Chattanooga City Council welcomes seven new faces - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga City Council welcomes seven new faces

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga's new city council went to work Tuesday, holding the first meeting since the election.

"It's a new beginning and we are all in this together," says Councilman Yusuf Hakeem.

A new beginning with seven new faces.

"You begin to feel the responsibility when you sit in that chair," says Councilman Chip Henderson.

The first order of business: electing a chairman.

The council voted unanimously in favor of Yusuf Hakeem, who served on the council previously.

"It kind of made sense when Yusuf got the nomination," Councilman Chris Anderson says. "Of course, everyone is going to say that makes sense. He's got the experience on the council."

Chip Henderson was named vice chairman.

With elections out of the way, it's on to the city's business.

The new members say they look forward to working with Chattanooga's new administration.

"I think there is a pretty big consent among the council members and the mayor about what they would like to see moving forward in the city of Chattanooga," says Henderson.

But, they say they won't be a rubber stamp.

"The mayor wants us to be a partner with him, he's said so in public," Anderson says. "I think a lot of times we will agree with the mayor's initiatives, sometimes we'll change them or oppose them, based on whatever is best for our districts."

"We will be asking questions," Hakeem says. "We're not going to just automatically take a project on."

With the budget looming and next week's agenda already forming, they say their ready to get to work.

"I think you're going to see a council that is closer to the people and more in tune with what the districts need," says Anderson.

"Just stay tuned for exciting things to happen," says Henderson.

Committee chair appointments were also set.

The council is looking into having committee and full meetings streamed online to encourage citizen participation and transparency.

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