “Family” by Luemen Rutkowski.


Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Highlights Upcoming Fall Festival at Oakes Farm October 26th and Democratic Infiltration at the Local Level

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Highlights Upcoming Fall Festival at Oakes Farm October 26th and Democratic Infiltration at the Local Level


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmaker line to talk about its upcoming first annual Fall Festival in Corrington, Tennessee and the infiltration of Clinton backed groups influencing local governments.

Leahy: We joined on our newsmaker line by our favorite retired wrestler, Mayor of Knox County Glenn Jacobs. Good morning, Glenn.

Jacobs: Good morning Michael. How are you, sir?

Leahy: I am great. So you got a fun festival going on in Knox County? I love to have a fun story. Tell us, is this the first annual fall festival, or have you been doing this for a while?

Jacobs: This is the first annual fall festival. It’s going to be October 26 this coming Tuesday at Oaks Farm in Corrington, Tennessee. It’s a beautiful place. There are all sorts of stuff, games, and fun activities for kids of all ages.

And, of course, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze. And we’ll even have live music by Gone Country, which is one of America’s top country cover bands. So we’re really looking forward to it and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Leahy: That’s great. Now, who’s putting it on? And why do they decide to do this fall?

Jacobs: This is with my campaign. We are putting it on, and we just want to have a good time and get people out. And fall is my favorite season.

The temperatures are dropping. Football is in full swing. I love autumn. We thought what better time than to get folks out to Oakes Farm and just have a good time that evening.

Leahy: It’s interesting you say that fall is your favorite season. You’re a little bit younger than I am. But I remember I had the same exact feeling because as a kid playing in a little small high school in upstate New York, I had visions of NFL glory.

Didn’t make it past freshman football in college. But I always dreamed of being the star on the football field. Fall would come around, football practice would start. I was ready. It was just so much fun. And I sense that a lot of us sort of have that feeling about fall.

Jacobs: Absolutely. Of course, I played football and before that basketball. And basketball you’re ramping up during the fall. So this is a great time of year.

And of course, the harvest is done. And back in the day, there’s big celebrations about that. And to kind of carry it on now, I think it’s wonderful.

Leahy: Now, if I go up there on Tuesday…

Jacobs: You’re going to have a good time if you go up there. Yeah, but I am tempted. I would like to. Tell you what, if it were on a weekend, I would definitely go up. But am I going to have to wear a mask? (Chuckles)

Jacobs: Only a Halloween mask.

Leahy: (Chuckles) That is a lot of fun. In addition to having fun, there are other things going on in Knox County. What are the major issues that you’re facing right now as Mayor of Knox County?

Jacobs: Well, just like everyone else we’re dealing with all the code stuff and the tension between local governments and control at a local level and the edicts coming down from the federal government, of course.

Not only have I spoken out against President Biden’s vaccine mandate, which is having an impact on workers here. We already have folks that are being threatened to be fired, have already been let go and all those sort of things because they feel it’s their choice.

Leahy: Yeah, folks that have been let go from corporations there over their vaccine mandate policies.

Jacobs: Yes. And also being threatened to be let go. At Oak Ridge, which is very close to Knox County, we have the big DOE complex with the Oakes National Lab and some other Department of Energy facilities and the employees there, as well as the federal contractors, this impacts them. We can’t do anything about that.

Leahy: Federal workers are currently under this vaccine mandate, I guess. Is that right?

Jacobs: Right. Yes. And it’s coming down onto the contractors as well.

Leahy: So that’s already having an impact there.

Jacobs: It is. We already have people that have been placed on unpaid leave. There’s a class-action lawsuit going on. People are fighting back against it. But we have that.

We also had a federal judge impose a universal mask mandate on Knox County schools, despite the fact that schools have twice voted down on mask mandates. And there is no end in sight. He did not say the metrics or the numbers under which that mandate would end.

Leahy: Can I just ask you about that one? The status of that?

Jacobs: Sure.

Leahy: This is the lawsuit, the same kind of argument that was brought in two other counties. It was brought in federal district court in Shelby County, in Williamson County, and in Knox County. It turns out the plaintiffs were local parents with kids with some disabilities of some sort.

And the argument was made that not requiring every student to have a mask on violated the Americans with Disability Act. I’ve never figured that out yet. But did you see the group that was representing them? The lawyers you saw the connection there.

Jacobs: Yes. I actually asked some folks to look into this case as far as who is really behind it. And it turns out, as you said, the plaintiffs are local folks. But some of the lawyers in the case, as well as the organization supporting the case, is a group called Democracy Forward.

