Weekly Update


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A few quick items as we close the week:

Welcome, J.T.: Our new president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water, J.T. Young, was confirmed Tuesday by the City Council and will start March 19. I hope you get a chance to get to know J.T. like I did during the interview process. I’m excited to see the fruits of his leadership.

J.T. has a three-decade career as a top executive in a large Florida utility, focusing in recent years on customer service. It’s an emphasis we make throughout City government, too, so I’m excited to see what changes are on the horizon at MLGW.

Yes, we’re paying him a salary of $320,000, which is more than what we paid the retiring Jerry Collins. The reason is simple: You elected me to find the best people in the country to tackle our challenges. Or, as I’ve termed it before: New eyes on old challenges. We conducted a salary study of public-sector utilities in similar markets and found that the average CEO job paid $366,819. Here’s a summary of our study.

Congratulations, Shirley: The City Council also confirmed my appointment of Shirley Ford as our new chief financial officer. Shirley has been with us for a few years now and is already getting comfortable in this new role. I’m excited to continue to work with her, now as a member of our senior leadership team.

We need your help: The Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is beginning an update to the region’s current Regional Transportation Plan and needs your participation. Check out Livability 2050: RTP to find information on the plan, links to a public survey and YouTube video series, and dates of upcoming public meetings.

Follow us: It never hurts to remind you that our team places a priority on communicating with Memphians where you already are — and that definitely includes social media. So if you’re not already following us, here are some places to join:

Join Team Read: Congratulations to WREG-TV, which won a Regional Emmy recently for its spotlight of Shelby County Schools’ Team Read program. You probably know by now that I'm a big proponent of Team Read. Why? Studies tell us that if a child can’t read at third grade level by the third grade, they often fall behind. That makes second grade crucial for our kids. Team Read asks for an hour a week and a commitment once a week from October through April to read to second graders — and help improve their futures.

Learn more about Team Read here — and get involved in making Memphis a better place.

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