Chattanooga: Mayor Andy Berke needs more time for city budget

Chattanooga: Mayor Andy Berke needs more time for city budget

May 14th, 2013 by Louie Brogdon in Local - Breaking News

Mayor Andy Berke

Mayor Andy Berke needs a little more time building Chattanooga's 2014 budget to adjust for massive changes to the city's organizational structure.

Andrew Kean, Berke's chief operating officer, asked the City Council for a 90-day grace period for the budgetmaking process Tuesday. Kean said given sweeping changes Berke made when he took office, the administration needs more time to build a budget from the ground up.

"It's a chance for us to develop a budget that's based on priorities, not tradition," Kean told council members.

Councilwoman Carol Berz, chairwoman of the council's budget and finance committee, laid out a timeline for an interim budget, on which the city could operate until a 2014 budget could be created and approved by the council.

Kean said the interim budget would be based on calculating 1/12 of the total 2013 budget each month for the three months under the interim period.

Other mayors also have requested approval of interim budgets, especially in years when the state budget is not set in a timely fashion.

While all councilmembers agreed to consider an interim budget, Councilman Jerry Mitchell told Kean precedent set in the past is not OK for the future.

"It's no excuse," Mitchell said.

He asked that Berke make sure his future budgets are made on time.