And they are a Hillary Clinton-backed group. John Podesta is on their board. Of course, John Podesta was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and he was Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign chair.

Mark Elias, who was 2016 general counsel to the Hillary Clinton campaign. So literally, Hillary Clinton’s people are in Knox County influencing policy.

Leahy: This is basically political colonization through litigation. That’s what it looks like to me.

Jacobs: Well, it absolutely is. And I got to hand it to them, they’re really smart strategically because the left has realized that the way you subvert America is through local government.

Not only are they working at the federal level. But they’re also working diligently at the local level. And that should be a click on for all of us should be going off in heads.

Leahy: That is a very important point, Mayor Glenn Jacobs, that you just made and you’ve seen it for decades. With George Soros funding prosecutors and other local elected officials that aren’t enforcing the law. Will you come back and give us a report after the fun of your big fall festival up there on Tuesday?

Jacobs: Sure. Michael, it is going to be a lot of fun that begins on Tuesday, October 26th at Oakes Farm and that’s in Corrington, Tennessee. If it were a little closer, I would be there. But I’m going to come up there and let’s have lunch sometime and we’ll do an exclusive interview with you. That would be great! Maybe one of these years when we do the fall festival, you can do a remote from there.

Leahy: We’ll shoot for that next year. Glenn Jacobs, mayor of Knox County. Thanks so much for joining us. What a great interesting guy to talk to.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Glenn Jacobs” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.













Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Idea That the President Is Just Making Laws on His Own Should Really Bother Everyone’

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Idea That the President Is Just Making Laws on His Own Should Really Bother Everyone’


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmaker line to discuss his recent letter to President Joe Biden in response to the vaccine mandates that infringe on American’s freedom and liberty.

Leahy: We are joined now by the Mayor of Knox County, our very good friend, Glenn Jacobs, who broke some news on Thursday with us at The Tennessee Star. Headline. Knox County will not Comply with Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Mandate. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Mayor Jacobs.

Jacobs: Morning, Michael. Thanks for having me on.

Leahy: We always are glad to have you on here. You are always interesting, entertaining, and a supporter of liberty, which we love here on The Tennessee Star Report. So tell us what you told President Biden and what’s happened since you put that out.

Jacobs: Sure. Well, first of all, it’s ironic because this morning I’m actually on my way to read to an elementary school about the United States Constitution. I’m wondering if President Biden is going to be there because he can certainly use a primer himself. (Leahy laughs)

I understand he’s vacationing at the beach in Delaware, so probably not. But last week I read a letter to President Biden about his vaccine mandate that he was implementing through an emergency rule with OSHA and the Department of Labor.

I feel many other folks do as well that something of this magnitude impacts so many people, this is not just like saying, hey, your toilet can only use so much water or some of the other kind of ludicrous things that the federal government does.

This is a big deal. And it’s going to impact tens of millions of people. And I believe that it requires literally an act of Congress. It should have been a legislative action instead of the President just signing a decree and making it the law of land. And like many other folks, I have a lot of issues with that.

I also have issues with the President saying this is not about freedom. It’s always about freedom in the United States. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution just like I did that is what the Constitution is therefore really. To protect the Liberty of the American people. And it just really bothers me when politicians forget about that.

Leahy: Yes.  And in your letter, you were direct and you said this. You said finally, as an American, I’m appalled President Biden by your statement, ‘this is not about freedom or personal choice.’ On the contrary, you Glenn Jacobs, Mayor of Knox County write, in America, it is always about freedom. I like that line.

Jacobs: Thank you. But, I mean, it is and that’s what separates us from the rest of the world. We’re a nation founded on the idea that individuals have God-given rights. The government’s job is first and foremost to protect those God-given rights, not to trample all over them.

And we have processes in place that are designed to make that happen. The whole idea is that we give up a little bit of our freedom and our liberty in order for the government to have laws that can make society work in civilization work. That’s government’s primary job.

And that’s certainly the federal government’s primary job. It’s not to micromanage our lives. And President Biden might think it’s a good idea and thinks that everybody should get vaccinated.

And this is not about the vaccine either. I think the vaccine, there’s a lot of benefits to it. I really do. This is about the process. This is about the President of the United States usurping congressional power.

Usurping legislative power. If the President does that, if the executive takes on legislative power, he’s no longer President. He’s a King. And we’re not living in a Republic, we’re living in a Kingdom.

