Proud, Hopeful, Bright, Best – The State of Chattanooga, says Mayor Tim Kelly


“I want you to be proud to be Chattanoogans…and be hopeful because the future is very, very bright…we will build the very best city in America.”

The closing remarks of Chattanooga’s sixty-sixth mayor, Tim Kelly issued this excerpted declaration and a challenge to those in attendance at the Walker Theatre upstairs in the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium last week.

 Following almost an hour of a fireside chat format of Q&A with Local3 News’ Greg Glover serving as host and interviewer, Mayor Kelly used the extremely well-done video production which opened the evening as a launching pad to provide updates on his campaign promises from 2021 and the One Chattanooga Plan. The video featured key figures within the Kelly Administration ranging from the City’s Chief Operating Officer Ryan Ewalt speaking about critical infrastructure progress to Jermaine Evans, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, addressing workforce development priorities to Nicole Heyman, Chief Housing Officer, whose task is to work to oversee affordable housing access and availability in the City. These, and many others, provided specific updates proving the One Chattanooga Plan is more than a shelved document. It’s a blueprint.

Featured in Mayor Tim Kelly’s remarks and video cutaway of Ewalt, the tripled infrastructure budget, from $2.5 million in 2010 to $10 million, has filled 40,000 potholes, 63 lane miles paved, and will fund, along with a $25 million grant, the construction and replacement of the Wilcox Bridge used by thousands to reach the Glenwood and Orchard Knob areas from Amnicola Highway.

Workforce development was identified as a critical part of bridging the gaps between races and demographic groups in Chattanooga. Both Jermaine Evans and Quentin Lawrence, Director of Workforce Development Strategy, emphasized the projected $500 million in new investment coming to the South Broad Street area, which will include a new stadium, as well as The Bend that will develop an entire new sector of mixed-use properties of business, retail, housing, and recreation.

Adjacent to The Bend property, formerly the Alstom parcel featuring the big blue building, is the important project to renovate and expand the current housing of the College Hill Courts. Mayor Kelly stressed that since its founding in the 1940s, very little investment has been made in this property that is seen immediately from TN Highway 27 and is a key parcel in the downtown area.

The $50 million in Choice Neighborhood grants along with the $90 million in tax credits to incentivize investment in the area which houses many in the minority community, will increase the quality and the number of units available, while “no residents are displaced.”

Acknowledging the priority of public safety and complimenting Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy along with the entire CPD, property crimes were down by 30% while homicides increased. The commitment of disincentivizing crime through both punishment of criminals, as well as prioritizing education, skills training, and mentorship was unquestionably communicated by Mayor Kelly and his Administration.

The archive of the entire evening is available online via the City’s YouTube channel.