Mayor Candidate Berke Says He Will Work On City's Crime Problem; Says No Bus Service To VW Plant "Doesn't Make Sense"

Monday, November 12, 2012
Andy Berke at the JFK Club
Andy Berke at the JFK Club

Chattanooga mayor candidate Andy Berke told members of the JFK Club on Monday that he will work to make the city safer.

"We can't stop all crime, but we've got to do something about it and we will," he said.

Senator Berke, who has been the District 10 state senator for the past five years, said everywhere he campaigns - in all sorts of neighborhoods - he hears concerns about crime.

He said, "No matter where you go, people are concerned about that topic."

The candidate said, "Our police officers are doing a great job and we've got to have a mayor who supports them."

Asked about mass transit and the Volkswagen plant, he said it "doesn't make sense on many levels" that CARTA does not serve the Enterprise South Industrial Park. CARTA officials have said VW leaders have expressed no interest in bus service.

Senator Berke said no bus service to the plant "doesn't make sense" for the 2,000-plus workers, for air quality, for motorists dealing with congestion "and for Volkswagen who wants to have a diverse work force."

On another issue, he said sustainability "will certainly be a priority."

Concerning the city moving forward on a number of areas in concert with the county, he said, "For too long, pettiness and bickering have divided us."

He said the campaign grand opening will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Bessie Smith Hall, though he acknowledged that "I've been campaigning for six months."

He said Elizabeth Crews has joined the campaign team and will work with Jermaine Freeman on a "block by block, precinct by precinct" approach. He also thanked Molly Cooper and Stacy Richardson for their help.

There's "113 days left" until the election, he said. 



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