When Mayor Wharton first announced his Clean and Green Initiative, I was excited that our community was taking a common sense approach to economic development through environmental projects, something the Sierra Club wholeheartedly supports.
At a January press conference at the Central Library announcing the initiative, the Mayor spoke about one such project where the City would be placing solar energy systems on a number of city owned buildings–a wonderful example of our community investing in cleaner, greener technologies, providing locally generated power not sourced from other states and/or regions.
Learn more about the project at:
The Sierra Club fully supports this initiative, and along with many other residents made a sizable contribution to project. The City’s commitment was never in question and the applications for interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority grid were successfully made in February.
Concerned that I had not heard any updates on the project since February, I decided to check in to see what the status of this project was. What I learned is that this project was about to fall victim to politics as usual at the City of Memphis, where common sense is replaced with temperamental wrangling.
Through conversations with different City officials and a number of City councilmen, I discovered that the City is about to let the project fall apart—a project that would bring millions of dollars of private investment to Memphis and an enormous amount of good publicity. Even though private investors are covering all the upfront costs to make these installations happen, it appears that the City is squandering the economic development value of this project by now demanding a share of the revenues. It’s my understanding that the deal may fall through this week if nothing is done.
So why is nothing being done to fix this problem? If this is a priority for the Mayor, why has he not stepped in an asserted his support and leadership on this issue? It is time for the Mayor to take a stand. We can’t afford to let another project that would have economic development impact and bring great publicity to our City fall apart because of the City’s ineptitude, not when this City needs all the wins it can get.
CALL OR EMAIL MAYOR WHARTON AND LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU SUPPORT THIS PROJECT AND WANT IT TO MOVE FORWARD!
Mayor AC Wharton (901) 636-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org