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2001-2005 Bob Corker


 

Bob Corker 2001Mayor Bob Corker was elected in March of 2001 with 54% of the vote. He came to office with a strong focus on economic development, education and revitalizing the city.

In the past three years Mayor Corker has put in place crucial economic development tools to jump start our economy and attract jobs and business to our community. He worked tirelessly with the Chamber to establish a recruitment program, he worked with the county and state to develop a 1,200 acre industrial site, now home to Enterprise South--one of the Southeast’s most promising industrial parks. He worked with leaders in our community to improve and increase air service and he’s established partnerships to take advantage of Chattanooga’s location in the Technology Corridor and help shape a new economy for our citizens.

Perhaps the most visible accomplishments of his administration have been his transformative work on the waterfront and in education.

Early on, Mayor Corker responded to the notice that nine of our urban elementary schools were in trouble and marked by the State as problem facilities. He gathered community leaders and worked hand in hand with the county to establish the Community Education Alliance which provided incentives for teachers and principals at these nine schools. The premise of the Alliance was that every child could learn and that teaching was among the most noble of all professions. After three years, 56 of the school system’s most effective educators are taking advantage of the bonus incentives for high performing teachers and principals. Since the effort began, these schools have outpaced all other schools in the system in student gains and in the fall of 2003 they opened for the first time with not a single position vacant. These schools have become places where educators want to be. These educators and this effort have shown that if public education is supported appropriately, tremendous results can be achieved.

In 2002 the Mayor announced a plan to completely reshape the face of our city through the 21st Century Waterfront Plan. He asked the community for their input and what resulted was a plan that would change the look and feel of our community forever. Mayor Corker worked to establish a $120 million trust to fund the endeavor which came from revenue by taxes paid by visitors and from local donations. This entire effort was completed in a way that leaves absolutely no financial burden on the citizens of Chattanooga.

Today the 21st Century Waterfront Plan is being implemented and defining our community in the eyes of others. Other initiatives like the Public Art Plan and the Outdoor Initiative have grown from this original blueprint for change. Through his determination and with the help of so many in our community, the Mayor has led a revitalization that spans the economic, aesthetic, and educational lines. He has brought people from all walks of life together with a common goal of improving their community and the results have been outstanding.

Mayor Corker’s leadership and enthusiasm for Chattanooga has helped make our community the model of the 21st Century American City.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea