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1. Five Years in the Life -

Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines has just merged with more than 150 flights a day at Memphis International Airport shifting to the Delta brand. And Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, said Memphis would be an integral hub with more traffic.

2. 2010 -

Is it over yet? That may be the most frequently asked question in the New Year. “It” is the worst national economic recession since the Great Depression.

Accurately reading the indicators will not be easy. Some will predict the recession is about to end, just as new indicators point to continuing economic agony for thousands of Memphians.

3. UPDATE: Lowery Appoints Coleman-Davis Deputy City Attorney -  

Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery has appointed his choice to be city attorney to be deputy city attorney until the City Council can act on her nomination.

The naming of Veronica Coleman-Davis to the number two spot is the latest twist in a controvery that began minutes after Lowery took the oath of office Friday and fired City Attorney Elbert Jefferson.

Jefferson then filed suit in Chancery Court against Lowery contesting Lowery's decision to fire him. Chancellor Walter Evans issued a preliminary injunction preventing Jefferson's dismissal at least until a hearing before Evans Wednesday afternoon.

On the Drake & Zeke Show on radio station 98.1 The Max, Lowery said until the council acts, Coleman-Davis, a former U.S. Attorney, will be deputy director. Her appointment to that position is immediate and does not require council approval.

Meanwhile, Jefferson's attorney, Ricky E. Wilkins, told The Daily News her confirmation Tuesday as City Attorney would have to come after a council vote to back Jefferson's firing.

"We will ask the court to continue to keep that injunction in place throughout the tenure of Myron Lowery as mayor pro tempore," Wilkins said. "If Myron is able to get the necessary votes to terminate Mr. Jefferson and to get the votes to replace him with a substitute city attorney ... then that's what the process calls for and I think Mr. Jefferson understands that. But Myron Lowery cannot ignore and violate the city charter to satisfy his own political means."

Jefferson was at City Hall over the weekend, escorted by City Council attorney Allan Wade, according to Lowery.

After taking the oath of office Friday afternoon from U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays, Lowery told reporters he had offered Jefferson a severance and a chance to resign the appointed post. Jefferson refused which apparently surprised Lowery since Jefferson had tendered his resignation to outgoing Mayor Willie Herenton earlier in the month and Herenton refused to accept it.

Lowery met with Jefferson in a City Hall stairwell after the swearing in ceremony. Lowery emerged without Jefferson and told reporters he had fired the attorney. Several sources said later that Jefferson was escorted from the building and his parking pass and other identification taken as he was walked to his car and out of City Hall.

Wilkins termed the forcible exit a "low blow" and a "fairly drastic action."

“The legal department has almost been a black hole for dollars,” Lowery said Friday, minutes after the stairwell meeting. “I think that we spend too much money on attorney fees. I think that our city attorney has allowed this to happen without adequate controls on this. And I’m looking for stronger controls in the city attorney’s office.”

“If the mayor pro tempore doesn’t have the power, who does?” Lowery said. “Of course I do.”

Power play

In addition to Coleman-Davis, Lowery will also take the nomination of former council member Jack Sammons as his Chief Administrative Officer to the council Tuesday.

Herenton CAO Keith McGee had retired effective July 4. But when Herenton moved back his resignation date to July 30, McGee extended his stay on a voluntary basis. McGee is working with Lowery on a transitional basis. Lowery said he had hoped Jefferson would work under the same arrangement.

“He wanted to keep the title and the salary that comes with it. So I had to make a decision,” Lowery said. “I wish he had accepted it. … He’s forced me to take this action.”

Lowery said he wants Coleman Davis to examine past city legal bills and expenses.

“I have heard that several individuals have been hired … in the legal department to fill vacancies who were scheduled to start work Monday. I just found this out,” Lowery told reporters. “I want to make sure that we don’t have cronies of our former legal division director who have been hired.”

Those appointments will be examined.

“I don’t want any friends of the division director receiving dollars or any backroom deals outside the scope of the City Council. You know what I’m talking about,” he told reporters. “That is not going to occur under my administration.”

‘Hard work and enthusiasm’

As Lowery moved into the seventh floor mayor’s office Friday at City Hall, council member Harold Collins moved into the council chairman’s office on the fifth floor as part of the transition in power following Herenton’s resignation. Collins indicated his displeasure with the firing of Jefferson and said he wants Lowery and Jefferson to be at Tuesday's council committee sessions to tell their sides of the story.

