Mayor Tim Kelly on Wednesday marked the completion of his first 100 days as mayor, publishing a live tracker for the public to measure his administration’s progress through the end of 100 days and beyond.
Using the real-time tracker, which lives on ChattaData.org, residents can monitor changes to individual action items and browse actions taken toward each goal, in much the same way that the mayor himself has followed progress on these key administration priorities.
But while the city has so far completed more than 80 percent of the plan’s action items, many of those tasks - whether completed or in progress - are merely first steps toward solving some of Chattanooga’s broader structural issues.
“The work doesn’t end just because we checked some boxes on a spreadsheet,” Mayor Kelly said.
“I’m proud of the considerable headway we’ve made, but we still have some substantial goals to hit in several key areas, and I can assure you that we’ll be continuing to work hard on every single one of these priorities.”
The 100-day tracker was constructed in the early days of the Kelly Administration as an internal tool to measure progress and drive accountability within city government. As work continued mid-Wednesday, the tracker inched upward past 80 percent, and the administration expects that it will continue to climb in coming days and weeks.
Not all action items are equal, and while some were completed fairly early and easily in the first 100-days, others will take additional months or years to complete, he said.
As an example, within weeks of taking office, staff quickly conducted a survey of city-owned properties that can be converted to affordable housing, completing that action item, it was stated. However, the action item of revitalizing the Land Bank Authority will require renewing the entity’s tax status and charter, which is more complex and will not be completed by the end of Mayor Kelly’s 100th day.
But those two items are just the initial steps toward Mayor Kelly’s broader goal, which is to begin to put these properties back into circulation for the public’s benefit, whether for affordable housing or to help jumpstart local job creation.
In another example, the city was able to build a number of task forces to simplify city codes, completing that action item. But now the tough work begins of going through city ordinances and codes line by line, evaluating changes and then going through the process of getting the rules changed, which will take more than a year.
Mayor Kelly said on Wednesday that he was particularly proud of establishing a new city Department of Community Health, led by Dr. Mary Lambert, and of establishing the new Community Forward initiative, a partnership with Hamilton County Schools that will support both students and families in seven schools located within the city.
“In many ways, Washington could learn a lesson or two from Chattanooga as a model of what’s possible when we can put politics aside and focus on people and results,” Kelly said.
Several items are functionally complete, but because they are tied to the budget, additional details will be revealed as part of the city’s budget presentation in August, added Chief of Staff Brent Goldberg.
“As we continue to build tools and add checks and balances to hold ourselves accountable, we’re excited to be able to make this tracker available to the public to offer another layer of transparency to our residents,” Goldberg said. “The end of the first 100 days is a great jumping-off point to begin talking about the long-term implementation of the Kelly Administration’s priorities through our budget process, which the mayor is looking forward to sharing in coming weeks.”