Leahy: Yes. And not a good King. A bad King. You close your letter, Glenn Jacobs, to President Biden. You say the following, ‘In Knox County, we know what we stand for. We stand for freedom.

We stand for the rule of law, we stand for the Constitution. And you, Mr. President, can rest assured that we will stand against your blatant and egregious executive overreach.’ What has the President said in response to that letter?

Jacobs: (Laughs) The President hasn’t said anything. I don’t know if he’ll actually read it. We did send him a hard copy. We also sent it to the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. I’ll share something else with you, Michael.

When President Trump was President, even though the President didn’t speak directly to the counties, there was a lot of communication with the counties. We actually went up to Washington, D.C., and met the folks at the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The day that we were there, the Secretary of Agriculture spoke. This was county executives, staff, and commissioners from three states in the Southeast. And we were all invited to Washington and see kind of how things work up there.

And there were constant updates from the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs specifically to my office. I’ve heard nothing from the Biden administration. I don’t know what other county mayors and county executives are seeing, but President Trump, for all the criticism that he got from a lot of people one of his initiatives was to have communications with the counties, because in the end, the counties and the cities, you know we are the ones on the front lines in many cases.

And President Trump was very good about that. President Biden has done nothing in his administration that I know of up to this point. But he hasn’t said anything. Of course, there’s been a lot of reactions, both positive and negative from other people.

Leahy: Tell me about some of the negative reactions to this letter from other people.

Jacobs: Of course it’s simple partisanship at this point, and that’s the problem overall now, with where this country is going. COVID-19 is a public health crisis, but it’s morphed into a political issue as well. It’s been completely politicized.

And I can literally tell you, based on a comment that someone leaves on social media, I can tell you what their profile is going to look like. I can tell you if they’re Democrats or Republicans. I can tell you if they’re liberal or conservative, and it’s no longer about thinking about ideas.

What’s really scary is no matter where you are in the political spectrum, the idea that the President is just making laws on his own should really bother everyone. I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative.

It doesn’t matter that that’s not how this country works. But it’s all based on partisanship. Joe Biden did this, that’s good. Donald Trump did this, that’s bad. And that’s how people think. And that’s a horrible place for this country to be. But unfortunately, that’s where we’re at.

Leahy: You said something very interesting that the Biden administration is not communicating with your county at all and that the Trump administration was communicating with you frequently.

This is a theme that we’re seeing about the Biden administration. I call it the ‘Biden Bigfooting’ problem. They basically are bigfooting everybody’s counties and state governments that don’t agree with them. Foreign countries like France.

This is very troubling to me and I think this is an indication that the Biden administration doesn’t care and is attempting to exercise absolute power over everyone else. What are your thoughts?

Jacobs: I do not disagree with you. I think for the Biden administration, everything’s political. I think this vaccine mandate was actually designed to get other things off the front page. Look at the debacle in Afghanistan.

We look at the crisis on the border. The FAA just ordered no drone flights over the Southern border in places so that the news can’t get up there and see what’s going on. I absolutely don’t disagree with you at all.

I think that there’s a lot of politics at work, and I think it’s very strong arm, too. I think that it is. And then, of course, we’ve also heard now that it’s becoming harder to get the monoclonal antibody therapy, which I’m not a doctor, but I think that’s a great treatment for COVID-19. And I think that’s something that should be readily available and that’s becoming harder to get.

Leahy: Particularly in red states.

Jacobs: Exactly. It seems to me that there’s a lot of strong-arm politicking going on. If you don’t like what the administration is doing, they shut you down. Of course, we see this on social media as well, not from them, but from the kind of gatekeepers of social media. There’s no free discourse anymore. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they shut you down. But I agree with you on that.

Leahy: You told us you were literally in the car on the way to meet with some elementary school kids to talk about the Constitution?

Jacobs: Yes, sir. Of course last Friday, September 17 is Constitution Day. The constitution and was signed on September 17, 1787. I’m on my way over to talk to some young people about the Constitution.

And I believe that that’s what makes America an exceptional country is the idea that we have a government that’s there to protect our rights as opposed to one that uses us as a resource.

Leahy: Always entertaining, always enlightening. Thanks so much for joining us today. Come back again soon, if you would, please.

Jacobs: Yes, I sure will. Thank you so much.

Listen to the third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Weighs in on COVID Mandates and Power of Local County Health Boards

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Weighs in on COVID Mandates and Power of Local County Health Boards


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmaker line to discuss COVID-19 data, mask mandates, and county health board powers.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, our good friend, the mayor of Knox County, Glenn Jacobs. Good morning, Mayor Jacobs.

