The mayor is the chief executive who runs Chattanooga city government.
He oversees a large administration that provides government services. The structure of this government is mostly determined by the mayor himself. However, he is required by the City Charter to appoint some administrators, including a police chief, fire chief, finance officer and treasurer.
The mayor is popularly elected in a citywide election every four years. The current mayor, Andy Berke, was first elected in March 2013. Chattanooga’s mayor is limited to serving two consecutive terms in office.
The mayor is required to submit an annual budget to the City Council each year. The budget determines which operations and infrastructure projects will be funded in the coming year.
Though he does not sit on the council, or vote on legislation, the mayor’s office and administration propose most of the ordinances and resolutions that go before council members.
Chattanooga’s mayor also makes appointments to regulatory boards and commissions. He, along with the mayor of Hamilton County, has an automatic seat on the boards of many local and regional organizations.
He often weighs in on decisions that affect the area, such as the recruitment of new industries, long-term planning and regional growth.
He is also the city’s spokesman to business leaders and state and federal officials.
At the beginning of a term, the mayor determines what the overall structure of city government will be. He creates departments, names administrators to head them, and determines what services they will provide. Four departments are required by the city’s charter—police, fire, public works and finance. The remaining departments are up to the mayor to decide.
The mayor’s administration has a long list of roles and responsibilities that range from public safety to economic development. The current administration consists of seven departments. Each department is divided into other offices and agencies.
The Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) is the city’s law enforcement agency.
The department enforces laws, preserves the peace, maintains order, combats crime and works to make Chattanooga safe.
The department is divided into three commands: uniform services, investigative services, and administration and support services.
More than 400 sworn officers, as well as civilian staff, work for the CPD.
The Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD) responds to many emergency situations in the city limits.
The department consists of six divisions: fire suppression and emergency operations, tactical services, fire prevention bureau, logistics, training and administration.
About 400 professional firefighters in the suppression and emergency operations division work from one of 19 fire stations.
The Department of Public Works oversees many of Chattanooga’s sanitation and infrastructure systems.
It consists of four main divisions: parks, garbage and recycling, city engineering and water quality, and waste resources.
Finance and Administration
The Department of Finance and Administration manages city government’s expenditures and revenue.
The department consists of three divisions: finance, treasury and city court clerk.
Economic and Community Development
The Department of Economic and Community Development oversees federal programs, code enforcement and regional planning.
It is divided into six divisions: comunity developement, land development, neighborhood services, Outdoor Chattanooga, public art and the Regional Planning Agency.
Youth and Family Development
The Department of Youth and Family Development manages the staff and programming at community centers.
The department has five focus areas: education, leadership, career development, recreation and social services.
The Transportation Department manages the city’s transportation network and works with other transportation agencies.
It consists of two divisions: traffic engineering and traffic operations.