Archive for July, 2014

There are times when the philosophy of government runs headlong into the realities of government. There was the philosophical decision by City Council for better staffed libraries with longer hours that could never clear the bureaucracy, there was the philosophical decision to support Pre-K by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners but not to the […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | July 29th, 2014 12:48am CST | 2 Comments

From Governing: A poor economy and all the problems that come with it actually benefit some people, giving powerful players less incentive to improve the status quo for the rest. So many cities and regions continue to struggle economically. Even within nominally well-performing places there are pockets that have been left behind. Most of the […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | July 28th, 2014 12:47am CST | 5 Comments

            We are awash in opinions, spin, arguments and counter arguments, and justifications regarding the PILOT program and its $75-85 million in tax abatements, but we are marooned when it comes to facts. The current program is a lightning rod for criticism which has only intensified as a result of […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Trends and Issues | July 25th, 2014 3:32pm CST | Comments Off on Turning City Purchasing Upside Down To Spark Innovation

From Citiscope: “City governments need to get out of procuring by specifying the solution they want,” says Citymart co-founder Sascha Haselmayer. “What they should do is specify the problem they want to solve … and then allow the market to inspire them to find the best solutions.” (Citymart/ Gunnar Knechtel Photography) New ideas are rare […]

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Hopefully, the attraction of new residents with college degrees to the Memphis region is part of a trend, and that’s one of many we discovered recently as we looked through population migration numbers. Stick with us, we know these are a lot of numbers, but we hope you find them as interesting as we do, […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Poverty | July 22nd, 2014 3:00pm CST | 1 Comment

From CityLab: There’s a clear connection between economic inequality and low-tax, pro-business policies. Economic inequality has risen substantially in the United States over the past several decades, but its rise has been uneven across the 50 states. According to my own analysis here on CityLab, more than half of states—26, plus Washington, D.C.—saw inequality increase […]

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We hope that the Riverfront Development Corporation doesn’t get so caught up in the euphoria of finally opening Beale Street Landing that they think that it solves the lingering problems at Tom Lee Park. One official recently said that the purpose of Beale Street Landing “was to fix Tom Lee Park,” but regardless of how […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 18th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Emily Yellin Speaks to NPR about Customer Service and Culture

From NPR: Our local customer service guru (and communications expert) Emily Yellin was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning regarding the now-infamous Comcast “employee from hell” conversation. To hear the interview, click Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call. The following is posted on the NPR website: This week, one man’s customer service […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | July 18th, 2014 12:21am CST | 3 Comments

When budget hearings began, the amount needed by City of Memphis to fully fund the pension plan was $80 million a year.   City of Memphis had been paying $20 million of the $100 million needed for the ARC (Annual Required Contribution) since the Great Recession, leaving a balance due that was growing each year. The […]

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                    There is a developing theme on social media that demonstrates just how badly Memphis police officers have shot themselves in the foot with their sick-out. It’s this oft-read comment: I haven’t noticed any change with more than 450 officers calling in sick, so maybe we […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | July 15th, 2014 12:50am CST | 2 Comments

On the radio program on WKNO-FM, Whad’ya Know, the host often reads his favorite memos of the week.  We were looking around on the Shelby County Government website, and we found this one which could qualify for the program: Update (posted on Nov. 27, 2013): Here is the updated staff report that was sent this […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | July 14th, 2014 3:03pm CST | Comments Off on Business Incentives Don’t Create New Jobs, Small Businesses Do

From Washington Post: If you can’t build your own, steal someone else’s. That, one economist notes, has become the default strategy for state and city governments in their pursuit of rapidly growing businesses, with many offering increasingly lucrative incentive packages to encourage employers to move to and create jobs in their districts. However, that’s hardly […]

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by (RSS) Education, Shelby County government | July 14th, 2014 12:33am CST | 17 Comments

              Shelby County’s tax burden just became more inequitable. It happened when four Shelby County Commissioners whose constituents are primarily within Memphis  – Steve Basar,  Heidi Shafer,  James Harvey, and Justin Ford – voted to end the four-cent rural school tax that was instituted to pay for a high […]

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by (RSS) Education | July 12th, 2014 12:11am CST | 2 Comments

Our friends over at Bluff City Education are posting information and profiles of candidates for the Shelby County Schools board who responded to its request for information on their positions and vision for the district.  Here are the candidates and the days when their responses will be posted: Chris Caldwell, District 1 – Wednesday, July […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | July 11th, 2014 12:43am CST | 3 Comments

The following are the percentages of the public and private workforces that are union members in selected cities: Memphis Public: 29.3% Private: 5.3% Nashville Public: 20.7% Private: 2.4% Atlanta Public: 15.9% Private: 4.5% Birmingham Public: 28.0% Private: 9.1% Chattanooga Public: 12.8% Private: 1.5% St. Louis Public: 29.5% Private: 9.5% Louisville Public: 36.1% Private: 11.3% Chicago […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 9th, 2014 3:39pm CST | 1 Comment

The following infographic was submitted by Derek Rojers with gratitude to Extra Space Storage.          

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              Despite protests to the contrary, the Memphis firefighters union’s statement connecting tax freezes and city budgets (in its case, pension funding) was not an illogical connection to make. After all, anytime you take money off the table, there is naturally less to spend on city services.  It’s regularly […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 8th, 2014 3:25pm CST | 1 Comment

Author’s Note: The subject of drug abuse, drug addictions and mental health are something that concern a great many of us, whether as sufferers, as relatives or carers of sufferers or as members of society who have recovered. Some of the most vulnerable members of society are targeted by laws and statutes which many of us do […]

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