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Knox County Celebrates National Public Works Week: Planning & Development

As National Public Works Week comes to an end, Knox County wants to conclude with a story on Director of Planning and Development Cindy Pionke and her recent John F. Exnicios Government Employee Outstanding Service Award.

“Cindy is an outstanding employee and deserves this recognition,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.  “Taxpayers should be proud to know that Cindy, and employees like her, work hard to ensure professionalism and efficiency in Knox County government.”

Cindy Pionke has been an employee at Knox County for more than 20 years. She worked for the Metropolitan Planning Commission for six years before transferring to Knox County Engineering & Public Works. In her spare time, Pionke enjoys travelling with her husband Chris, who is also an engineer and Director of the College of Engineering Honors Program at the University of Tennessee.

During her tenure, Pionke has received several awards for her contributions to the transportation engineering profession. The most recent was the John F. Exnicios Government Employee Outstanding Service Award, which she received at the Southern District Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in April.

This award was established in 2006 to recognize outstanding professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to both their community and the public sector transportation engineering profession.  The award was named in honor of John F. Exnicios, the longtime traffic engineer for the City of New Orleans.

Founded in 1930, the Institute of Transportation Engineers is a community of transportation professionals who serve as a gateway to knowledge and advancement through meetings, seminars and publications. The Southern District of the ITE is one of ten regional subdivisions that includes transportation engineering professionals in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Knox County Planning & Development Division encompasses many diverse projects and manages all activities within the County related to new development and construction of subdivisions, homes and businesses.

“Our department has really good people who care and do a good job to meet the needs of Knox County citizens,” said Pionke. “For a small department we get a lot of things done.”

Her department is also responsible for the review of proposed road openings and closings, and handles inspections on roadway and drainage activities for new subdivision and commercial construction.

For all the men and women who work diligently to ensure proper land development, design effective traffic calming tools and all the other countless aspects of public works, Knox County thanks you. 

More information on National Public Works Week can be found at


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Knox County

City County Building
400 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Phone: 865-215-2000

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm