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Editorial Results (free)

1. Outsourcing: Savings, But No Specifics -

The Haslam administration is forging ahead with plans to nab a statewide facilities services contractor after an outside analysis backed up a study showing estimated cost savings of more than $35 million a year at Tennessee universities.

2. State Bonds Sell For Record Low Interest Rate -

The state of Tennessee has completed the sale of approximately $366 million of general obligation bonds for the lowest interest ever negotiated in the state’s history, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

3. State Bonds Sell For Record Low Interest Rate -

The state of Tennessee has completed the sale of approximately $366 million of general obligation bonds for the lowest interest ever negotiated in the state’s history, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

4. ASD Financial Control Shifts to Nashville -

A performance audit report on the Achievement School District by Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released this week is critical of the financial controls in place at the state-run school system for the lowest-performing schools in the state.

5. Rating Agencies, State Comptroller Tout Improved City of Memphis Finances -

The most outspoken critic of the city’s financial condition said Monday, July 25, that Memphis leaders have made a “remarkable achievement.”

“Just three years ago there was a serious question about whether the City Council would take the necessary steps to control its budget and determine Memphis’ future,” Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson wrote Monday to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis City Council chairman Kemp Conrad. “If you continue on this path, Memphis will reclaim its rightful place among the truly vibrant cities of the world.”

6. Former Public Works Director In Mason Indicted for Theft -

The town of Mason’s former public works superintendent, Christopher Lee Trimble, has been indicted by a Tipton County grand jury on charges of official misconduct and theft after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

7. Crosstown High Organizers Say It Will Be Innovative, Whether Charter or Optional -

Crosstown High School could be a charter school after all.

That was the original plan when charter operator Gestalt Community Schools signed on as one of the early tenants of Crosstown Concourse, the transformation of the old Sears Tower on Cleveland Avenue. When Gestalt pulled out of the project in late 2015, a group of philanthropists and community leaders rallied to recruit another school for the mixed-use high-rise.

8. Poplar Place Apartments Sell for $15.3 Million -

1669 Randolph Place
Memphis, TN 38120

Sale Amount: $15.3 million

Sale Date: May 6

Buyer: Poplar Place TN Townhomes LLC

9. GOP Fractures Ruin Reagan Day Fundraiser in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Reagan Day fundraisers have been a staple of GOP politics ever since the Great Communicator made a point of promoting the 11th Commandment – thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But in the conservative suburbs east of Nashville, the event has become too poisonous to be held this year.

10. Memphis Redbirds Set Roster for 2016 Season -

The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have announced their roster as of Thursday, April 7.

Fifteen players on the 25-man spent time in Memphis last season, including Dean Kiekhefer, Thomas Lee, Arturo Reyes, Ryan Sherriff, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Justin Wright and Heath Wyatt on the pitching staff, catcher Alberto Rosario, infielders Dean Anna, Alex Mejia, Matt Williams and Jacob Wilson, and outfielders Anthony Garcia and Nick Martini.

11. Memphis Redbirds Set Roster for 2016 Season -

The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have announced their roster as of Thursday, April 7.

Fifteen players on the 25-man spent time in Memphis last season, including Dean Kiekhefer, Thomas Lee, Arturo Reyes, Ryan Sherriff, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Justin Wright and Heath Wyatt on the pitching staff, catcher Alberto Rosario, infielders Dean Anna, Alex Mejia, Matt Williams and Jacob Wilson, and outfielders Anthony Garcia and Nick Martini.

12. New Haslam Spending Proposed for Roads, TennCare, Schools -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday proposed new spending on Tennessee roads, TennCare and schools.

The annual budget amendment reflects the governor's priorities for spending about $65 million in savings beyond what was originally projected for the budget year beginning July 1.

13. Tennessee Comptroller Investigates 2 Food Program Agencies -

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Comptroller's Office is questioning the spending of one agency and the reimbursements claimed by another that participate in food programs to feed low-income children.

