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Editorial Results (free)

1. Roland ReElected At Filing Deadline, Two Countywide Races Set For August -

One of the six Shelby County Commission incumbents seeking re-election this year was effectively elected to a new four-year term in a new district with the noon Thursday, Feb. 20, filing deadline for candidates in the May county primaries.

2. Election Filing Pace Quickens as Deadline Nears -

The May 6 Shelby County primary races began to move toward their final form Monday, Feb. 17, just ahead of the noon Thursday filing deadline for candidates.

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy brought the Democratic primary race for county mayor to four as he filed his qualifying petition Monday afternoon.

3. BGC Gets Court OK on Grubb & Ellis Acquisition -

NEW YORK (AP) – BGC Partners Inc. said Tuesday that it has received bankruptcy court approval for its acquisition of Grubb & Ellis Co. and plans to complete the buyout shortly.

4. Commission Appointments Not Without Rancor -

John Pellicciotti is pursuing his master’s degree in political science from the University of Memphis. He’s writing his thesis. And this week, after trying several times for several years, the small-business owner and consultant got some real-world experience in his degree area.

5. Commissioners to Fill Commission, Legislature Vacancies -

Shelby County Commissioners will begin the new year with some familiar chores.

Today’s meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building.

It includes the appointment of a new commissioner for District 4 Position 3. And the commission will appoint an interim state representative for District 85.

6. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

7. Kuhn Proposal Lifts Commission Mood -

Shelby County Commissioners needed some levity this week as the year neared its end and the 2010 election season waited in the wings.
The body slogged through a battle for the chairmanship in September, 26 rounds of voting for an interim county mayor in November and more bad blood this week, including dueling motions to honor a former commissioner and a proposal to run a bus shuttle for county employees that workers on foot could beat.
So when Commissioner Matt Kuhn got down on one knee in the chamber and proposed to the deputy director of the county Department of Community Services, Heidi Verbeek, commissioners were happy to find unanimity in wishing the couple well.
Then they got back to business.

8. Ford Resigns - Buehler Clears Last Hurdle - Kuhn Proposes -

Shelby County Commissioners have put off a vote on a new commissioner for two weeks.

The move came as Commissioner Joe Ford marked his last day Monday. Ford will be sworn in Thursday as Shelby County interim mayor following A C Wharton’s election victory in October as Memphis mayor.

9. UPDATE: Ford Commission Replacement Delayed -

Shelby County Commissioners have put off a vote on a new commissioner for two weeks.

The move came as Commissioner Joe Ford marked his last day Monday. Ford will be sworn in Thursday as Shelby County interim mayor following A C Wharton’s election victory in October as Memphis mayor.

10. Commission To Interview Ford Replacement Applicants -

For the second time in a year, Shelby County Commission members are about to change the makeup of the 13-member body.

Commissioners today will interview applicants for the District 3, Position 3 seat Joe Ford is giving up to become interim Shelby County mayor. The meeting is set for 10 a.m.

11. Ford Wins Appointment as County Mayor -

Joe Ford’s picture on the fourth floor of the Shelby County Administration Building came down minutes after he won the appointment Tuesday as interim Shelby County mayor.

12. Commission Deadlocked On Next County Mayor -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

13. UPDATE: County Commission Deadlocks On Mayoral Choice -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

14. Commission Expected to Choose County Mayor -  

This could take awhile.

Among the items on today’s Shelby County Commission agenda is the appointment of a mayor to serve the remaining 10 months left in the term of A C Wharton Jr. Wharton became Memphis mayor in the Oct. 15 special election to replace Willie Herenton, who retired in July.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

Three Shelby County commissioners and a former suburban mayor are vying for the appointment to serve as the next Shelby County mayor.

They are County Commissioners J.W. Gibson, Joe Ford and George Flinn and former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley.

The Daily News will tweet the outcome this afternoon and a full account will be posted later today at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery is serving as mayor for up to 45 days. She is not among the four contenders who filed an application and underwent a background check.

Issues to consider

Each of the four contenders identified the financial crisis at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis as a top priority if they are selected. All said they would not be a candidate in the 2010 county elections. Flinn qualified that slightly by saying he would not run in 2010 if he wins the appointment.

“The biggest challenge facing this interim mayor will be The MED,” said Flinn, who is a physician and radiologist. “Closure or scaling back of The MED will be devastating to the community as a whole.

“Yet, we know our severe limitations financially in the county. This is a serious challenge and I’m the only one here with 35 years of medical experience … to meet this.”

