Weekly Update: Why we seek consensus, not conflict


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I’d like to think that one of the hallmarks of our nearly three years at City Hall is that we seek consensus and teamwork ahead of headlines and flame throwing. The latter may be a characteristic of today’s partisan politics, but the former is what gets things done for citizens.

I say that in reference to the news I hope you saw Monday about the State Building Commission’s approval of our Tourism Development Zone designation for the Fairgrounds. Joined with private financing and plenty more due diligence to come, Monday’s approval paved the way for the youth sports complex to be built at the Fairgrounds — and a light at the end of the tunnel for a civic debate that goes back more than a decade.

I was grateful for the commission’s vote of approval, for the reception and hard work of the staffs of Gov. Bill Haslam and the Department of Finance & Administration, for the partnership with the Memphis City Council, for our Shelby County delegation including Rep. Mark White and Sen. Brian Kelsey, and for our amazing staff at City Hall including Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen, Special Counsel Alan Crone, Housing & Community Development Director Paul Young, and project manager Mary Claire Borys.

Thank you, all.

But back to that first point.

There’s a reason I rarely, if ever, criticize other elected officials. There’s a reason I don’t participate in the games of partisan politics. There’s a reason I don’t always weigh in on the issues of other governments.

It’s so that we can be successful at moments like these.

It’s so that we can work together, not in conflict, to deliver real results.

I hope you see that. I hope wins like these explain why we do what we do. And I hope you see the momentum we’re building — both inside City Hall and in building our relationships in Nashville and beyond.

Leadership is about building connections that deliver results. That’s what we’re working to do for you.

Speaking of momentum: The New York-based company Mimeo had plenty of options when deciding where to locate its corporate headquarters, but it recently decided its best place for future growth is right here in Memphis.

We celebrated that decision Monday; I had to miss it as I was traveling back from the State Building Commission meeting. But, as Doug said in his remarks made in my absence, this is just continued proof of the momentum we’re experiencing in Memphis — with billions in development and 14,000 more Memphians working than just three years ago.

Doug said this: “What better marriage is there than between a company on the move, like Mimeo, and a city with momentum, like Memphis, Tennessee?”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Doug.

Happy Thanksgiving: If you’re traveling this long weekend, please travel safely. And please be aware that garbage and recycling collections will be delayed one day for our Thursday and Friday customers.

As we turn to Thanksgiving, I hope we’re all taking stock of what makes us thankful. As for me, I’m abundantly thankful for my family, for health, and for the opportunity to serve a city that’s changed the world — and continues to change it.

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