published Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Chattanooga officials have questions on Mayor Andy Berke's proposed budget

Chattanooga officials sent Mayor Andy Berke's proposed budget back today with multiple questions about why he doesn't outline how he will track the success or failure of his new public safety and economic programs.

Multiple council members questioned why the $212 million budget didn't clearly outline Berke's key initiatives: safer streets, stronger neighborhoods and growing economy, smarter students and stronger families, and innovative government. Neither does the budget show how the city will track the success of the programs the mayor wants to add, including adding 40 officers on the street and a city-funded federal prosecutor.

"We need a measuring cup, we need to determine what the outcomes are," Councilman Chip Henderson told Berke's staff today.

Part of the city's new budgeting technique led by Berke called Budgeting for Outcomes includes the city providing goals for their new programs that can be measured. This year the city is doing a pilot budget that Berke has said contains these principles.

Chief operating officer Andrew Kean told the council the city is still formatting how to track these programs success.

See tomorrow's Times Free Press for complete details.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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