Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


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A month ago, I told you about how we used our goal of being brilliant at the basics of city government to guide how we prioritized our choices in a challenging budget year. Today, I'm sharing an update.

The City Council reviewed each division’s budget during hearings in recent weeks, and, as happens every year, made some changes. The amount of money changed -- about $1 million in our $667 million operating budget proposal -- isn’t much, relatively speaking, but we did ask the council this week to give a second look at a few items that I think speak to our commitment to provide for public safety.

We’ve requested that the council restore $2.5 million in capital spending for new police vehicles, add $400,000 back to the operating budget to provide private security at the former state office building that some of our operations are about to move into, and add $460,000 back for police promotional testing. Those items were all in our original proposal.

These last two items may seem small in a nine-figure budget proposal, but think of it this way: If private security officers man the former state building, that means more commissioned officers patrolling our streets. And that’s something I think you and I agree we need.

The council meets again on June 7, and it could approve the 2016-17 budget then. The council has also prioritized public safety, so we’ll continue to work with council members to make sure we arrive at the outcomes we all want.

Holiday collection alert: Monday is Memorial Day, which means solid waste crews won’t run. Customers regularly serviced by city crews will have their garbage and recycling serviced on Tuesday. Collections the rest of the week aren’t affected.

If Inland Waste serves you, all trash collection for the week of May 30 will be delayed for one day.

Also, there will be little or no collection of yard waste and excess garbage outside the cart during holiday weeks.

Conventions in town: If you see a bunch of Harleys in town next week, tell the riders ‘thank you’ from Memphis. That’s because the Tennessee State Hog Rally is here next week, and our friends at the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau estimate its economic impact at about $1 million.

And this week, the Neighborhoods, USA annual conference returned to Memphis for the first time since 1991. The CVB estimates about a $750,000 economic impact there.

Both are good reminders of why the tourism and meeting business is so essential for our city’s economic health.

Updating Overton Park: This weekend will be a busy one at Overton Park, as people from inside and outside our city come to enjoy the Memphis Zoo and the park as a whole. We continue to ask for your patience as we work through the parking issues there.

We are making progress in mediation, as I communicated last month. We’ve had fruitful mediation sessions this week. As for the solutions that have already been identified, please know they’re a work in progress. We are still working through signage and use issues for North Parkway parking, for instance.

Also, my pledge to find a solution by June 30 remains in force.

I’m asking everyone to have a fun, peaceful, enjoyable weekend at Overton Park -- and everywhere in Memphis on this Memorial Day.

Follow along: I hope you're following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And we're also on Nextdoor now. 

Moving forward: Just a quick update to share that our Human Resources division, Workforce Investment Network and Office of Community Affairs partnered this week on a job readiness workshop for 22 individuals who are in the process of getting criminal records expunged through our Better Memphis Fund. 

And finally: While I hope you enjoy the three-day weekend with your family, I also hope you’ll take a moment Monday to understand why we set aside this day. It’s so that we remember the men and women who gave their lives so that we can be free. It’s a solemn day, and for good reason.

Please join me in making Monday meaningful.


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