14. Sparks Fly In Nashville Over Deannexation -

The Tennessee Legislature’s debate about a proposed deannexation law isn’t a case of Memphis against the rest of the state.

It’s a debate within the Shelby County legislative delegation and with a few exceptions, most of the critics of the measure that would allow referendums to undo annexations that are in some cases 18 years old are Memphis legislators.

15. Tennessee House Approves Deannexation Bill -

The Tennessee House approved a deannexation bill Monday, March 14, in a 68-25 vote after an emotional debate and a tide of amendments that were all voted down on the floor.

Republican state Representative Mike Carter of Hamilton County also disputed Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s claim that the city of Memphis stands to lose approximately $80 million in sales and property tax revenues.

16. Audit Finds Accounting Problems in Fayette County -

State Comptroller Justin P. Wilson used the word “troublesome” in describing recurring accounting findings and previously recommended adjustments that have gone unresolved in Fayette County.

His comments came with an audit released Thursday, March 10, by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office identifying 14 areas of concern with accounting practices in Fayette County government.

17. Senate Finance Committee Votes To Add 2 Open Records Jobs -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Senate Finance Committee has voted to approve funding for two new positions in Tennessee government to help clear a backlog of open record questions.

A recent comptroller's audit documented more than 600 open or pending cases where citizens or governments made requests to the Office of Open Records Counsel, which helps people obtain government records.

18. College Football Notebook: Vols Get Bowl Upgrade, All-SEC Teams Named -

Last season, coach Butch Jones got Tennessee back to a bowl game. This season, they’ve moved up from the TaxSlayer Bowl to the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.

It’s a tangible step for a program that finished 8-4, 5-3 in the SEC. And looking back over the schedule at what might have been, the Vols easily could have played for the SEC title or at least already have 10 wins.

19. City Council to Vote on Idlewild Gate, Water Rate Hike -

A gate across Idlewild Street between two competing supermarket projects in Midtown tops the Memphis City Council’s next-to-last meeting of the year.

The council is to vote Tuesday, Dec. 1, on a resolution that would close Idlewild south of Union Avenue to vehicular traffic and install a gate. The reason, according to the resolution, is to prevent motorists coming from Union Avenue and the two developments from cutting through the residential area.

20. Comptroller: Action Needed on MLGW Water Rates -

Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson has warned city leaders that Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s water division could come under state control if action isn’t taken to make up a $2 million deficit in water revenue.

21. Painful thought: Will the Titans ever be good again? -

As the Tennessee Titans head down the backstretch of another unproductive season, it might be time to ponder a scary question: Will the Titans ever be good again?

How much longer will they be an NFL’s bottom feeder, swimming the same muddy waters as the Raiders, Browns, Lions and Jaguars?

22. Experts Predict Big Tenn. Revenue Growth This Year and Next -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Experts are predicting a large budget surplus in Tennessee in the current year, and more revenue growth in the next.

In presentations made to the State Funding Board on Friday, Robert Currey of the Legislature's Fiscal Review Committee had the most optimistic surplus projection of $422 million for the budget year ending June 30.

23. Despite Rhetoric, Florida Game Critical for Tennessee's Butch Jones -

Tennessee’s Butch Jones will coach the biggest game of his three-year tenure with the Vols – and probably the biggest of his entire coaching career – at Florida on Saturday.

Like it or not, Jones is carrying the weight of UT’s 10-game losing streak to Florida on his shoulders.

24. Public Outcry Kills Tennessee Bill to Charge for Public Records -

People of every political stripe across Tennessee are rising in protest to legislation allowing government to charge fees for inspection of public records.

Fisk University student Justin Jones said such a financial imposition would place an “undue burden” on his fellow collegians seeking information from public records as part of research papers and other assignments.

25. Wharton Reintroduces Detroit Specter as Early Voting Begins -

When the city of Memphis got an unmistakable warning in May 2013 from Tennessee comptroller Justin Wilson to get its financial house in order, Memphis mayor A C Wharton was among those quick to caution against likening the city’s problems to those of Detroit.

