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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Chattanooga mayor Tim Kelly speaks during the reopening of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga on Friday, June 25, 2021.

At least 17 appointed employees of the city of Chattanooga have left or will leave their roles as Mayor Tim Kelly creates a new team of administrators, department heads and other high-ranking employees.

"We're really in the practical transition now, as I've said before, where it's time to start realizing some of these changes," Director of Special Projects Ellis Smith said Friday. "We went through our presentation to council as far as what the mayor's new administration will look [like], and that's been very well received, and now we're putting people who have good experience in these roles to hold down the fort while we make that happen."

The interim appointments, which will be effective in July, include people with experience in the respective departments who will oversee their area until the new administration has time to conduct searches for the right candidates.

"Mayor Kelly during the campaign and in office repeatedly emphasized that it is his top priority to find the right people, and some of these national searches may take a while and some are niche positions," Smith said, noting that most roles will require "casting a wide net," and may take a while to make a new hire.

Some of those in appointed roles not being reappointed by Kelly will have the choice to continue to work for the city in another capacity, while others are either retiring or taking jobs elsewhere.

"We asked all existing administrators to stay in place until June 30, and for the vast majority of them we've been talking about this and planning what's next," he said of those not being reappointed. "In the cases where they have civil service, we have been talking to them about whether that's something they want to do while others have decided to take this change of watch as an opportunity to retire or go elsewhere."

Those in positions not being reappointed are:

> Richel Albright, director of communications under Berke — resigned before the transition began.

> Charita Allen, deputy administrator of economic and community development — retired before the transition.

> John Bridger, director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Authority — retiring this summer.

> Vickie Haley, director of purchasing — retiring June 30.

> Angela Hayes, deputy administrator of youth and family development — retired.

> Kerry Hayes, chief of staff for Berke — resigned before the transition began.

> Coach Lerone Jennings, director of youth and family development — retired.

> Brittany Johnson, city treasurer — retired before the transition.

> Travis Kazmierzak, director of open spaces — not being reappointed but has civil service protection and may continue to work for the city.

> Karen McReynolds, director of multicultural affairs — not being reappointed but has civil service protection and may continue to work for the city.

> Beverly Multree, director of human resources — not being reappointed by Kelly and does not have civil service protection.

> Pam Roberts, administrative specialist in the mayor's office — not being reappointed, but has civil service protection and may continue to work for the city.

> Ronald Swafford, City Court clerk — retiring.

> Katherine Wells, senior policy analyst under Berke — resigned before the transition.

> Donna Williams, director of economic and community development — retired in May.

> Tyler Yount, director of special projects — resigned.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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