* Name: David Crockett
* Job: Director of Chattanooga's Office of Sustainability
* Background: Former city councilman, advocate for sustainability and environmentalism
* Pay: $75,000 a year
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield has tapped a former city councilman and longtime crusader for environmentally friendly development to lead the city's new Office of Sustainability.
David Crockett took over the department Friday.
"He's someone who knows Chattanooga and has credentials," Mr. Littlefield said. "Dave will help carry our message. I will use him -- shamelessly."
Mr. Crockett will earn a salary of $75,000 a year. The money comes from a combination of federal grant dollars and city funds, the mayor said.
He takes over a new department charged with promoting green and sustainable practices. He will work with two interns and dozens of volunteers from the Chattanooga Green Committee.
"My first job is to run along with the train," said Mr. Crockett, a descendant of legendary Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett. "They've got a train going."
The Chattanooga Green Committee and its 14-member action committee were formed at the beginning of the year.
His other priorities include working with businesses on whether the steep increase in water quality fees can be alleviated and recruiting environmentally friendly businesses to Chattanooga.
Mr. Crockett represented District 3 on the City Council from 1990 to 2001. He ran for mayor in 2001 and lost to former Mayor Bob Corker. Since then, he has traveled the world talking about sustainability and promoting better practices for dealing with climate change, he said.
He said his passion for sustainability began in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, he led an effort to create environmental jobs within the city and help Chattanooga become a research hub for sustainability.
"We were red hot for a while," Mr. Crockett said, although the effort eventually cooled down.
But now Mr. Littlefield has opened this opportunity, Mr. Crockett said.
Jeff Cannon, executive director of GreenSpaces, said Mr. Crockett is ideal for the job.
"If we had implemented the ideas (Mr. Crockett) had 20 years ago, we would be leading the charge," he said.
Mr. Cannon said the fact that Mr. Crockett is recognized nationally is a plus for the city.
Jim Frierson, a member of the Green Committee, said Mr. Crockett would challenge the mayor and the committee to "think bolder." Chattanooga has caught up to where Mr. Crockett was 10 years ago, he said.
Now the city will need to do more to stay current with the environmental vision Mr. Crockett establishes, Mr. Frierson said.
"This is a game-changer," he said. "It raises the stakes for Chattanooga."