26. Tennessee Hearings Show Most Oppose New Public Records Charges -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawmakers are asking taxpayers to weigh in on a proposal to charge people to view public records, and the taxpayers' response so far is clear: No.

The meetings were organized by the state Office of Open Records Counsel at the behest of lawmakers who want to change the current law that allows custodians to charge for copies but not for simply inspecting records.

27. Hearings Scheduled on Proposed Changes to Tennessee Records Laws -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state Office of Open Records Counsel is holding a series of hearings this week about a proposal to make taxpayers pay to inspect public records in Tennessee.

28. UTHSC Pursuing Hotel-Conference Center in Medical District -

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is looking for a developer to build a hotel and conference center at the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and South Pauline Street.

29. Mayoral Debate Clash Focuses on City Finances -

Memphis city government’s financial problems and how those problems happened was the flashpoint for the latest meeting of the top mayoral contenders on the Oct. 8 ballot.

The Wednesday, Aug. 19, forum sponsored by The Commercial Appeal at the University of Memphis saw incumbent Mayor A C Wharton Jr. clash with challengers and city council members Jim Strickland and Harold Collins. The fourth debate contender, Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams, argued for different city priorities and a slower move toward economic development goals.

30. Preseason Analysis: Vols Will Defeat Oklahoma, Finish 8-4 -

Tennessee’s football team has something to prove as it concludes the first week of preseason practices and moves forward to the 2015 season.

The Vols must prove they belong in the national picture in Butch Jones’ third year as coach.

31. State Audit Uncovers Millions in Questionable Spending -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An audit of the Tennessee Department of Human Services found a lack of oversight led to at least $1.8 million in questionable spending last year from contractors operating programs to feed the needy. In 2013, the questioned costs were $4.3 million. And that is just in the small sample of agencies auditors reviewed.

32. Fino’s Taking a Bite Out of East Memphis -

The Brookhaven Circle area, an emerging restaurant row in the heart of East Memphis, is welcoming a new neighbor.

Jerry Wilson, owner of Fino’s from the Hill at 1853 Madison Ave. in Midtown, has acquired the property at 703 W. Brookhaven Circle in East Memphis for $526,600.

33. Memphis City Council’s Distrust of Wharton Boils to Surface -

If it wasn’t obvious in five previous budget seasons, Memphis City Council members made the point clearer Tuesday, June 16, just before they delayed final city budget votes for another week.

They don’t trust the numbers and explanations they are getting from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as they try to rearrange his $656.5 million budget that was proposed in April.

34. Tennessee Comptroller's Audit Division Wins National Award -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state comptroller's audit division has won the 2015 excellence in accountability award from the National State Auditors Association.

The award from the national group recognizes the Division of State Audit's efforts to improve communication between auditors and state agencies. The division's "Guide to State Audits," which is distributed to agencies at the start of every audit, was recognized as the group's special project of the year.

35. Wharton Traces City’s Path in Financial Crisis -

City Hall’s budget season in this Memphis election year will be about more than the dollar figures and line items in Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s budget proposal.

It will be about different versions of how the city got into its ongoing financial crisis.

36. City Debt Restructure Isn’t the End of Finance Debate -

The table was rectangular, not round. There was no green felt and nobody had a deck of cards. But when 10 Memphis City Council members, Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Tennessee comptroller Justin Wilson gathered in the council’s committee room Tuesday, March 17, there were lots of comparisons to a poker game. And lots of money was at stake.

37. City Council Approves Debt Restructuring -

Memphis City Council members voted 8-4 Tuesday, March 17, to approve a proposed restructuring of city debt payments.

Council members approved Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s proposal after a day of questions for financial consulting firm PFM and Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson.

38. Tennessee Secretary of State Hires Reporter as Spokesman -

Secretary of State Tre Hargett has named television reporter Adam Ghassemi as his new spokesman.

Ghassemi, who most recently worked for WTVF in Nashville, succeeds Blake Fontenay, who was originally hired to be a spokesman for Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard.