Jacobs: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Did you get your wake-up call with your directions from Dr. Anthony Fauci today?

Jacobs: I think a lot of us have gotten a wake-up call from Dr. Fauci recently with directions. Unfortunately, with everything going on with Rand Paul and the debates that he’s had with Dr. Fauci, the wake-up call isn’t great anymore.

Leahy: No, not at all. First, let me just ask the obvious question. Have you seen any definitive studies that show the wearing of these cloth masks have any impact on limiting the spread of COVID-19?

Jacobs: It depends on what study you look at, what result you’ll see, and there are some that point one way. I think the governor of Iowa put it best months ago when she said it really depends on what study you look at.

There are studies and they’re peer-reviewed and incredible that show that the cloth masks don’t do anything. Other people have studies showing that they do. I think when we look at the overall spread of COVID-19 and compare places with strict mask mandates, no mask mandates, those sort of things, it looks like the virus just does what it’s going to do.

Leahy: Regardless.

Jacobs: Regardless of what interventions people do.

Leahy: Yes. That’s my take as well. I’ve seen some of these studies that don’t necessarily watch the science of transmission, but, in fact, do the broader comparison between this area had a mandate and that area didn’t. And the area that had the mandate did better. But it never seems to make sense that it’s necessarily causal to me. That’s sort of my take on it.

Jacobs: And I agree with that. I think it’s important to point out, too, that COVID-19 is real. It’s dangerous, especially for some people. But it’s also become incredibly politicized at this point.

Leahy: You think? (Laughs)

Jacobs: And for me, you know, we’re a country that’s based on individual liberty and the freedom to make choices for ourselves. And we need to keep that. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the President of the United States or an infectious disease expert.

I don’t have a problem with masks and people doing whatever they want to protect themselves. My problem is when the government says you must, you will or else. That becomes very problematic for me.

Leahy: Let’s talk about your role as mayor of Knox County. Pretty big county. The population was 450,000 or so.

Jacobs: We’re probably closing on a 500,000.

Leahy: Growing like crazy, aren’t you?

Jacobs: Yes, we are actually.

Leahy: Now in the state of Tennessee, there are 95 counties. In six of those counties the decision about handling health regulations is in the hands of county officials. And in 89, those decisions still remain in the hands of the governor. Is Knox County one of those six counties where each county can determine rules and regulations?

Jacobs: Yes, we are. We have our own health department. And there were a lot of controversies last year throughout the pandemic. But we have a board of health that was empowered to issue health orders.

The real issue is when you look at state law, we realized that this board of health’s power is literally unlimited. There were no constraints. When you look at the statute, we think, oh, they’re going to do this during the healthcare emergency or public health emergency.

And that wasn’t the case. There was no specified time limit. And there were no restrictions. All it said was they can issue orders to protect public health and safety. So when you think about things that have happened to other places, like banning sugary drinks, saying that guns are a public health crisis, gun violence, they were empowered under state law to issue regulations concerning those things, and regulations that they issued preempted anything coming out of the county commission.

They were the most powerful lawmaking body in Knox County. The commission eventually took that power away from them and made them an advisory board. But we’re still looking at state law and all this has changed.

And it’s rather confusing as to who actually has the authority to issue public health orders in Knox County. And that’s something I think the other counties are struggling with too.

Leahy: Mayor Jacobs, people would think that the mayor of the county is the chief executive officer of that body and basically sets the – administers the law as determined by the county commission and the state law. Is the county public health commission elected or appointed? How do you get on that?

Jacobs: Yes. They’re appointed. They’re recommended by their various trade associations. The Doctors Association and the pharmacists’ people. And then they go to the commission. They are confirmed by the commission.

Leahy: So the commissioner confirms them. How many members are on the county health board in Knox County?

Jacobs: There are nine. And I do sit on the board of health, which is ironic because the board of health is supposed to advise the mayor. So I sit on an advisory board that advises me, which makes very little sense.

Leahy: Interesting. So they’re appointed.

Jacobs: And now let me point out, though, I’m sorry to interrupt. Generally, it’s one of those things they come to County Commission – County Commission has no expertise in this area.

So unless there’s something blatantly wrong or bad or questionable about a candidate, since they’re recommended by their professional association, they are probably going to be confirmed.

Leahy: Well yes. What are the dynamics been with that board of health during this period of time you are elected? When were you elected? 2018?

