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Editorial Results (free)

1. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.5 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

2. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved on Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.25 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

3. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

4. City Council to Consider Pension Alternative -

Memphis City Council members again have final votes pending Tuesday, Dec. 16, on several possible sets of changes to the city’s pension plan.

The last meeting of 2014 for the council again finds the body poised to make final decisions on the last in a set of two changes this year to the benefits city employees and retirees receive.

5. Pickard Joins Explorations on Tentative 2015 Ballot -

The contingency plans and other political maneuvering for the city of Memphis elections are well underway.

And a key part of the calculation is making plans for a change in plans.

Architect and planner Charles “Chooch” Pickard is one of several citizens running “exploratory” campaigns at this point.

6. Pickard Exploring City Council Run -

Architect and planner Charles “Chooch” Pickard is undertaking an exploratory campaign for Memphis City Council District 5.

Pickard holds his first event Thursday, Dec. 4, to gauge support.

7. City Council Could Close Pension Debate -

At their next-to-last meeting of the year Tuesday, Dec. 2, Memphis City Council members could put to rest the dominant issue they have faced in 2014 – changing the unsustainable trajectory and liability of city employee benefits.

8. Lowery Named 2015 City Council Chairman -

The longest-serving member of the Memphis City Council will be the 2015 chairman of the 13-member body.

Myron Lowery was elected by the council unanimously and without opposition Tuesday, Nov. 18. He succeeds Jim Strickland in the chairman’s position.

9. Wharton Defends Record, ‘Tough’ Decisions -

When he ran for Memphis mayor in the 2009 special election, A C Wharton Jr. said he was running to win, but also to change the nature of the city’s politics.

“This is what hurts us in politics today,” Wharton said five years later during the first fundraiser Monday, Nov. 17, in his campaign for re-election to a second full four-year term as mayor. “Everybody wants to stand up and say how is this going to go over. And if it doesn’t look like it’s going to go over well, they back down.”

10. Wharton Begins Re-Election Fundraising -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. told a group of supporters Monday, Nov. 17, at his first re-election fundraiser that he is running to win and in the race for a second full term to stay.

Wharton estimated he drew a group of 300 supporters to the fundraiser at the Memphis Botanic Gardens with some leaving early to attend a Grizzlies basketball game Downtown.

11. City Council to Consider Police Funding -

Memphis City Council members will consider Tuesday, Nov. 18, taking $1 million from city reserves to fully fund an additional Memphis police recruit class in the current fiscal year.

The $1 million from reserves would go with $2 million the council approved at the start of the fiscal year for a new recruit class.

12. Council Pans City Garbage Proposal -

The administration of Mayor A C Wharton Jr. calls it SMART – Save Money And Reduce Trash. It’s a rebranding of the slow move to a pay-as-you-throw concept for city garbage and trash pickup.

13. Council Votes Down Elvis Presley Boulevard Car Lot -

The Memphis City Council voted down Tuesday, Nov. 4, the move of a used car lot on land owned by Graceland to a lot further north on Elvis Presley Boulevard near the new 450-room resort style hotel Elvis Presley Enterprises is building.

14. Haslam Reaches End of Campaign Trail in Memphis -

On his last campaign event on the last full day of the 2014 campaign season, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was surrounded by whimsy and cookies in a decidedly pink East Memphis shop.

Haslam supporters packed the Whimsy Cookie Company, a boutique cookie bakery on Poplar Avenue Monday, Nov. 3, just before the afternoon rush hour.

15. Pension Reform Decision Back At Square One -

It happened in the shadow of a change in the pension reform proposal Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had backed all through the summer and two of three council votes.

As the Memphis City Council got its first formal presentation Tuesday, Oct. 21, of Wharton’s new hybrid pension plan, it settled City Hall’s tumultuous discussion about changes to health insurance coverage for city employees and retirees.

16. Council Wades Into Pension Reform -

For the second time in three weeks, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has made major changes to the overall plan to right the city’s financial condition by changing employee and retiree benefits.

Late Friday, Oct. 17, Wharton proposed a “hybrid” retirement plan for employees that would allow new hires and those with less than 10 years on the job to enroll in a two-part plan that includes a professionally managed market-based fund as well as a 401(k)-like plan.

17. Some Council Members Feel Dissed By Wharton -

It was a phrase guaranteed to put more diss in the dysfunction between the Memphis City Council and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

And some on the council had plenty to say Tuesday, Oct. 7, about the weekend press release from Wharton announcing changes in the city’s health insurance plan starting next year.

