Mayor-elect Andy Berke cleans house at Chattanooga's City Hall

Mayor-elect Andy Berke cleans house at Chattanooga's City Hall

April 11th, 2013 by Cliff Hightower in Local Regional News

Chattanooga City Hall

Photo by Meghan Brown


The following department administrators and staff will leave when Mayor-elect Andy Berke takes office Monday:


Dan Johnson, chief of staff

Susan Dubose, personnel director

Steve Leach, public works administrator

Mark Keil, Information Services director

Marie Chinery, deputy to the chief of staff

Randy Parker, fire chief

Beverly Johnson, neighborhood services administrator


Missy Crutchfield, Eeducation, Arts & Culture administrator

Mike McMahan, city attorney

Dan Thornton, General Services director

Beverly Cosley, Office of Multicultural Affairs director

Larry Zehnder, Parks and Recreation director

Boyd Patterson, gang task force director

Fred Houser, gang task force coordinator

Matt Lea, special assistant to the mayor

Kathie Fulgham, special assistant to the mayor

Ron Swafford, director of human services

Anita Ebersole, deputy to the mayor

Source: Mayor-elect Andy Berke

Mayor-elect Andy Berke swept out City Hall on Wednesday, letting go 18 of 21 people who served under Mayor Ron Littlefield.

At a three-minute news conference, Berke said he soon will announce appointments to fill key administrative and staff positions.

"Today is about respect for the employees," he said. "These people have done a lot for the city."

He said each administrator or staff member had been assigned departure days based upon their needs.

Two administrators contacted Wednesday said they had been told to be out of their offices by the end of the day Friday.

Parks and Recreation Director Larry Zehnder said he was frustrated at not being given a chance to stay on as director after 40 years of work in the parks and recreation field and 12 years serving the city.

"The reward I get is to be out of here by Friday," he said.

Public Works Administrator Steve Leach also said he had been told to be gone by Friday afternoon.

He said he knew what the outcome could be when he took the job.

"I signed on eight years ago, and I knew the possibilities," he said.

Both department heads said they had made no decision on future plans.

City Attorney Mike McMahan made a brief statement.

"It's been an honor and a pleasure to service the city for 39 years, and I wish everyone the best," he said.

Other administrators, such as Department of Education, Arts & Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield, Neighborhood Services Administrator Beverly Johnson and Fire Chief Randy Parker, could not be reached for comment.

A news release sent out by Berke's campaign said three employees -- Finance Director Daisy Madison, City Treasurer Gayle Keown and Deputy Personnel Administrator Richard Beeland, the former spokesman for the mayor -- would stay on.

One person's future is still up in the air. Former Deputy to the Mayor Anita Ebersole on Wednesday was named the new 311 director at a salary of $98,538 annually.

But it's unclear whether she will stay in that position. Berke said Wednesday he's still evaluating the position of 311 director.

"I don't know the contours of that position," he said.

Berke said the transition team he appointed still is looking at the city's organizational structure.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at or 423-757-6480. Follow him at or