published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Andy Berke names transition team (with video)

by Cliff Hightower
Mayor-elect Andy Berke announces transition team
Chattanooga mayor-elect Andy Berke announced the transition team that will help him change over to his new position when he takes office April 15. The team will be led by Wade Hinton and Travis McDonough.
  • photo
    Mayor-elect Andy Berke, left, listens during a Thursday news conference at UTC after announcing that Wade Hinton, center, and Travis McDonough, right, will head his transition team.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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* Al Chapman, president of Front Porch Alliance

* Stefanie Crowe, Kimberly Gavin, executive vice president at CapitalMark Bank & Trust

* Stephen Culp, founder of Smart Furniture, Delegator, Causeway and founding partner of Chattanooga Renaissance Fund

* Kimberly Gavin, owner of Thrive Studio and secretary of the board of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

* Wade Hinton, deputy general counsel for Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations

* Ternae Jordan, pastor of Mount Canaan Baptist Church

* Alison Lebovitz, author, television host, nonprofit executive

* Bill McDonald, former Chattanooga public works director

* Travis McDonough, chairman of litigation department at Miller Martin law firm

* Bart Quinn, attorney at Chambliss, Bahner, & Stophel

* Chantelle Roberson, attorney at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

* Donna Roddy, on site healthy educator at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

* Donna Williams, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area

Mayor-elect Andy Berke announced his transition team Thursday morning.

He just didn't know how many people were on it.

"I wasn't expecting a math question," he joked with a group of reporters.

Neither was his team. A news release stated there would be 12 people but listed only 11 names. A campaign spokeswoman said in an email later that it was actually a 13-person team with two team leaders.

The team leaders are local attorneys Wade Hinton and Travis McDonough. Hinton works as an attorney for Volkswagen, while McDonough is an attorney for Miller and Martin.

Berke said the 13-person team is diverse and a sign of what's to come.

"That's what our administration is going to look like," he said.

The team is tasked with coming up with administrators and staff for Berke's pending administration, which begins April 15.

McDonough said the team immediately will dive into other chores, as well, such as gathering input from the public on the biggest issues.

"We're working as we speak," he said.

McDonough said public meetings will be held across the city so people can tell the new administration what they want.

The City Charter states that the mayor must fill six positions: police and fire chiefs, treasurer, finance officer, court clerk and city attorney.

Other department positions not mandated by the charter include administrators for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Neighborhood Services, Education, Arts & Culture, Multicultural Affairs, General Services, Human Services and Personnel. As mayor, Berke will have the latitude to organize departments as he wants.

Berke has 60 days to name his administrators, and the City Council then will have 30 days to confirm his nominations.

Hinton said the transition team would not get into whether certain jobs or departments would be reduced or grow.

"It's to early in the process to make comments or hypotheticals of what could happen," Hinton said.

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