18. City Council Weighs Fluid Benefits Decisions -

Memphis City Council members have third and final votes scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 7, on a set of changes to the city’s pension benefits that are the second of two major sets of reforms in benefits for city employees and retirees.

19. Door Remains Open on City Health Insurance Changes -

The political struggle to close the door and lock in changes to city health insurance coverage is proving to be a challenge for the Memphis City Council.

The council voted Tuesday, Sept. 16, to adjust the health insurance changes it approved in June to grandfather in for a year approximately 300 retirees and their spouses when it comes to the 70 percent subsidy on insurance premiums they currently get from the city.

20. City Employees Return to Court Over Benefits -

The basic elements of an overhaul of city health insurance and pension benefits got some changes this week at the Memphis City Council. And it looks like the council might put off a vote on pension benefit changes originally set for a vote in October.

21. Retirees Sue As Council Adjusts Health Insurance Changes -

Three retired Memphis Police officers and the widow of a Memphis Police officer filed suit Tuesday, Sept. 16, against the city of Memphis seeking a temporary restraining order to stop changes in city government health insurance benefits by the time the open enrollment period begins next month.

22. Council Aims at Moving Insurance Targets -

At just about every turn of the debate at City Hall about changes in health insurance coverage, Memphis City Council members have seen crucial numbers shift about the impact of the changes and the city’s liability.

23. Council To Review Conflicting Health Insurance Numbers -

City government’s open enrollment period for health insurance begins in October and new details of health insurance benefit cuts approved in June go in the mail later this month. Yet Memphis City Council members meet in a special committee session next week to again review conflicting numbers from actuaries on the coverage.

24. FedEx Weighs in on PILOT Incentives -

FedEx has urged Memphis officials to keep tax incentives for businesses in place and suggested that any major changes to the existing program could cause the company to invest elsewhere.

"As we look at the modernization of the Express air hubs, the availability of incentives by local governments is an important factor to our decisions, whether it is here in Memphis, Indianapolis, Newark, Greensboro or Oakland," Christine P. Richards, FedEx executive vice president, wrote in a July 31 letter to City Council chairman Jim Strickland and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. "We would be disappointed to see action taken to change the PILOT program, particularly with respect to retention, that would disadvantage Memphis in comparison to other locations.”

25. City Union Presents Alternative Plan on Benefits -

Memphis Fire Fighters Association president Thomas Malone takes the union’s plan for reversing city employee and retiree health insurance coverage cutbacks to a city oversight committee Thursday, Aug. 21, on employee issues.

26. FedEx Weighs In on PILOT Incentives -

FedEx has urged Memphis officials to keep tax incentives for businesses in place and suggested that any major changes to the existing program could cause the company to invest elsewhere.

"As we look at the modernization of the Express air hubs, the availability of incentives by local governments is an important factor to our decisions, whether it is here in Memphis, Indianapolis, Newark, Greensboro or Oakland," Christine P. Richards, FedEx executive vice president, wrote in a July 31 letter to City Council chairman Jim Strickland and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. "We would be disappointed to see action taken to change the PILOT program, particularly with respect to retention, that would disadvantage Memphis in comparison to other locations.”

27. Fullilove Calls Off Sales Tax Hike Try, Unions May Try -

Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove pulled the plug Tuesday, Aug. 19, on a proposed November referendum on a citywide half cent sales tax hike.

28. Graceland Campus Financing Relies on Tight Boundaries -

When Elvis Presley Enterprises breaks ground next week on the $75 million, 450-room hotel-resort it will build north of Graceland mansion, it will be the beginning of crossing something off the company’s wish list since Elvis Presley’s mansion opened for tours in the early 1980s.

29. Health Care Safety Net Tops Council Agenda -

Memphis City Council members get more information during the Tuesday, Aug. 5, council day on different parts of City Hall’s ongoing health benefits and pension liability discussions.

But the only item on the agenda for a vote Tuesday is a resolution to create a $2 million “safety net” that was delayed last month.

30. Chamber Launches PILOT Education Campaign -

Memphis economic development officials wasted little time launching an information campaign about Memphis and Shelby County’s primary business incentive program.

On July 16, less than a month after the Memphis City Council adopted a budget that included deep cuts to employee and retiree benefits, the Greater Memphis Chamber posted a video exploring how the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive program works and why it is needed.

