Mayor Tim Kelly on Tuesday appointed Anthony Byrd as City Court Clerk, saying he has decades of experience in a similar role prior to his term on City Council.
Councilman Byrd served for more than 20 years at the Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office, ultimately resigning from his position in 2017 to join the City Council.
During his time as an elected lawmaker, he chaired the City Council’s Public Safety Committee as well as the Economic and Community Development Committee. He has advocated for public safety reform, and helped form the city’s Police Advisory and Review Committee as part of those efforts, it was stated.
“We’re blessed to have someone of Councilman Byrd’s caliber and experience who is willing to serve in this critical role for our community,” said Mayor Kelly. “He brings not only decades of relevant experience to the position, but has also demonstrated that he cares for our residents and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure our residents get excellent service.”
Councilman Byrd has been active in public service for many years, receiving a key to the city at age 13 from then-Chattanooga Mayor Gene Roberts for positive musical contributions to the community as part of the singing group The Happy Clowns. He used music to take a stand against drug addiction and other self-destructive behavior, and he went on to sign a record deal alongside recording artist Usher Raymond to travel the world and continue his mission to encourage positive behaviors.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue this urgent work on behalf of our community,” Councilman Byrd said. “Serving the residents of District 8 has been the honor of my life, and I’m looking forward to the chance to serve all the residents of every district moving forward as the city implements Mayor Kelly’s One Chattanooga strategy.”
He will resign his council seat in order to take on this new assignment for the city, which will become effective once confirmed by City Council.
In order to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, Councilman Byrd will not attend any further City Council meetings as an elected official, and will not take part in any votes.
The remaining members of City Council will determine how to proceed in filling the District 8 seat.
Chairman Chip Henderson said the council will appoint an interim City Council member for District 8. He said in the past the council has specified that the interim agree not to run in the upcoming special election. However, several others, including Isiah Hester, Demetrus Coonrod and Ken Smith, said the interim should have the right to run in the August election.
Those interested in the interim position can file a letter of interest starting Feb. 16. The interim candidates will be interviewed by the City Council on March 8 and will be able to make three-minute presentations at the 6 p.m. meeting. The council will then make an interim selection.
The application for the District 8 election will open Feb. 17 at the election office and go through noon on April 7. The voters will then choose in August at the time an election is already scheduled.