Jacobs: Yes, sir.

Leahy: So during that period of time, at the beginning of it, the board of health had these unfettered powers, and now those powers have been limited. What have been the dynamics of that board with you?

Jacobs: When they had policy-making powers, there were a lot of eight to one votes – me being the one vote against mandates – we had a mask mandate. I voted against that. Shutting down businesses, learning capacity, restaurants.

A curfew of restaurants. I voted against all those things. The only time I voted with the board of health is if they had something in place and they were replacing it with something less restrictive.

Leahy: Mayor Jacobs, could you stay through the break?

Jacobs: Sure.

Leahy: I want to go into the dynamics of these board meetings that are eight to one with you being the one. That would be interesting.

Listen to the first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.




















Mayor Glenn Jacobs Reflects on Potential Sports Career Before Politics

Mayor Glenn Jacobs Reflects on Potential Sports Career Before Politics


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to reflect upon his shot at a professional sports career before politics.

Leahy: We are joined again on our newsmakers line by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Glenn, we were talking a little bit about your background.

And so you grew up in a small town about 20 minutes from Hannibal, Missouri. You were a sports star. You got a basketball scholarship to Truman State. Was that a D-I or D-II school back then?

Jacobs: It’s a D-II school. It was formerly Northeast Missouri State University.

Leahy: You got a basketball scholarship. How big was your high school, by the way, when you’re playing basketball?

Jacobs: It was a Consolidated County High School. So I think it was about 600 kids. My graduating class was approximately 110 kids.

Truman State, when I went there, had an enrollment of about 75 to 100 students. There were a number of state colleges around Missouri.

Of course, you had Truman State, Central State, our Central Missouri State University, Northwest Southeast, and some others.

And it was part of the Midwestern Athletic Conference, I think, or something like that.

Leahy: So were you a Center or a forward at 6’9?

Jacobs: I was the center.

Leahy: And did you play on the basketball team at all? Or did you just switch immediately to football?

Jacobs: So I was playing basketball. I did not lift weights in high school. If you lifted weights to become muscle-bound and you lose your shooting touch, I was actually discouraged from lifting weights.

When I got to college my college coaches very much encouraged me to lift weights, and I filled out quite a bit. In fact, I went from way about 230 when I graduated high school to about 290.

Leahy: So you were a skinny basketball guy in high school.

Jacobs: I was a skinny basketball guy. Yes. When I put on all that weight, my game changed in basketball, For a time, I was the career leader in field percentage at Truman State. But I think I was also every year the leader in the conference in offensive fouls.

Leahy: (Laughs) Why does that surprise me?

Jacobs: So the football coach comes to me and says, Glenn, what are you doing? You weigh 290 pounds to run up and down a basketball court.

You need to come to play football. My eligibility is up in basketball. But if I switched sports, I had a year left. So that’s what I decided to do is try football and give it a shot. And I was just a good football player because of my size and athletics and playing basketball for all those years.

It looked like I was going to have a shot to play in the NFL. But unfortunately, I heard my knee in practice one day, and that pretty much put an end to that dream.

Leahy: Did you ever get into any games on the football field?

Jacobs: Yes, I played. I actually went to the Bears camp as an undrafted free agent but unfortunately only stayed overnight. And I was sent home because I couldn’t pass physically with my knee.

Yeah, I played. I was never the player that I was after the injury than I was before the injury. I was pretty dominant before the injury happened but after that, I lost all my explosives.

Leahy: Let me say, I’m guessing you were a defensive end.

Jacobs: I was actually an offensive tackle.

Leahy: Oh! Left tackle?

Jacobs: Our offensive was a little different. I played right tackle because most of the plays actually came to the right side, as opposed to protecting the quarterback’s blindside.

Leahy: So you’re running team?

Jacobs: Yes, sir.

Leahy: Interesting. When you had your knee injury, did you realize, uh oh, this is bad?

Jacobs: (Scoffs) Yeah. Every time that I’ve hurt myself pretty seriously in some sort of athletic endeavor, I realized things are bad because my body quit functioning like it’s supposed to, but it never hurts.

When I hurt my knee I actually tore my ACL and some meniscus. It was a pretty serious injury, and it didn’t even hurt. I just fell down and couldn’t get back up.

It hurt the next day. But it didn’t hurt when I did it. I knew something was up because every time I tried to take a step, my knee would buckle and I would just fall down.

Leahy: But it just happened, right? I mean, there wasn’t any, or did you get hit?

