Archive for May, 2016

by (RSS) Education, Shelby County government | May 31st, 2016 12:54am CDT | 5 Comments

                With apologies to Steely Dan, Pretzel Logic is the best way we know to describe the approach by some members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners anytime the budget of the Shelby County Schools appears on their agendas. They twist and turn the facts to fit […]

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            The Memphis metro economy continues to languish in its recovery from the Great Recession.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors predicts that it will be the first quarter of 2018 before it returns to the pre-Recession peak. Jobs growth and the Gross Domestic Product seriously lag, suggesting that it would […]

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                    The Overton Park greensward parking controversy is a potent reminder of the passion that Memphians feel for their “Central Park,” the centerpiece for one of the most enlightened chapters in the city’s history, the one featuring two great parks and Memphis’ parkways. That they were […]

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              ‘Twas ever thus. In the yearly drama of Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ budget hearings, schools need more money and struggle to find support and the sheriff’s request for a bigger budget gets a spirited defense. It’s little wonder that the sheriff’s budget has grown at a rate […]

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                  Amount of Shelby County Taxes Waived The following are the yearly amounts of Shelby County taxes waived by EDGE (and before EDGE, the Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Board, Downtown Memphis Commission, the Memphis Health and Educational Facilities Board, the Shelby County Health Educational Facilities Board […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | May 18th, 2016 12:44am CDT | 7 Comments

Memphis and Shelby County have for decades relentlessly chased warehouse and distribution jobs – even waiving tens of millions of dollars in city and county taxes in the process – but because we operate on the theory that any job is a good job, we never seem to make the transition to high-value logistics or […]

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We can’t really say we’re surprised, because on January 29, 2016, we wrote about the hazards posed to downtown walkers by the deplorable state of pavers on some parts of Main Street. Last week, a worker in what has been dubbed downtown’s creative district centered at Union and Main walked out of Aldo’s, tripped over […]

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          It’s hard to believe that there was a time 35 years ago that there were some pundits and columnists who predicted that with the rise of technology, places would come to matter less and less. And yet, just the opposite has happened, and today, place is a major driver of […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening | May 10th, 2016 12:05am CDT | 9 Comments

                        There was a time – during the heyday of the Memphis Park Commission – when Memphis was recognized nationally for having one of the best city park systems in the country.  But that was then and this is now. Back then, the Park […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | May 6th, 2016 12:33am CDT | 11 Comments

Shelby County continues a trend line of losing population and income.  The following are data from the IRS. Shelby County Net Migration Trends 2011-12: -3,162 2012-13: -7,099 2013-14: -5,668 Shelby County Gross Income Migration 2013-14: $742,133,000 in-migration total $965,955,000 out-migration total $49,544 in-migration average per tax return $54,416 out-migration average per tax return 2012-13: $730,726,000 […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening | May 4th, 2016 12:17am CDT | 4 Comments

                  There’s really no substitute for aiming high. For way too many years, when our community set out to create public places and construct important buildings, the emphasis was on how cheaply it could be done rather than what it would take for them to set national […]

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Memphis Zoo opened its Zambezi River Hippo Camp a few days ago, and we were reminded once again of the incredible transformation that the Memphis Zoological Society has led in turning a pleasant, well-loved local zoo into an important regional zoo with national aspirations. The zoo’s evolution over the past two decades came from its […]

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