Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update

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You surely know by now that earlier this week, a state Senate committee killed the de-annexation bill we’ve talked so much about by sending it to a summer study committee -- the equivalent of tabling the legislation, at least for this session.

Needless to say, we were happy with their vote. And as legislators continue to study the bill, we’ll be there every step of the way with information and counsel.

But our effort to share that information the past few weeks -- led in the mayor's office by Alan Crone, my special counsel -- is a great Memphis story, because it goes far beyond just our office.

It’s not just us saying that, either. Richard Locker, The Commercial Appeal’s veteran Nashville bureau chief, said “I haven't seen such a collective show of force from Memphis on anything here in a long time.” Brad Broders from Local 24 said the “amount of business, city and labor leaders from Memphis in solidarity here is impressive.” And here's a headline from The Daily News: “Memphis Presence Helps Turn Tide on Controversial Legislation.”

Walking the halls of Legislative Plaza the past few weeks, I encountered so many Memphians from many walks of life. There was J.R. “Pitt” Hyde, the AutoZone founder; and David Popwell, the president and chief operating officer of First Tennessee Bank. There was Tommy Malone, the president of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association. There was Phil Trenary and his crew from the Greater Memphis Chamber. Memphis-area legislators who weren’t even on the Senate committee sat in the crowd during its meetings. And on another day, three City Council members traveled to Nashville and visited with senators.

The point is this: We’re making a concerted, deliberate effort in my administration to build relationships with legislators in Nashville. And we’re making that same effort to amplify all the voices from our city so that Memphis’ concerns are heard.

Put simply, this is Memphis coming together. It’s been the most rewarding part of this whole effort.

So I thank those who made the trip to Nashville in recent weeks, and I challenge everyone to keep the momentum going. I also thank some of the members of our staff who were instrumental in our effort: Dedrick Brittenum, Brian Collins, Lisa Geater, Doug McGowen, Bruce McMullen and Kyle Veazey.

While we’re on the topic: Next week, the City Council will explore forming a study committee on the topic of de-annexation. We’ll cooperate in this effort. And should any concrete de-annexation proposals come from it, know that they’ll be the product of a collaborative discussion and careful study.

A word about crime: You’ll hear much more from us next week on this topic, but I want to share a brief word about crime. I have worked with Interim Police Director Michael Rallings to shuffle staffing to put more officers on the streets, and we have early indications that those efforts are working. Though we did experience upticks in crime in early in the year, I can report that the past 28 days show a slight decrease of 1 percent in Part 1 crimes as compared to the same time frame a year before.

By no means do we celebrate this as a victory, but it is an encouraging indicator.

Our condolences: On behalf of city government and the mayor's office, let me take this opportunity to send condolences to the family of Mr. Willie McKinney. A crew chief in our General Services division, he passed away while on the job this week. He was just a few months shy of his 50th year as a city employee.

We’re grateful for Mr. McKinney's service to our city, and we send our best to his family at this time.

Coming next week: My 100th day as your mayor comes at the end of next week. I’ll be sharing more about what we’ve been up to.


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