Jacobs: Yeah, I could have done it walking down the street. We were actually putting in trick plays at the end of practice, and we were walking through a reverse, and I went to pivot, and my cleat got stuck in a hole and blew my knee out.

Leahy: These things just happen, don’t they, sometimes?

Jacobs: Oh, yeah. And it’s been the same in my wrestling career. When I’ve had a relatively serious injury, like a broken bone or torn ligament it’s always something that I’ve done, like, a thousand times.

It’s never the thing that you think you’d get hurt on. It’s this thing that you’ve done time after time after time that seems to get you. At least it has in my case.

Leahy: So you go to the Bears camp and they send you home because you don’t pass the physical. What were your thoughts that day?

After the injury, you still thought I got a shot to make it in the NFL, but you go up there for the day. Tell me what that experience was like when you went up to the Bears camp.

Jacobs: I was devastated.

Leahy: Set the stage as you are going up.

Jacobs: Before that, I was hoping to get drafted. I wasn’t surprised when I wasn’t but still disappointed. But I worked really hard with rehab.

And just through the summer, after my final year of playing football. You get a call from your agent, and he’s like, hey, the Bears said that they will work with you on the injury. And you go up.

And the first time I’d ever actually got picked up by not really one limousine, but here’s a sedan, a town car. And I’m like man, this is awesome.

I’m going to go try out for the Chicago Bears. And I flew from St. Louis, Chicago, and got picked up Chicago O’Hare to the training facility. Actually, that’s where I signed my contract. But I never got any money, of course.

Leahy: Was Ditka the coach?

Jacobs: No. I forget who the coach was. Actually, this would have been 1991.

Leahy: Post-Ditka. Gotchya.

Jacobs: Yes, it was passed him. But then that first day, it’s all physical, and it’s everything from your vision to your hearing to, of course, the orthopedic physical.

Leahy: Is it outside or inside? What time of year was it?

Jacobs: This would have been springtime right after the draft. Literally, it’s just going in and going from room to room with different doctors looking at you (Leahy chuckles) and different things. And then at the end of the day, you go meet with your position coach, and you are told what’s going to happen the next day.

So I flew up that morning, got in mid-morning, did all the physicals in the afternoon, and then I met with the coach back at the hotel by the evening, and then the next day went over to the training facility. And it was pretty unceremonious.

Leahy: So you go over to the training facility, walk us through exactly who you met with, what they said, and how you felt.

Jacobs: Sure. We’re getting off the bus to go to the field house. And there was someone waiting at the door of the bus and they took me and another player up to the director player personnel office.

And I forget his name. He was very nice and very understanding. But he said that our injuries precluded us from playing for the Bears.

Leahy: Were you both in the same room together?

Jacobs: Yes.

Leahy: So the guy you’ve never met, who also has dreams of playing in the NFL, is sitting next to you, and you’re both receiving this dismal career-ending news together.

Jacobs: Terrible news. (Laughs) Yeah. It was not a great bonding experience let me tell you.

Leahy: I was going to say that. (Laughs) Who was the other guy?

Jacobs: I don’t remember his name. I think he was in North Texas State. But it was. It was extremely unceremonious.

And within an hour, I was back on my way to O’Hare Airport and flying home that afternoon. It was almost surreal actually.

Leahy: So the guy gives you this news and you’re sitting there, what’s going through your mind as you’re hearing this? Are you processing this in real-time?

Jacobs: Yes. (Sighs) As I said, I was devastated because all I ever wanted to do since I was a little kid with play sports, and that’s all I did through school.

That was my life. And I’m literally getting hit with all this stuff and I’m literally thinking, what am I going to do? My life is over. This is all I’ve ever done.

Leahy: Obviously, it was because you did nothing with your life after that Glenn Jacobs. (Laughter)

Jacobs: Here’s the thing and Here’s the life lesson. I will always say that unfortunately, I hurt my knee. That was the best thing that ever happened to me.

At the time it was a tragedy for me because I thought that was literally the end of my life. But it drove me on two different career paths, which ended up being much better than anything I probably would have seen otherwise. So often the worst things that happened to you turn out to be the best thing to do.

Leahy: You know what a great life story that is Glenn Jacobs because I’ve heard that story with other people. Something they think is terrible turns up to be actually the most important life-changing, positive event in their life.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs of Knox County, thanks so much for joining us. I’m going to hold you to your promise. You’re going to be in studio, we are going to have a nice, big chair for you.

Jacobs: Alright. That sounds good. Thanks, Michael.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.