Gibson also accented his business acumen as CEO of Gibson Cos., which includes a commercial printing operation, land development services and a wholesale medical supply company.

“I would like to deal with trying to stabilize the Regional Medical Center,” Gibson said as he also talked of improving the access locally owned small businesses have to government contracts and to economic growth in general.

Gibson was appointed to the Metro Charter Commission, and reaffirmed last week what he said in October when his appointment was confirmed by the County Commission. He will resign the charter commission position if he wins the appointment as county mayor.

Ford, who is the longest-serving member of the current commission, talked of his reluctance to seek elected office despite being part of the city’s best-known political family. He retired in 2008 from the family business, N.J. Ford and Sons Funeral Home, and started his own funeral home that same year.

“I had no desire to be in politics,” the 11th of 12 Ford children said as he outlined his bid for the Memphis City Council seat his late brother James Ford gave up when elected to the County Commission. “The citizens in the district came to me … and said, ‘You’ve got to run.’”

Kerley opted not to seek re-election as mayor of Collierville in 2008, saying she needed to devote more time to her real estate company during the recession.

Like Ford, Kerley said she was approached about seeking the appointment and initially said no.

“But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I might be an alternate choice to have as a temporary solution,” she said.

Partisan politics

There are a few parliamentary wrinkles going into today’s decision.

It will take seven votes for someone to claim the county mayor’s office. But the three commissioners seeking the job won’t be able to vote even if they are eliminated over several rounds of voting. The ruling by Assistant County Attorney and parliamentarian Christy Kinard means the winner will have to get seven of nine available votes on the commission if all three commissioners stay in the running.

Picking one of the three commissioners also would mean the commission would then have to fill a vacant seat on the body as well.

Kerley touted her experience running the thriving suburb.

Kerley’s name was among those considered by the commission earlier this year for a vacancy on the County Commission that ultimately went to Democrat Matt Kuhn.

Democratic backers of Kerley identified her as a Republican, but that didn’t draw enough Republican support for her to claim the seat in predominantly Republican commission District 4.

“I do miss it. I didn’t think I would,” Kerley said of the practice of politics as she talked of her partisan political identity. “I’ve been called a Democrat by Republicans and a Republican by Democrats. I’m not a card-carrying anything. … I never thought it was fair for me to join any party since I could not give my total support to that party. I wanted to be very clear about that.”

Kerley estimated she has voted for Republican candidates approximately 95 percent of the time.

The distinction is important because unlike Memphis and Collierville municipal elections, county elections for non-judicial offices feature partisan primaries before general elections. The primaries apply to commission races as well. Flinn is a Republican. Gibson and Ford are Democrats.

...

15. UPDATE: Commission Approves Metro Charter Commission -

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday to form a Metro Charter Commission. The resolution passed on a 9-2 vote.

Memphis City Council members are to discuss a similar resolution today in executive session with a vote by the full council likely in two weeks. If the council approves its side of the joint resolution, the Memphis and Shelby County Mayors would then begin appointing citizens to the 15 member body. That body would write a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis city and Shelby County governments.

16. County Commission Approves Metro Charter Commission -

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday to form a Metro Charter Commission. The resolution passed on a 9-2 vote.

Memphis City Council members are to discuss a similar resolution Tuesday in executive session with a vote by the full council likely in two weeks. If the council approves its side of the joint resolution, the Memphis and Shelby County Mayors would then begin appointing citizens to the 15 member body. That body would write a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis city and Shelby County governments.

17. Chairmanship Battle a Preview Of Coming Political Landscape -

The political fortunes of the Shelby County Democratic Party haven’t been this high in awhile.

Democrats have high hopes for the 2010 county elections. In the 2006 elections, four Democratic challengers of Republican incumbents in countywide offices came within 1,000 votes of wins. Democrats picked up a countywide office in the 2008 elections when Otis Jackson, one of the four Democrats who got close but not close enough two years earlier, upset Republican incumbent Chris Turner in the General Sessions Court clerk’s race.

18. County Leaves Wiggle Room In Tax Rate -

In setting the Shelby County property tax rate for the coming fiscal year, county officials have planned for the loss of as much as $1.06 billion in tax value from successful challenges to property value this year.

19. Not So Fast -

A proposed ordinance to prohibit employment-related discrimination in Shelby County government based on sexual orientation failed in a County Commission committee Wednesday morning on a 5-5 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Steve Mulroy, will head to the full commission Monday for a vote on first reading but without the support of committee approval behind it. If Monday’s vote results in another tie or clear defeat, the measure at that point will have died.

