New Chattanooga City Council Waits for Mayor's Reorganization

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 4/23/2013 6:22 pm
Members of the new Chattanooga city council are moving ahead with what may be a new-style of local government.
They began budget hearings this afternoon, and prepared for an evening full of work although they still have questions about Mayor Andy Berke's re-organization of city departments.

One of the most difficult jobs for city council members is coming up with a budget.
It could be even harder for newly elected people who have a lot of homework to do.

LARRY GROHN, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER "We're a group that's still feeling each other out. We're trying to operate..working hand in hand as a team...I think the mayor's transition team..I wouldn't want to be in their place."

Six of the 7 new members of council heard a presentation by United Way this afternoon. Just one of many groups who'll request city funding.
Later, after new administrators are named, city departments will make their pitch.
The new members seem content to wait for the mayor to make all the pieces to fall into place.

CHRIS ANDERSON, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER "Well I think today is step one. First of all, we're going to change the structure to reflect what the new Chattanooga is going to look like. Like consolidating and eliminating some departments, and setting up what the new departments are going to be. Once we do that we'll determine who's going to fill those roles in an open dialogue with the mayor's office."

The council tonight will be asked to approve the mayor's proposals for combining some departments and abolishing others.
Jerry Mitchell was once the city's parks and recreation administrator, but he's looking for new responsibilities.

JERRY MITCHELL, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER "I just tell you, I've got an interest in actually chairing the committee for personnel. Because I think , city wide, across these services, I think we need to do a better job historically of establishing training and things like that."

Committee appointments are still to be made, as the new Chattanooga city leadership feels its way through the first few weeks.

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