Our Annual Report


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As my first year as your mayor draws to a close, I want to share what we’ve been doing.

In a year so often characterized by the unexpected, our administration has accomplished quite a bit. I say that not about myself, but to brag on the meaningful work that the 6,400-plus employees of the City of Memphis conduct every single day. In a year that saw us recommit to the basics of core city services, our team rose to the challenge -- in a big way.

Someone recently asked me how I would sum up this year. I thought for a moment and responded that it was a year of foundation-building. A foundation to reduce crime, to increase what we do for young people, and to set our city on a course for even more momentum. Yet as that foundation has been set, we’ve seen some real accomplishments -- we’re paving more streets, we’re answering 911 calls much faster, we passed a budget in seven minutes, we convinced ServiceMaster to move Downtown, we worked with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to greatly expand in Memphis, and we launched our first comprehensive plan since 1981.

Yet, Memphis’ long-known challenges -- such as crime and poverty -- remain. No one year will wipe them out completely. And as you well know, we had some struggles in 2016, most notably setting a shameful record for the number of homicides in one year. We don’t shy away from that; we tackle it head-on.

And make no mistake: We’re going to push even harder in 2017.

But as 2016 ends, we wanted to create an annual report to you -- our taxpayer, our citizen, our customer. It’s taken the form of an in-depth listing of individual action items that form the foundation of a city government we’re building for you -- which we could not do without the meaningful partnership we have with the City Council.

You can read the annual report here. 

In this document, we hope you’ll learn something about what we’re doing throughout our city. And, as always, you can reach out to me at mayor@memphistn.gov.

How we’re tackling crime: We’ve condensed my crime plan, the one we’ve been acting on since day one in office, into this document that also contains updates on actions we’ve taken. Just as with the annual report, I hope you’ll click it and learn about what we’re doing.

Worth noting: You probably saw on the news earlier this week that about seven trespassers entered my yard -- and even looked in my windows -- while my family was inside. It was an attempt to intimidate me and my family, and an attempt to get media attention. The former did not work, but the latter did.

All four local television stations and the daily newspaper covered this 15-to-20-minute event -- calling the trespassers “protesters.” Two days earlier, I joined hundreds of volunteers at the Soulfull Memphis Operation Christmas Basket event at the Cook Convention Center, where in four hours, we provided some 5,000 families with food baskets. I saw only two television stations there. Just worth noting, is all.

Service schedule: Monday is a city holiday (observing Christmas Day). So if your garbage service comes from us and Monday is your usual pickup day, service will come Tuesday. No other days will be affected. If your service comes from a contractor, pickup will be delayed by a day every day next week.

Congratulations, Mickey: I wanted to let you know that Mickey Barker, our city golf administrator, was recently honored with the Richard Eller Growth of the Game Award from the West Tennessee Chapter of the PGA of America. Mickey would be the first to tell you it’s a reflection on his staff. To Mickey, and to the entire city golf staff, I say congrats!

Thank you, Memphis: This will be our final Weekly Update of the year, and I want to tell you how much I enjoy our weekly connection. I’m out in the community so much, and without fail, the No. 1 thing people tell me they appreciate is our increased communication this year -- particularly this email. (No. 2? Street paving.) People tell me they appreciate the transparency. That’s a major goal of ours, you know.

I said it on New Year’s Day, and I’ll say it again: It is the honor of a lifetime to be your mayor. I’m looking forward to some time with family over the holidays, as I’m sure you are, too. But I’m just as eager to get back to work next week to continue everything we’re doing to continue Memphis’ momentum.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.

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