31. Council Delays Vote On Overton Square Parking -

Memphis City Council members again delayed a final vote Tuesday, July 15, on an ordinance that would set up a trial parking permit zone in the Overton Square area.

The three-week delay to the Aug. 5 council meeting came after homeowners and business owners appeared to still have some differences over the plan, which would allow homeowners to set up a permit parking zone on their streets for residents only.

32. Council Delays Vote on Overton Square Parking Trial -

Memphis City Council members again delayed a final vote Tuesday, July 15, on an ordinance that would set up a trial parking permit zone in the Overton Square area.

The three-week delay to the Aug. 5 council meeting came after homeowners and business owners appeared to still have some differences over the plan, which would allow homeowners to set up a permit parking zone on their streets for residents only.

33. Council Moves to Bridge Gaps in Health Coverage Changes -

The ad hoc committee that gathered municipal union leaders, city retirees and Memphis City Council members at the same table to talk about city health insurance meets Thursday, July 17, for the first time since the council approved health insurance plan changes that have drawn vocal protests from city employees and retirees.

34. Council Hears Alternatives to Health Insurance Cuts -

Memphis City Council members fielded several plans Tuesday, July 15, for alternatives to health insurance cuts approved by the council last month. But leaders of the police and fire unions were not among those making an alternative proposal at the committee session, the first in a series of what amount to public hearings.

35. City Council Turns Again to Benefits Discussions -

Memphis City Council members won’t take any major votes Tuesday, July 15, on city employee benefits.

But the controversial topic will likely dominate much of another council day at City Hall. The council is in the gap between its approval of health insurance changes in June and an October vote on the companion proposal to change city employee pension plans for new hires and those with less than 10 years of service.

36. Cohen Touts Labor Union Endorsements -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, rolled out endorsements Monday, June 30, from much of the leadership of local labor unions in his re-election campaign.

37. Long Council Day Comes With Change, Emotions -

It was apparent early in the long council day Tuesday, June 17, at City Hall that there wouldn’t be many amendments to the $600 million operating budget and $84 million capital budget the council would approve later that evening.

38. Council Approves Budgets, Stable Tax Rate, Health Insurance Changes -

Memphis City Council members approved a $600 million operating budget and an $84 million capital budget Tuesday, June 17, for the city government fiscal year that begins July 1.

And the council gave final approval to larger changes to employee and retiree health insurance plans designed to make long term changes necessary to right the city’s financial condition.

39. Council to Vote on Insurance Changes, Budget -

Most of council day at City Hall Tuesday, June 17, will be devoted to closing out most, but not all, of the city’s budget season.

The Memphis City Council should make final decisions Tuesday on a stable city property tax rate and approve operating and capital budgets for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

40. Training Ground -

You can’t perfectly simulate a real-life disaster. Dr. Joe Holley knows this better than most.

41. Council Weighs Timeline for Key Votes -

The Memphis City Council’s vote later this month on health insurance changes for city employees and retirees is critical in terms of increasing the city’s annual required contribution toward its unfunded pension liability.

42. Council Hears Tentative Plans for Office Building -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would move the Memphis Police Department, information technology services and six city agencies renting offices on Union Avenue Extended into the Donnelley J. Hill office building if the city goes through with a plan to swap the office building with state government in exchange for parking spaces in the Peabody Place garage.

43. City Council Hears Tentative Plans for Office Building -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would move the Memphis Police Department, information technology services and six city agencies renting offices on Union Avenue Extended into the Donnelley J. Hill office building if the city goes through with a plan to swap the office building with state government in exchange for parking spaces in the Peabody Place garage.

44. Council Takes First Steps on Pension, Insurance -

The first votes by the Memphis City Council this week on righting the city’s financial affairs were tentative steps, making it hard to predict whether there will be seven votes to pass dramatic changes in city pensions and health care insurance.

45. Council Begins Decisions on City Financial Changes -

Memphis City Council members took the first steps Tuesday, June 3, toward major changes in pension benefits for city employees and began delving into the details of even broader changes in health insurance coverage for city employees and retirees.

46. Council to Discuss Retirement Plan Changes -

Memphis City Council members begin moving Tuesday, June 3, toward the first of three votes on a quartet of ordinances that would fundamentally change health care and pension benefits for city employees.

47. City Council Approves Shady Grove Development -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, May 20, a 22-lot residential planned development at the southeast corner of Shady Grove Road and Interstate 240 by Greenbrier Partners LLC.

