City Council Members Felt That Public Input Findings Were Skewed and Not Representative Of Their Individual Districts.
Published January 28, 2021
Chattanooga, TN – In November 2020, the City of Chattanooga asked for the community’s input on the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
Beginning on November 9th, the City hosted three virtual public meetings get feedback and ideas on how to improve results in the Mayor’s priority areas – Safer Streets, Growing Economy, Stronger Neighborhoods, and Smarter Students & Stronger Families.
The City also collected input through an online survey and a paper survey that could be accessed curbside at any public library branch.
Several weeks ago, the City gave a report on the results of the Public Budget Input meetings.
On Tuesday, January 26th, District 6 Chattanooga City Council Member Carol Berz stated that two things happened as a result of that.
“A number of you (City Council Members) felt that the public input findings were skewed and not representative of your respective districts,” Berz said, “and rather than have individual meetings with administration, you asked for a meeting of the whole.”
Carol Berz stated that her intention is for the Committee meeting on Tuesday the 26th to be the last one relative to this stage of Budget input.
Berz, speaking to the public, said “From here on out, feel free, obviously, to talk individually with administration.”
District 2 Council Member Jerry Mitchell stated that he sees this is as potentially the beginning of some form of good process in the future.
“It would be my suggestion, actually I’m going to make it in the form of a motion, to turn our work over to the current administration but also make this work available and turn it over to the incoming Council and new Mayor,” Mitchell said.
District 4 Council Member Darrin Ledford seconded the motion, votes were taken and the motion passed 9-0.
It is unknown whether there will be more Public Input Sessions for the Chattanooga City Budget in the future.
Most likely, this will be a decision left for the incoming Council Members later on this year.