published Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Chattanooga City Council wants more info about transportation plans


by Cliff Hightower
James McKissic, second from right, newly named director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, speaks Friday, April 26, at the Bethlehem Center. Mayor Andy Berke, left, announced new City Hall roles, also including  Lurone Jennings, second from left, who will be the administrator of the Department of Youth and Family Development, and Blythe Bailey, right, who will be the administrator of the Department of Transportation.
James McKissic, second from right, newly named director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, speaks Friday, April 26, at the Bethlehem Center. Mayor Andy Berke, left, announced new City Hall roles, also including Lurone Jennings, second from left, who will be the administrator of the Department of Youth and Family Development, and Blythe Bailey, right, who will be the administrator of the Department of Transportation.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Chattanooga City Council members approved the appointment of three new city administrators Tuesday night, but signaled their interest in the transportation department headed by Blythe Bailey.

"I think you can see there's a great deal of interest with you being successful," said Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem, after a 10-minute question-and-answer period with Bailey.

The council voted 9-0 to appoint Bailey as transportation administrator, Lurone Jennings as youth and family development administrator and James McKissic as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The council spent a few minutes talking to each of the administrators during the council's agenda session, but questioned Bailey the most.

Councilman Jerry Mitchell said he is confident that Bailey would lead the department effectively, but he wanted to know details.

"What will you want to do in the first 90 days?" Mitchell asked.

Bailey said he wants to meet with employees first.

"We've got to understand who these people are and what their skill sets are," he said.

Councilman Larry Grohn wanted to know what is the vision for the transportation department.

Blythe said his vision would be determined over time. "The team needs to be in place," he said.

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