39. Open Meetings Laws Don't Apply to Tennessee Transparency Panel -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A panel of experts assembled to offer advice on transparency issues is not subject to the state's open meetings law. At least that's the opinion of Ann Butterworth, who heads the Comptroller's Office of Open Records Counsel.

40. Financial Debate Looms at City Hall -

With Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to present his budget proposal to the City Council in May, some on the council started to set the table this week for an election year challenge of Wharton’s methods for righting the city’s financial condition.

41. Council Delays Financial Votes, Approves Beale Street Authority -

Memphis City Council members approved a $4.5 million advance Tuesday, March 3, for the Memphis Area Transit Authority to get past a cash flow problem.

But the council delayed for two weeks a vote on a larger mid-fiscal year budget adjustment for city government in general.

42. City Council to Get Update Halfway Into Fiscal Year -

Memphis City Council members return to the matter of city finances Tuesday, March 3, with a financial review in a 9:30 a.m. committee session that marks the halfway point in the city’s fiscal year.

43. Tenn. Political Leaders Put Off Gas Tax Talk Despite Needs -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – While political leaders in Tennessee agree on the growing need to bolster funding for road building and maintenance, there is little consensus about how go about doing it.

44. Editorial: City Hall and the Bubble -

About five years ago at City Hall, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had a “plain vanilla” plan for the city’s finances that would get the city past a tough period.

His description was in keeping with the ho-hum aura of past debt-restructuring actions the Memphis City Council has seen over the years.

45. City Talking Debt Restructure Two Years After State Warning -

The Memphis City Council approved changes to city health insurance coverage in June and pension coverage in December.

But later amendments to both sets of benefits, the city’s debt service payments, a 2010 restructuring of city debt, and the city’s annual required pension contribution are all factors that will influence city finances for years, said city finance director Brian Collins.

46. Lasting Legacies -

A FedEx commercial that never made it past the storyboard stage portrayed company founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith as a child filling out an order form in the back of a comic book for a batch of Sea-Monkeys, sending it off and waiting for the delivery.

47. Tennessee Lawmakers Re-Elect Treasurer, Comptroller -

A joint session of the Tennessee House and Senate has approved new terms for two of the state's constitutional officers.

Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard were elected Wednesday to their fourth two-year terms. Wilson, Lillard and Secretary of State Tre Hargett were each first elected in 2009 after Republicans gained control of the Legislature.

48. Tennessee Lawmakers Re-Elect Treasurer, Comptroller -

A joint session of the Tennessee House and Senate has approved new terms for two of the state's constitutional officers.

Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard were elected Wednesday to their fourth two-year terms. Wilson, Lillard and Secretary of State Tre Hargett were each first elected in 2009 after Republicans gained control of the Legislature.

49. Tennessee Constitutional Officers Get Own Spokespeople -

Tennessee's secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer are abandoning an effort to use one communications officer to speak on all three constitutional officers' behalf.

Treasurer David Lillard announced Friday he has hired Shelli King, a former marketing consultant at WTVF-TV in Nashville, to be his chief spokeswoman. Comptroller Justin Wilson previously hired former WZTV-TV reporter John Dunn to be his spokesman.

50. Haslam Checks In With Bond Rating Agencies -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was in New York City last week to talk with the major bond rating agencies.

Normally such trips come when a local or state government is about to issue new debt and wants a credit rating from the agencies. In this case, the Thursday, Sept. 25, visit was not for that. It was more of a status report on the state’s financial condition.

51. Vols Hope to Snap 20-Game Road Slump vs. Ranked Opponents -

KNOXVILLE – It doesn’t get much easier for the University of Tennessee’s football team.

The Sept. 20 open date has come and gone. UT’s coaches and players had ample time to digest and dissect details of the 34-10 loss to No. 4-ranked Oklahoma on Sept. 13 and a week to prepare for a challenge just as formidable.

