Chattanooga City Hall. File photo by Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
"When I ran for office, I vowed to transform city government into a place that is relentlessly focused on providing measurable results for Chattanooga," said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
Mayor Berke presented his budget proposal to city council Wednesday, saying he is increasing funding for key priorities, all without an increase in taxes.
"I don't think you've ever seen a budget focused on public safety the way this one is," said Berke.
A major standout in his proposal is a 1.5 percent pay raise for all city employees. which includes police and fire personnel.
"We've included the first pay raise for all sworn personnel since 2008," said Berke.
More officers will also be hitting the streets. Forty new officers will be joining the force, bringing it to an all time high staffing level of 486 sworn personnel.
"A couple of things that really stood out was the additional officers that we're going to have coming on board and there's going to be a suppression unit within those officers," said City Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem.
Hakeem says overall he is excited for the proposal, which also includes no raise on the property tax.
"As we get into the details, we're going to see that it's more people oriented that maybe it has been in recent years," said Hakeem.
"Overall, I expect the council to be supportive of the budget," said Berke.