Chattanooga Residents discuss improvements during Citizen Budget Input Session

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – On Monday evening, several people came together at the Kingdom Center for the city of Chattanooga’s first Citizen Budget Input Session.

Citizen’s input from the session will help officials piece together Chattanooga’s 2018 – 2019 operating budget.

Residents gathered in small groups to discuss what needs to be improved in the city by taking a look at Chattanooga’s budgeting priorities.

Those budgeting priorities are identified as safer streets, smarter students, stronger families, growing economy, stronger neighborhoods, and high preforming government.

“I’d like to see safer streets, safer streets I mean lighting.  If the street is supposed to be clean I’d like to have them clean.  I’d like to have recycling and the garbage service in every part of the community,”  Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association President Vannice Hughley said.

Some changes citizens came up with include elementary schools in Alton Park, transforming some one-way streets to two-way streets and a website detailing new jobs in the city.

“A lot of times people have to leave out of their neighborhoods for opportunities in terms of workforce development and what we’ll see is when you create more jobs more business opportunities stronger educational pipelines within that particular the community itself becomes stronger,” Lakweshia Ewing said.

“The people who are here tonight know what the problems are that face our city and it’s not always about ensuring what they know we should do it’s about knowing what the priorities are,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.

This is the first year the city has had public input sessions.

However, Mayor Berke added that for years they’ve garnered public input just in different ways.

“We have citizens from the community be part of the team that decides what goes in the budget and we just wanted to take that to the next level this year,” Mayor Berke said.

There will be two more sessions.

The next one is on Monday at the Hixson Youth and Development Center from 5:00p to 6:30p.

Another will be held on Thursday at the Family Justice Center 5:00p to 6:30p.

Categories: Chattanooga

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