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."

 


TDOT Says Road Construction Will Not Delay Memorial Day Travelers

Motorists won’t be slowed down by road construction as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend.  The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at  12:00 noon  on  Friday,  through  6 a.m.  on  Tuesday, May 30 .  This will ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Public Library Kicks Off Citywide Summer Learning On June 3

The Chattanooga Public Library will kick off Make Play Read Learn 2017 all across the city next week. Registration begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 inside all of the library branches at the kick off parties , or at any of the participating registration partners listed below. After families get their kids registered on June 3rd , they will be given a Make ... (click for more)

Man Found With Home-Made Explosive Device Near Businesses In Hixson

A man was found with a home-made explosive device outside businesses in Hixson late Tuesay night.   A business was evacuated and portions of Highway 153 and Hamill Road were cordoned off while the device was taken away.   Joshua Redden, 34, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession ... (click for more)

Weather Service Warns Of Possibility Of Isolated Tornadoes For Chattanooga Area

The National Weather Service warned of the possibility of isolated tornadoes for the Chattanooga area on Wednesday. Strong thunderstorms are also possible. The warning is through 4 p.m. Here is the advisory: SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT UNTIL  4PM EDT  WED ...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE TODAY, ESPECIALLY AREAS EAST OF INTERSTATE 75... A STRONG UPPER ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Life With 007

I was 13 when the first of 24 James Bond movies came out and, at a time when my sap was just beginning to rise, I will never forget Ursula Andress stepping out of the sea wearing that white bikini. Our hero walks over to the dripping Honey Ryder – that was her name in “Dr. No” – and she says in the Swiss accent, “Are you looking for shells too?” And the first classic reply of thousands ... (click for more)