“It’s a new day at City Hall,” Lowery told a crowd in the Hall of Mayors the day after Herenton’s farewell address in the same hall. Lowery’s guests at the ceremony were Herenton, former Mayor Dick Hackett and J.O. Patterson Jr., the city’s first African-American mayor who served in the top post for 20 days after the resignation of Mayor Wyeth Chandler in 1982. Patterson was City Council chairman at the time. Like Lowery, Patterson also ran in the special election that followed and lost to Hackett, who lost to Herenton nine years later by 142 votes.

“With new life, new individuals, comes hope and promise,” Lowery said. “As mayor, I will promote a moral philosophy of customer service – customer-driven government. … I’m here also to say that I’m going to promote ethical leadership in government.”

One priority will be a new crime fighting strategy, although Lowery was quick to say he likes the direction the police department and those efforts have taken under current Police Director Larry Godwin. The other immediate priority is a more aggressive city cleanup campaign.

Lowery didn’t refer to Herenton directly in any of his comments, but the contrasts were apparent.

“We will be energetic in city government – more productive There’s a phrase, ‘We need to be workhorses, not showhorses.’” Lowery said. “You will not get a lot of catchy phrases from me. But you will get a lot of hard work and enthusiasm.”

The remark came the day after Herenton’s farewell address and press conference in which Herenton repeatedly invoked what looks to be the campaign slogan “Keep It Real” in his bid for the Democratic congressional nomination in 2010.

“As everyone knows, we’ve lost many people during the past several years. I’m going to say come home to Memphis,” Lowery said.

The remark is in contrast to one of Herenton’s most cited quotes from his 18-year tenure. When asked about citizens moving out of Memphis for the suburbs, Herenton responded by saying he had no problem with that and adding “goodbye.”

...

4. UPDATE: Lowery Promises 'New Day' for Memphis -

Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery fired City Attorney Elbert Jefferson on his first day in office, apparently during a meeting in a City Hall stairwell.

After taking the oath of office Friday afternoon from U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays, Lowery told reporters he had offered Jefferson a severance and a chance to resign the appointed post. Jefferson refused and Lowery met with him in a City Hall stairwell after the swearing in ceremony. Lowery emerged without Jefferson and told reporters he had fired the attorney.

5. Library Director to Lead City’s Public Services -

Memphis library director Keenon McCloy will be doing double duty for the remainder of Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s time in office.

McCloy became director of the city’s division of Public Services & Neighborhoods as the resignations of director Kenneth Moody and deputy director Yalanda McFadgon became effective over the weekend. The division includes the library system.

6. Herenton-Lowery Transition Under Way in Choppy Waters -

He is serving his fifth term in office, having come to political power in the historic 1991 city elections. He became a politician after a career in which he was already in the public eye. He is outspoken and intense and he is not Willie Herenton.

7. Herenton Delays Resignation by Almost Three Weeks -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton sent a letter Monday to City Council chairman and would-be mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery saying he will delay for almost three weeks his resignation.

The news comes after several days of speculation that the mayor would delay or step back from his previously announced resignation date of July 10 because of dissatisfaction with the crowded field of candidates vying to succeed him. That field includes more than a dozen candidates and is growing almost by the day.

8. Herenton Staying Put for Almost Three More Weeks -

Memphis mayor Willie Herenton sent a letter Monday to City Council chairman and would-be mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery saying the mayor will delay for almost three weeks his resignation.

The news comes after several days of speculation the mayor would delay or step back from his previously announced resignation date of July 10 because of dissatisfaction with the crowded field of candidates vying to succeed him. That field includes more than a dozen candidates and is growing almost by the day.

9. The Politics of Rape: What went wrong at MSARC -

There’s no such thing as a textbook rape victim. There are, however, some very thick and detailed textbooks on how medical and legal authorities should come to a victim’s aid.

Those two realities collided violently in March inside an examination room at the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

10. Herenton Resigns -

It’s over.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is resigning effective July 10 to devote all of his time to a bid for Congress in the 2010 election and to join his son, Rodney, in a financial investment business, the mayor announced Thursday.

11. City CAO Resigns to Pursue Other Interests -

The Herenton administration’s No. 2 man announced Wednesday he is leaving City Hall.

Keith McGee, the city’s chief administrative officer, plans to retire effective July 4.

McGee, 47, sent the written notice to Mayor Willie Herenton the day after the City Council completed action on a city budget and tax rate for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

12. UPDATE: McGee To Retire As City CAO - The Herenton administration’s No. 2 man announced Wednesday he is leaving City Hall.

Keith McGee, the city’s chief administrative officer, plans to retire effective July 4.