48. City Council Approves Shady Grove Development -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, May 20, a 22-lot residential planned development at the southeast corner of Shady Grove Road and Interstate 240 by Greenbrier Partners LLC.

49. Council Hesitates Over Fire Recruit Class Funding and Charter Restrictions -

Memphis City Council members discussed a new recruit class Tuesday, May 20, for the Memphis Fire Department that is not in Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s budget proposal.

But council members voted down a plan to come up with the $1.7 million for the class of 100 fire recruits from a $3 million cut in the line item for fire department sick leave, proposed by council member Kemp Conrad.

50. City Council Reviews Fire Budget -

Memphis City Council members resume budget deliberations Tuesday, May 20, in committee sessions that take up half of the council day at City Hall.

Most of the time spent in the budget committee, chaired by council member Lee Harris, will be devoted to a review of the Memphis Fire Department budget proposal.

51. Council Mulls Pension Liability Numbers -

The leaders of the city’s police and fire unions watched closely Tuesday, May 7, at City Hall as new numbers on the city’s pension liability from a new group of actuaries appeared to reset the ongoing discussion about city finances.

52. City Council to Review Police Budget -

Memphis City Council members talk with their actuary Tuesday, May 6, about the city’s pension liability crisis as the council budget committee takes a first look at the Memphis Police Department’s budget.

53. Council Opens Budget Hearings With Cuts -

Memphis City Council members opened budget hearings Tuesday, April 29, with no frills presentations from city division directors and leaders of agencies funded by the city.

And with a majority of the 13-member council present for the opening day of the hearings, council members recommended $12 million in cuts from various departments, divisions and agencies by the lunch break in the all-day session and put the money toward the city’s annual required contribution for pension liability.

54. Overton Square Parking Gets Latest Solution -

Work on a pair of pedestrian crosswalks across Cooper Street at Monroe Avenue in the next two months could be the beginning of remedying traffic problems in Overton Square.

The crosswalks are the first crucial part in the plan that so far includes permits for residential parking on Monroe and some reserved parking in the Overton Square garage specifically for businesses in the area.

55. Council Questions Five-Year Wharton Plan -

It’s usually a quick bottom line for any local government budget proposal – does it mean a property tax hike?

The $596 million operating budget submitted to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 15, by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. does not include a property tax hike.

56. Wharton Outlines $596 Million Budget Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. warned Tuesday, April 15, that “half measures” in converting city employees to a defined contributions benefits plan would not restore the city’s financial health and resolve an unfunded pension liability of hundreds of millions of dollars.

57. City, Schools Agree To Mediation on Funding -

The city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools have agreed to an “official mediation process with a third party mediator” to resolve the $57 million claim and judgment the school system has against the city and the $89 million counterclaim the city is pursuing against the school system for capital funding.

58. City, Schools Agree To Mediation on Funding -

The city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools have agreed to an “official mediation process with a third party mediator” to resolve the $57 million claim and judgment the school system has against the city and the $89 million counterclaim the city is pursuing against the school system for capital funding.

59. Council Displeased With Budget Ideas -

This isn’t going to be pretty. Two weeks before Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. takes a budget proposal to the Memphis City Council, council members reacted angrily to how Wharton’s administration set the stage for its definitive recommendations.

60. Council Unhappy With Budget Plans So Far -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got a rough reception at the Tuesday, April 1, Memphis City Council session as it set the stage for Wharton’s budget proposal to come in two weeks.

61. City Council Continues Pension Talks -

Memphis City Council members continue their discussions Tuesday, March 18, about the city’s unfunded pension liability as well as possible changes in city employee heath care benefits.

But there is still no action on any part of the issues on the council agenda for a vote.

62. Council Looks to Pinpoint Pension Numbers -

The Tuesday, March 4, discussion Memphis City Council members had with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms centered on the city’s pension liability.

63. Council Weighs Conflicting Liability Numbers, Approves Mall Plan -

Memphis City Council members cleared much of their committee calendar Tuesday, Feb. 4, to talk for four hours about specifics of the city’s pension fund liability crisis.

The discussion with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms was aimed at trying to define the specifics of the problem, see if there is agreement on some of the numbers and better explain the differences.

64. Council Weighs Conflicting L:iability Numbers, Approves Mall Plan -

Memphis City Council members cleared much of their committee calendar Tuesday, Feb. 4, to talk for four hours about specifics of the city’s pension fund liability crisis.

The discussion with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms was aimed at trying to define the specifics of the problem, see if there is agreement on some of the numbers and better explain the differences.

