Chattanooga City Council passes budget amendment

Additional funding being directed toward public safety, department raises

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Chattanooga’s City Council gathered earlier tonight, holding a second reading and vote on an amendment to the city’s budget.

The amendment was passed, adding more than $900,000 to the budget, which was passed in June.

Chattanooga Chief of Staff Joda Thongnopnua says the amendment addresses public safety, providing CPD with more intelligence analysts.

Mayor Tim Kelly says this amendment allows the city to advance the safety of its residents, all without raising taxes.

Chattanoogans have seen a slew of violent incidents in 2022 — some receiving unwanted national attention.

With the passing of today’s budget amendment, Thongnopnua says the Chattanooga Police Department can now hire more intelligence analysts to further project those they serve.

“Public safety is about making sure that people feel safe and secure in their own neighborhoods,” Thongnopnua said. “By making sure the police department has the tools to do their job properly, we’re taking additional steps to make sure our community’s youth and neighbors are safe.”

City Senior Advisor Kirsten Yates says the amendment also allows some city employees, such as those in the Office of Family Empowerment, to receive a much-earned raise.

$200,000 is now headed to the grant-funded department.

“Partially, the funds have come out of the city’s contingency fund,” Yates said. “Also, we were able to move around positions within departments to make sure that we had sufficient funds to cover all those additions.”

Thongnopnua also says that the budget amendment’s addition further serves Mayor Tim Kelly’s One Chattanooga Plan.

He says making sure those serving the most vulnerable are paid fairly is “very much in line” with the city’s values.

“The One Chattanooga Plan is really about closing gaps and making sure that every single person in Chattanooga has [an] opportunity to live a thriving life and that that opportunity from our community’s growth is shared in every single neighborhood,” Thongnopnua said.

Police Chief Celeste Murphy says thanks to the passed amendment, the department will now be able to “fill critical staff roles and better structure our work to both prevent and respond to violent crime.”

She says that’s vital in CPD’s mission of “keeping the public safe.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News