Weekly Update

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Earlier this week, I had another somber reminder of how each time the men and women of the Memphis Police Department put on their uniform and head in to serve and protect, it may be their last.


On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Officer Darrell Adams who was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-40 near North Watkins Street shortly after 11:00 am on Saturday, October 2nd. He and other officers were investigating a vehicle accident when he was struck and killed.


My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all the members of MPD. When you see police officers, please thank them for their service.


High grass and litter: Just writing those words are irritating because they’re something we struggle with on a daily basis.


But, I wanted to talk about them today to point out that it’s a little more complicated than simply cutting the grass and picking up litter.


As I’ve said publicly many times, our city budget is tight, and each year it gets tighter. You will see in the charts below that, unfortunately, both cutting grass and picking up litter aren’t cheap.


For grass cutting, I outlined below cutting the current estimated inventory of private lots (these are lots that have been cited by code enforcement and/or are in the land bank for tax sale) every month from March through October versus twice per season which our current budget allows.



(*ISL-increased service level)


Additionally, the chart below demonstrates what we’re doing now and what it would cost to clean litter from all 2,459 center lane miles once and six times per year instead of the limited areas (332 center lane miles are streets with medians, i.e. North and South Parkway) we cover due to budgetary constraints. I also provided a reduced 85 percent cost since it’s possible we might get a lower cost if we offered such a large contract opportunity. Even at the 85 percent, the cost is still significantly higher.



(*ROW- right of way)


I wanted to share this information with you to make two points:

  1.  The magnitude of properties and lane miles involved.
  2. We have limited resources, and if we’re to increase the level of service, that funding will have to come through reductions to other areas of city government and/or some type of a tax increase.

I understand both high grass and litter are frustrating because they frustrate me. But, I want you to know we’re doing everything we can with the resources we have at our disposal.


State of Memphis Housing: The Division of Housing and Community Development will be virtually hosting its 3rd annual State of Memphis Housing Summit on October 28th. 


During this summit, I will be having a conversation with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi and Mayor Frank Scott Jr. of Little Rock, Arkansas. We will discuss how our cities have responded to the COVID pandemic and the associated housing challenges such as homelessness, rental market instability, and neighborhood change. Other sessions will cover a range of topics like Equitable Recovery from the COVID Pandemic, Housing Planning and Intentionality, and Housing Stability.


I encourage you to participate. You can see the full summit agenda and REGISTER for this free virtual event here.




Fire Station No. 5: I had the privilege to join the members of Memphis Fire as we opened the new Station No. 5 on Adams yesterday.


fire station


This new station will house heroes who race across the community to save the lives of others, often at the risk of injury to themselves.




When you see a member of your Memphis Fire Department, please thank them for their service.


Enjoy your weekend!



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