65. City Council to Dig Into Pension Liability -

The road to a specific solution to the city’s unsustainable pension liability and employee benefits begins Tuesday, March 4, in detailed, technical and complex financial discussions at City Hall that will dominate the committee schedule of the Memphis City Council.

66. Seeking Collaboration -

The debate over which development projects should be public or public-private efforts could intensify in the coming months as the city of Memphis explores multiple redevelopment plans.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said if the city, which is facing strong financial headwinds, hopes to attract investment, it must sometimes help jump-start developments in areas that the private sector may otherwise be hesitant to enter.

67. Dunavant Awards Nomination Deadline Nears -

While candidates are watching the election calendar, the committee that will award the Dunavant Public Servant Awards is also watching the calendar.

There are two weeks left for citizens to nominate an elected official and/or an appointed public official for the awards named in honor of the late Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant.

68. Strickland: Shorten Pension Ramp-Up -

The Memphis City Council chairman thinks the city shouldn’t take five or six years to ramp up to an annual pension fund contribution of $100 million but instead do it in two fiscal years.

“I think everyone is in uniform support of fully funding our annual contribution,” council chairman Jim Strickland said on the WKNO-TV program “Behind the Headlines.” “In fact, I don’t think we ought to take six years. I think we ought to take two years. Get it fully funded, whether its $60 million or $100 million.”

69. Council Hires Actuary Consultant -

The Memphis City Council approved hiring its own actuary firm Tuesday, Feb. 18, to review the city’s financial state, namely city government’s unfunded pension liability. The council voted to hire Segal Consulting of Atlanta to advise it as the council prepared for a March 4 committee session in which it will meet with the administration’s actuary and others on the unsustainable trajectory the pension fund is on.

70. Council Hires Actuary Consultant -

The Memphis City Council approved hiring its own actuary firm Tuesday, Feb. 18, to review the city’s financial state, namely city government’s unfunded pension liability. The council voted to hire Segal Consulting of Atlanta to advise it as the council prepared for a March 4 committee session in which it will meet with the administration’s actuary and others on the unsustainable trajectory the pension fund is on.

71. Council Tours Pyramid, Weighs City Offices In Two Malls -

Memphis City Council members heard Tuesday, Feb. 18, that the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to move some city government offices into the Soulsville Town Center in South Memphis and is weighing whether to renovate or tear down and build anew on the site of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

72. Dunavant Awards Symposium Set for April 21 -

When the 11th annual Bobby Dunavant Public Service awards are given out in April, the University of Memphis will also host the awards’ second annual symposium on public service.

73. City Delays Fairgrounds Zone Application Vote -

The city of Memphis won’t be going to the Tennessee Building Commission in Nashville this week for approval of a Tourism Development Zone for the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. decided to delay the proposal last week as it reviewed the fairgrounds renovation financing plan with Memphis City Council members.

74. Police, Fire Directors Discuss Budget With Council -

Memphis City Council members got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

75. Council Hears More on Police and Fire Budget Decisions -

Memphis City Council member got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

76. Sen. Alexander to Keynote Dunavant Awards -

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will be the keynote speaker in April for the 11th annual Bobby Dunavant Public Service Awards.

Alexander, also a former Tennessee governor, U.S. Secretary of Education and president of the University of Tennessee, will speak at the April 21 luncheon at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.

77. Council Approves Ballpark Deal, Changes Coming -

When AutoZone Park opens for another season of Redbirds baseball, you probably won’t notice anything different about the ballpark itself, though it will be owned by the city and the Redbirds will be owned by the St. Louis Cardinals.

78. Council Approves Ballpark Deal -

Memphis City Council members approved the city’s $19.5 million purchase of AutoZone Park Tuesday, Jan. 7, and another $4.5 million in improvements to the baseball park.

The deal includes the St. Louis Cardinals buying the Memphis Redbirds franchise and entering into a 17-year lease with the city of Memphis at $300,000 a year.

79. Harris to Lead Council’s Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

80. Debt and Liability -

There is rarely a good answer to the question “How much?” in politics.

With issues including the unfunded pension liability, overall debt, and revenue estimates and their validity, City Hall’s overall money problem begins but hardly ends with the question. It won’t be that simple.

81. Harris to Lead City Council Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

82. Strickland Suggests Redbirds Ticket Surcharge -

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland is floating the idea of a Memphis Redbirds ticket surcharge to guarantee a more consistent flow of revenues to pay off the debt from the city’s proposed purchase of AutoZone Park.