McGee, 47, sent the written notice to Mayor Willie Herenton the day after the City Council completed action on a city budget and tax rate for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Along with the city finance director, the CAO traditionally shepherds the administration through council deliberations on the city budget.

“My pastoral ministry and other consulting interests are calling me to transition at this time,” wrote McGee who has been pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Tipton County since 1992. “I am excited about the chance to explore some unique opportunities that require my time and attention. … I plan to continue my service to this great community through civic activities.”

McGee was a consultant to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections before going to work for the city in 1993. He oversaw personnel training for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and worked in the Shelby County jail in various positions.

But late Wednesday afternoon, McGee told The Daily News he is pursuing other consultant possibilities outside corrections.

No successor has been named for McGee.

In announcing McGee’s retirement, Herenton described McGee’s service as “exemplary.”

The CAO is responsible for the day to day running of all divisions of city government and reports directly to the mayor.

McGee became chief administrative officer in 2003 at the beginning of Herenton’s fourth term of office. Before that he had served four years as director of the division of Human Resources. He went to work for the Herenton administration in 1993 as the deputy director of human resources.

McGee figured prominently in Herenton’s brief flirtation with resigning the mayor’s office in 2008. City Charter provisions at the time would have made McGee the mayor after a 20-day tenure by then-council chairman Scott McCormick.

Before abandoning the idea of resigning, Herenton’s plan relied heavily on McGee continuing Herenton’s political agenda.

In addition to overseeing the administration’s budget priorities, McGee has also been involved in the administration’s attempt to recover from a growing list of problems at the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center (MSARC).

Herenton admitted there were problems but added fuel to the political fire with an appearance before the City Council earlier this month in which he declared MSARC would remain a city agency as long as he was mayor.

Herenton said McGee had counseled him not to go into problems at the center, which included a staffing shortage as well as a lack of administrative oversight. And McGee had also helped Herenton craft a prepared statement for the council that Herenton left unused for the most part.

Less than a week later, Herenton and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced MSARC would become a part of the county-led Health Department.

...

13. Rape Center Management Tops Council Agenda -

For the second time in two weeks, Memphis City Council members will discuss the management of the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center. The discussion is expected to dominate today’s council executive session at 1 p.m.

14. Health Department Talks To Continue Next Week -

No deal on continued partial city funding of the local Health Department in exchange for turning over Shelby County government’s share of The Pyramid to the city.

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners this week rejected a vote on the proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

15. No Commission Vote On City's Pyramid Health Dept. Offer -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners considered and, at least for now, rejected a vote on a proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

16. No Commission Vote On City's Pyramid Health Dept. Offer -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners considered and, at least for now, rejected a vote on a proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

17. Commission To Consider Fite Road Bridge -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners today will consider $68,000 in funding for environmental and design work on a bridge that would span Fite Road in northern Shelby County from U.S. 51 to Woodstock Boulevard.

18. Despite Budget, City Seeks to Overhaul Convention Center -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton sent a memo last week to Keith McGee, the city’s chief administrative officer, requesting that the city shelve its buyout offer to 100 city employees. The offer would have cost $6.4 million to implement.

19. Herenton Calls Off City Hall Buyout Plan -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced Friday (Feb. 20) that he is calling off a plan to offer buyouts to 100 city employees by April.

20. City’s Buyout Plan Changes From Proposed Form -

The city employee buyout plan approved by the Memphis City Council this week was different from the plan proposed by the Herenton administration.

The plan’s goal is to entice 100 city employees with 15 or more years of service to leave the payroll and save the city an estimated $6.4 million a year going forward. The plan has a one-time cost of $6.4 million.

21. Another Year, Another Approach For Herenton’s Consolidation Hope -

Once he started the first workweek of the New Year, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton was handed a piece of paper. It is something that happens frequently. Usually there is a name and a phone number written on the scrap of paper and a brief description of a problem.

22. Herenton Makes Headlines, Backpedals in ’08 -

The city’s most fascinating politician in 2008 was also its most unpredictable – Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

23. Mall Purchase Idea Spurs Further Debate -

It would be called the Southeast Satellite Multiplex. The new name is not as snappy as Hickory Ridge Mall, but it does fit the government facility the Herenton administration proposes to retrofit into the mall severely damaged by a tornado in February.

24. Cleanup Effort Provides Model For Neighborhoods -

The city of Memphis signaled a change in community cleanup efforts with this weekend’s cleanup of the Kansas Riverview area in southwest Memphis.

