Weekly Update


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As it stands right now, there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in Shelby County. But, we all still have a role to play in reducing the spread of viruses in our communities.


That’s why starting this week we required all City divisions and managers to protect citizens and themselves by conducting an aggressive preventative disinfection (top to bottom) of all public facilities immediately and routinely.


Managers and their divisions have been asked to follow the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs as well as kiosks, public computers, and pay stations.


Employees have been asked to stay home when sick, avoid contact with people who may be sick, and wash their hands often. For large gatherings, we’ve asked managers to provide prevention supplies at events, including ensuring soap is available at sinks as well as hand sanitizer.


As a matter of precaution, we encourage all citizens to follow prevention steps from the CDC including:

  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • wash your hands often 

The CDC asks that if you think you have been exposed to the coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider immediately.


For full guidance on coronavirus, visit the CDC’s website here.


Shelby County Health Department has also set up a website for coronavirus here.


Public Safety Referendum: As I’ve said all along, keeping Memphians safe by recruiting and retaining top quality police officers and fire fighters is our number one priority.


This past October, city residents demonstrated their support for the same principles by voting to increase the sales tax in the City of Memphis by 0.5 percent, raising it to 2.75 percent with the proceeds going, in part, to enhance healthcare and pension benefits for Public Safety employees.


Public safety employees include: commissioned police officers and fire fighters, paramedics and police and fire dispatchers.


Earlier this week, I made a presentation to City Council giving them an update on our five-year funding projection for this new tax revenue. Over the next five years, our revenue projections show that we will have money to cover the cost of required expenses to fund our pension and healthcare obligations, give money to Pre-K and add to the paving budget and still have money left over to invest in one-time expenditures.


To fully implement the will of the voters and maximize the benefit of this new revenue, my plan (subject to council approval) is to offer sign-on and retention bonuses, perform much-needed renovations to our fire houses, and begin a take-home car program for police officers. This will drastically improve our ability to recruit more talent and retain the great public safety employees we already have.


To view the full presentation I made to Council this week, click here.


One final note on this topic. Congratulations to the 32 new police officers who graduated from the academy last night! We're proud of you.


Flying high: Back-to-back announcements were recently made regarding two more flights that will be coming in and out of Memphis International Airport (MEM)—Southwest to Atlanta and Delta non-stop to Boston.


Atlanta is Southwest’s eighth destination from MEM, joining Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Orlando and Tampa. The Boston flight brings Delta’s number of destinations at MEM to eight, joining Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, and Salt Lake City.

Both of these announcements are exciting for many reasons, but I’m particularly happy about the Boston flight. In October of 2018, we convened a meeting at City Hall to help make sure this happened. In the meeting we had representation from the airport (Chip Gentry, Pace Cooper, and Scott Brockman) leaders from Indigo Ag, members of the Chamber, Gwyn Fisher from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and Kyle Veazey from the City of Memphis.

This is a great example of being persistent and of all us working together to get another big win for Memphis.


For more information on these flights and everything else happening at MEM, visit flymemphis.com.



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