Less than 24 hours after they won election, two of Chattanooga’s new city council members went through a quick orientation Wednesday afternoon.
Along with two others who won their race in March, it means that almost half of city council has now been replaced.
What will that mean for the future?
These nine elected representatives may not always agree on everything as they get down to work on a new budget, and hundreds of community issues, but there was a strong spirit of cooperation evident in these formalities.
Demetrus Coonrod, who defeated Yusuf Hakeem in Tuesday’s runoff ran a low-key campaign. We asked–what was the difference?
DEMETRUS COONROD, DISTRICT 9 “The people saw a candidate that was out in the community meeting people where they are…someone who is truly experienced and understands what they’re going through and that connection.”
Erskine Oglesby was the winner of the district 7 race against incumbent Chris Anderson.
ERSKINE OGLESBY, DISTRICT 7 “The people want the city council to put people first, when making their decisions on how programs and services and growth is done in the city, so its inclusive and everybody can be a part of it.” .
The new council members spoke with us as they continued with formalities, things like finding out where they will sit on the council desk, setting set up in their individual offices, meeting and being congratulated by mayor Andy Berke, as they sat for individual portraits.
Anthony Byrd defeated longtime community leader Moses Freeman in March. He also has hope for positive results on council.
ANTHONY BYRD, DISTRICT 8 “I think we’ve got new ideas, uh, new energy and new drive to just take the city to a whole new level. I think the term, the new Chattanooga, is really what we’re about to see.”
And, Darrin Ledford, who ran unopposed for the seat vacated by Larry Grohn who ran for mayor, has his goals already laid out.
DARRIN LEDFORD, DISTRICT 4 “Its very exciting to see the diversity that this council will bring, going forth for the next 4 years. I’m excited to work with my new colleagues…a lot of different backgrounds, a lot of different experiences and I think collectively we will make very good decisions.”