83. Strickland Suggests Redbirds Ticket Surcharge -

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland is floating the idea of a Memphis Redbirds ticket surcharge to guarantee a more consistent flow of revenues to pay off the debt from the city’s proposed purchase of AutoZone Park.

84. Council Rules Could Change in 2014 -

Memphis City Council members are already starting to adapt some items in a set of proposed changes in how they conduct business.

The proposal took a bit longer to formulate than originally anticipated.

85. City Council Questions Pension Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. plans to ask the Memphis City Council sometime in February or March to close the city’s defined benefits pension plan to new hires and those city employees with less than 10 years of service.

86. Council Opens Unfunded Liability Plan Talks With Questions -

Memphis City Council members again rejected Tuesday, Dec. 17, an increase in the city’s monthly solid waste fee and affirmed a 2.1 percent hike in the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division water rate hike.

87. City Council to Revisit Water, Waste Fee Hikes -

Memphis City Council members will at least talk at their last meeting of the year about undoing two votes they’ve taken recently.

The Tueday, Dec. 17, council agenda includes revisiting its Nov. 19 approval of a 2.13 percent increase in Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division water rates.

88. Veterans’ Aid -

Cordell Walker wanted to join the military in the 1960s as his older friends were enlisting or being drafted for the Vietnam War.

“I really wanted to join the military but could not because I was the only son in my family and I was too young,” said Walker, who for the last 26 years has been executive director of Alpha Omega Veterans Services Inc.

89. Council Changes Ballpark Terms, Delays Approval -

Memphis City Council members received some more answers Monday, Dec. 9, to their questions about the proposal for the city to buy AutoZone Park. But some of those answers were different than the ones they got to the same questions last week.

90. Nominations Open for Dunavant Public Service Awards -

The 11th annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards in 2014 will be awarded against a backdrop of the largest election ballot in Shelby County history.

The once-every-eight-year August ballot features not only county races held every four years but judicial offices for terms of eight years, U.S. Senate primaries and primaries in the governor’s race.

91. Ballpark Deal Back on Council’s Agenda -

After getting a rough reception last week, the deal for the city of Memphis to buy AutoZone Park and the St. Louis Cardinals to buy the Memphis Redbirds baseball team returns to the Memphis City Council Monday, Dec. 9, for a vote.

92. Council Weighs Crosstown, AutoZone Park Deals -

Memphis City Council members could complete financing Tuesday, Dec. 3, of the Crosstown project. And there will be a move by some on the council to delay any decision on the proposal for the city to buy AutoZone Park.

93. Team Players -

The key players, from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to St. Louis Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., grabbed the microphone at an invitation-only rally held on the club level of AutoZone Park and made their best pitches.

94. Tax Dead Dilemma -

The brick church at 299 Chelsea Ave. in North Memphis shows up in records at the Shelby County Assessor’s office as “vacant land.”

95. New Council Chairman Could Have New Rules -

The new chairman of the Memphis City Council in 2014 could be overseeing the council under a different set of ground rules.

Jim Strickland was elected chairman by his fellow City Council members Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start his one-year term in January.

96. Council Keeps Southbrook Mall Renovation Alive -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start over again in plans to find a legal use for city funds in renovating the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

And the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. gave a qualified endorsement through what amounts to a new feasibility study on the mall due before the council in a month.

97. Midtown Kroger Construction to Start -

With a few amendments by the Memphis-Shelby County Board of Adjustment Wednesday, Oct. 23, the new Midtown Kroger supermarket rolled out of the planning and zoning process and into preparation for demolition of the old Belvedere apartments building and construction of the new store.

98. Beale Street Deal Would Pay Handy Park Debt -

The settlement of the last remaining item in the bankruptcy petition of Beale Street developer Performa Entertainment hasn’t gone by any of the scripts the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has written and rewritten.

99. City Council to Vote on Bonds, Review Land Swap -

Memphis City Council members this week take up $375 million in refunding bonds and general obligation bonds, and discuss a land swap with Church of the River for access to a boardwalk on the Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River.

100. Overton Square Garage Opens -

Visitors to Overton Square know that parking has been at a premium recently, with side streets around the entertainment district filling up as quickly as the restaurants and shops there.

Parking at Overton Square should get much easier with the opening of its 451-space parking garage at the northeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Florence Street. The city-owned garage opened this weekend, and parking is free for the rest of October.