20. Attempt to Eliminate TIF Windfalls Uncovers Political Umbrage -

A proposal backing a change in the state law governing tax increment financing (TIF) zones died a curious death at the Shelby County Board of Commissioners meeting this week.

Commissioner Mike Ritz, a critic of the TIF concept, proposed the idea of backing legislation in Nashville that would change the rules governing the zones. Under the current law, property tax revenue within a TIF zone is used to finance public improvements or infrastructure such as roads and sewers and even parking garages.

21. Ten Candidates Vie For Vacant Commission Seat -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners will interview at least 10 candidates today for the District 4 commission seat vacated when David Lillard became state treasurer.

Ten people had applied for the vacancy as of late Monday. They are:

22. Rawson Named President Of Benefit Recover Inc. -

Win Rawson has been named president of Memphis-based Benefit Recover Inc.

Rawson joined the company as general counsel in June 2007. Previously, he worked at Lawrence & Russell LLP, where he developed and managed employment and benefits litigation for several Fortune 100 clients.

23. Blockman Joins Keller Williams -

Harold Blockman has been named the new vice president & principal broker of the Memphis Central Market Center for Keller Williams Realty.

Blockman serves as director of the board of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors and was selected for the 2007 Community Service Award by MAAR. Blockman is also president of the Tennessee GRI Association and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Club.

24. Commission to Take First of Three Votes On Charter - Again -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will meet in special session one week from today to take the first of three votes on ordinances to start the process of changing the county charter.

The ordinances would put the proposed changes to five offices - trustee, sheriff, register, assessor and county clerk - and other changes on the Aug. 7 ballot.

25. History Lesson Serves As Cautionary Tale For The Pyramid -

When Brad Fain of Prosperity International looked at the Memphis riverfront around The Pyramid recently, he saw something that wasn't there. But he also missed a key part of the mental landscape.

Fain's Orlando investment company is one of the two out-of-town financial partners in the Ericson Group's $250 million plan to turn The Pyramid into Pyramid Adventure theme park and develop Mud Island park as well as other parts of the riverfront. The other is Essex Investment Partners of New York.

26. Thompson Proclaims Innocence While Prosecution Proceeds -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson's defense against public corruption charges could touch on some fundamental questions about the private business dealings of public officials.

Thompson turned himself in to the U.S. Marshals Service Wednesday, the day after a federal grand jury indicted him on one count of extortion and three counts of mail fraud.

27. Reynolds Named Head Baseball Coach at STCC -

Alan "Bo" Reynolds has been named the new head baseball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He previously worked at Olive Branch High School, where he was head baseball coach in 2005-2006 after serving as assistant coach from 2003 to 2005. He also coached at Rhodes College from 1990 to 2003, where he was both an assistant coach and head coach and the University of Memphis from 1987 to 1990. There, he was an assistant under head coach Bobby Kilpatrick.

28. Archived Article: Newsmakers - Agricenter Gets New Director of Research

Agricenter Gets New Director of Research

Jamie Jenkins joined Agricenter International as director of research. Jenkins previously worked with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Service. ...

29. Archived Article: Memos - <ephoto> Rear Adm

Rear Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler was named commander of Navy recruiting following the retirement of Rear Adm. George E. Voelker. Fowler completed a military fellowship in 2002-2003 and is a life member at the Council of Foreign...

30. Archived Article: Gragg (lead) - Rural project tests facets of countys growth plan

Rural project tests facets of countys growth plan

By BRYAN MASSEY

The Daily News

Standing before Shelby County Commission committee members last week, Dr. Barret Matthews projected a conc...

31. Archived Article: Standout St - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Send in the clown By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Although Michael Kuhn regularly dons the clothing and makeup necessary to transform him into a clown, the costume and the work have a higher meaning for him. Kuhn started worki...

32. Archived Article: Memos - Fred's Inc names Reier president John Reier has been named president of Freds Inc., effective May 1. He formerly was president and chief operating officer at Family Dollar Stores Inc. Reier also previously served as senior vice president of merchand...

33. Archived Article: Attorney Graph - Attorney Attorney Judgments Amount ------------------------------------------------ ----------- -------------------------- Gordon & Feldbaum 226 $220,174.79 Baer Baer & Baer 220 $348,622.30 Mccullough Law Firm ...

34. Archived Article: Memos - Larry Lewis, president of Lewis Ford, was elected chairman of the board for the Better Business Bureau for 1997-1998 Larry Lewis, president of Lewis Ford, was elected chairman of the board for the Better Business Bureau for 1997-1998. Other elected ...