Mayors, Former Mayors Say Best Is Yet To Come For Chattanooga

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
Moderator Rob Bradham of the Chamber of Commerce, Claude Ramsey, Jon Kinsey, Jim Coppinger and Andy Berke
Moderator Rob Bradham of the Chamber of Commerce, Claude Ramsey, Jon Kinsey, Jim Coppinger and Andy Berke
- photo by Hollie Webb

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said to the Rotary Club Thursday afternoon, "All of our success for the most part has come as a result of public and private partnerships that we have in this community."

He spoke as part of a panel along with current Mayor Andy Berke as well as their predecessors, Claude Ramsey and Jon Kinsey.

All were asked to describe their successes while in office, as well as their biggest challenges.

 Mayor Berke said one of the most difficult things he has faced has been dealing with violence.

 He said, "When I first started, I asked the police chief to contact me every time a shot was fired in the city. I felt personally responsible."

 He continued, "This year, our shootings are down 15 percent what they were last year. Obviously, that's still not enough but we're making progress."

 County Mayor Coppinger said during his time in office, the size of the government has been reduced without a tax increase. However, he said during this reduction, 59 positions were cut and 36 people lost their jobs.

 He said nothing was more difficult than giving this news to "a room of 36 people that did absolutely nothing wrong."

 Former County Mayor Claude Ramsey also said that dealing with crime was challenging. He said, "Everybody wants everybody locked up who commits a crime but nobody wants to pay for it."

 He said most people do not understand the costs of the judicial system. He said, "The result of dealing with that crime is a huge, huge number."

 The panel was also asked about how they start and end each day.

 Mayor Berke said, "We talk about what the challenges were yesterday and what we have the opportunity to do today." Mayor Coppinger said he prayed every night to have peace about the decisions he makes every day.

 As for the future of Chattanooga, former Mayor Kinsey said, "I think we really are about to take off again...I really think the stage is set again to see great progress. I think the future has never been brighter for Chattanooga."

Former County Mayor Ramsey said, "I agree, I think the best is yet to come...That's the way we've had success here, the private sector has led and the government has helped."

 Mayor Berke said, "There's so much energy around here...I really believe we live in the best mid-sized city in the country."

 


Baggett Road In Catoosa County To Be Closed For 1 Week

The Catoosa County Public Works Department has scheduled road repair and storm drain replacement work on Baggett Road between Atcheson Court and Rainwater Drive. Baggett Road will be closed to thru traffic beginning Monday through Monday, July 3, weather permitting. The detour route will be marked. Catoosa County appreciates the patience and cooperation of ... (click for more)

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: U.S. 27 (I-124) widening from I-24/U.S. 27 interchange to north of the Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River, including widening the Olgiati Bridge:  Work on this project continues.  The speed limit on U.S. 27 in the construction zone is 45 MPH.  The contractor may have temporary lane or shoulder ... (click for more)

Public Markets To Manage And Operate Finley Stadium

The Stadium Corporation board of directors, at a special board meeting Thursday, gave approval for Public Markets, Inc., (PMI) the entity that oversees the Chattanooga Market, the River Market, the Collegedale Market and Cambridge Square Market, to handle the management, operations and administration of the stadium. Executive Director of PMI Chris Thomas and his staff stepped ... (click for more)

Man Charged In North Chattanooga Murder Says "Wrong Number" Led To Drug Deal That Went Bad

A man charged in a North Chattanooga murder said a "wrong number" led to his chance meeting with victim Charles "Chas" Holsey and a drug deal that led to the March 2, 2015, slaying. Briston "B.J." Smith Jr. told investigators he thought he was dialing a friend named "Clack" who he said sells marijuana. By getting one digit wrong, he wound up texting with Holsey, who by chance ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Luther’s B-17 Showed Up

I am a huge sap for our veterans and just the other days a reader shared the ultimate story about a guy who returned to his sweetheart at the end of World War II. The little town of Miller. Missouri, is located in the southwest corner of the state and the biggest thing to ever happen in Lawrence County is when a native son, James Lawrence, hollered “Don’t Give Up The Ship” in the ... (click for more)