The vicinity was saturated with city cleanup crews and code enforcement inspectors. But it also involved church groups and other volunteers in a first-of-its-kind effort.

25. Herenton Clarifies Resignation Letter -

As he left City Hall on the evening of March 20, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton told The Daily News that he planned to step down as mayor and was considering a variety of other job opportunities. One of those appeared to be the job of Memphis City Schools superintendent, which he held for 12 years before his election as mayor in 1991.

26. Herenton Wants Schools System Any Way he Can Get It -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton will take ideas for changing the Memphis City Schools system to the City Council next month.

City Chief Administrative Officer Keith McGee told council Chairman Scott McCormick Tuesday that Herenton wanted some time and McCormick has scheduled it during May 6 committee sessions.

27. Prosecutor Meets With Herenton About Sex Plot -

More than nine months after he was assigned the task of investigating an alleged blackmail plot targeting Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, the special prosecutor brought in to pursue that case has sent the mayor a draft report of his findings.

28. Take Back! Mayoral Resignation Saga Marches On -

Less than a week after he said he was going to give up the office of mayor in July, Willie Herenton has taken back what originally seemed to be a simple but stunning plan to leave the mayor's office with plenty of notice.

29. Is He or Isn’t He? Herenton Backtracks on Resignation Plans -

Less than a week after he said he was going to give up the office of mayor in July, Willie Herenton has taken back what originally seemed to be a simple but stunning plan to leave the mayor’s office with plenty of notice.

30. What Now? -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's three predecessors in office each left for lives far from the intense political spotlight that comes with being the city's chief executive officer.

Herenton has been like Dick Hackett, Wyeth Chandler and Henry Loeb in his status as a political loner who sometimes has been solitary in the pursuit of his goals. It's the nature of the office and a trait that Memphis voters have returned to from election year to election year.

31. Herenton Announces Resignation Effective July, Wants to ‘Pursue Other Options’ -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is resigning at the end of July.

Herenton announced the stunning political move at a private Downtown luncheon today and word filtered out late this afternoon. As he left City Hall this evening, Herenton told The Daily News he “wanted to pursue other options.”

32. City DirectorsConfirmed by Council -      All 13 city division directors and city Chief Administrative Officer Keith McGee were confirmed Tuesday by the Memphis City Council. The slate was nominated by Mayor Willie Herenton at the start of his fifth term of offi

33. Council ExpectedTo Confirm Appointments -      Memphis City Council members are expected to confirm Mayor Willie Herenton's administrative team at today's meeting.
     Chief Administrative Officer Keith L. McGee is up for reappointment.

34. Ribs Served Before Political Heartburn Begins -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and all 13 City Council members who begin a new term of office next year met at the Rendezvous this week for ribs with a side order of good intentions. The lunch hour session came with a bit of spice from Herenton and incoming council Chairman Scott McCormick that might make for some political heartburn over the next four years.

35. On And On It Goes: Word has it that Thomas Jr. won't show at next council meeting -

Federal prosecutors dropped their bombshell a few days before the Memphis City Council met Dec. 5. Criminal complaints implicated two councilmen and a well-connected lobbyist in a money-for-votes scandal that, in at least one instance, apparently benefited wealthy landowner William H. Thomas Jr.

36. Memphis Leaders Consider Living Wage Issue -

Should companies that are given contracts by the city of Memphis be required to pay workers at least $10 an hour with benefits?

For David Ciscel, an economics professor at the University of Memphis, that answer is a resounding 'yes.' Ciscel has written several documents in support of a minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum, an idea commonly referred to as a living wage.

37. Archived Article: Gov Focus - City Leaders Collaborate on South Forum Redevelopment

City Leaders Collaborate on South Forum Redevelopment

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

At a recent series of meetings held by the Center City Commission on redevelopment of the area south of ...

38. Archived Article: Daily Digest - University Tower Condo Units

University Tower Condos

Sell for $3.7 Million

Cameron LC has purchased 149 units in University Tower Condominiums from Larry and Merrel Durham for $3.7 million, according to The Daily News Public Records Databas...

39. Archived Article: Memos - Memphis memos 01-15-03

Edward L. Ted Nerren III joined Bean & Ison as a consultant. Prior to that, he served Robert Halfs Management Resources Division as an account executive and as a project consultant for APL Logistics. Nerren earned a mas...

40. Archived Article: Memos - Easley To Replace Georgiu As Brett Easley was appointed acting president of Alldata. Easley was formerly vice president of information and training for AutoZone. Keith Johnson was named senior vice president of the YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South....