Mayor Andy Berke Notes the 100th Day of His Administration

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 7/24/2013 7:00 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke admits his over-all plan for dealing with the city's problems is still a work in progress.
As his young administration hits the 100-day mark, Berke says he is focused on creating the city's first Open Government Policy.
WDEF News 12's Bill Mitchell sat down with Mayor Berke Wednesday to discuss his first 100 days.

Despite his efforts to reinvent local government from the ground-up, not everything has gone according to plan for Mayor Berke.
But he says all the players are now in position to move the city forward.

Former State Senator Andy Berke won the mayor's office in a landslide last March.
He re-organized city departments and picked a team of mostly-unknown's to run them.
In his revue of his first 100 days, the mayor points to his goals of improving public safety, encouraging youth and family development..community development and starting a so-called "Budget for Outcomes".

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "If you think about it what we want to do is make sure that the tax-payer dollars are used in our community priorities in the most effective way possible...if we know its not working, we can put it in a place where it works better."

Berke says he'll present his budget to city council in the next couple of weeks.
On the revenue side, he says job creation is a priority.
He drew criticism recently for what some saw as taking credit for jobs already on the board.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE "What I said was 917 jobs have been created in this city since April 15th, nobody has argued with that. Sometimes what we do is we push the ball across the finish line by helping somebody get their business open."

Despite talk of getting youth violence under control, the number of shootings and deaths is actually higher this year over last.
Berke wants to use the High Point plan, developed by a north carolina police department.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE "The High Point initiative is all about identifying those who are doing the most harm to our city, and targeting only them. So the first thing you do is take a gang and make an example of them. And punishing them in federal court where they have the most severe punishment."

Berke believes his anti-gang partnership with law enforcement, prosecutors, Hamilton county, and community leaders will soon bear fruit.
Also on his list of things to do---getting rid of the unsightly barge across from Ross's landing.


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