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."

 


Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen To Speak On U.S. Healthcare Policy

Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and David Merritt, managing director for Luntz Global Partners, will discuss “Healthcare Policy in the US: Where We are Going in the Next Decade,” as the featured speakers at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga’s Internal Medicine Update. Gov. Bredesen and Mr. Merritt will also take part in a panel discussion with: ... (click for more)

Christmas Nights Of Lights Comes To Camp Jordan

The East Ridge Parks and Recreation Department announced Camp Jordan Park will present the Christmas Nights of Lights. This drive-thru Christmas light show will open on Nov. 15 and run through Jan. 3. The show will begin nightly at dusk and run through 10 p.m. with extended hours on the weekends.  Parks and Recreation Director Stump Martin said this is something the entire ... (click for more)

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)