52. South Carolina Back in SEC East Race -

The South Carolina defense still has improvement to make, but in beating Georgia 38-35 last Saturday the Gamecocks made a fourth-quarter goal-line stand and reasserted their presence in the SEC East Division.

53. Fire, Police Union Brass Say Lawsuit is Coming -

The leaders of the Memphis police and fire unions say they will sue the city over changes in employee health insurance approved this month and are prepared to add pension changes to the litigation if the council approves those changes next month.

54. Battle Lines -

The city’s operating and capital budgets are just about set for the new fiscal year next month. Hard decisions made about health insurance for city employees and retirees Tuesday, June 17, are unlikely to be revisited by the Memphis City Council.

55. Nashville Mayor Maps Issues Similar to Memphis -

The Nashville mayor who was once Davidson County's public defender says schools in his city aren’t meeting his test for success in public education.

He is concerned with attracting talent to the city and touts diversity as a key component of that. And his city has a critical need for a “more robust” mass transit system, he said last week.

56. 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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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.

60. 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.

61. 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.

62. 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.

63. 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.

64. Official: FBI to Interview Election Administrator -

MEMPHIS (AP) – The FBI has told Shelby County Election Administrator Richard Holden it wants to speak with him and six other election workers about how they complete their job responsibilities, an official said Thursday.

65. Editorial: City Hall Reeling in Financial Straits -

The issue that promises or threatens to dominate 2014 at City Hall is the one that just about everyone in city government would rather see out of the spotlight.

In a word, it’s money.

City Hall’s money problem is not one that historically gets a lot of the spotlight for very long.

66. 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.

67. Ratings Agencies Weigh In on City’s Bonds -

Standard & Poor’s, one of the big three bond-rating agencies, has assigned a AA rating to the city’s general obligation bonds and the revenue bonds proposed for use in a city purchase of AutoZone Park, and has given the city’s financial health a “stable” outlook on both fronts.

68. Lindow Rejoins The Centre Group -

Tracy Lindow has rejoined The Centre Group human resources firm as a senior consultant following several years in Germany. As a senior consultant, Lindow will help organizations improve their bottom line through human asset development by leveraging compensations strategies, executive search, employee attitude research and leadership skills development.

69. Wharton to Present Pension Plan to City Council -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will take a five-year plan for meeting the city’s $709 million unfunded pension liability Tuesday, Dec. 17, to Memphis City Council members during their executive session.

70. Bad Blood -

December was already going to be a busy month at City Hall for the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

He would be bringing a plan to provide $15 million in city financing for the $180 million Crosstown revitalization project and rolling out its fix to address the Tennessee Comptroller’s vocal concerns about the city’s unfunded pension liability.

71. AutoZone Park Deal Resurfaces at Crucial Time -

The Christmas tree in the plaza of AutoZone Park is more than a reminder of the holiday season.

The tree serves as a reminder for the tight timeframe that awaits a proposal for a city government purchase of the baseball park as the St. Louis Cardinals baseball franchise buys the Memphis Redbirds ball club, the Cardinals AAA minor league affiliate.

72. Comptroller Letter Calls for Prompt Action -

If anyone at City Hall has any illusions that the state of Tennessee is no longer concerned about city government’s unfunded pension liability, Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson cleared up that point with a letter sent to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. this month and released Tuesday, Oct. 15.

73. Comptroller Letter Emphasizes Pension Decisions To Come -

If anyone at City Hall has any illusions that the state of Tennessee is no longer concerned about city government’s unfunded pension liability, Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson cleared up that point earlier this month with a letter to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. that was released Tuesday, Oct. 15.

74. 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.

75. Crosstown Funding at Crossroads -

The $180 million plan to bring the former Sears Crosstown building back to life with a mix of residential, commercial and retail tenants faces a critical hurdle Thursday, Oct. 10, as the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. considers a 15- or 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for the project.

76. City Pension Crisis Meets Sanitation Overhaul -

The city’s looming pension liability crisis and the proposed solution to it intersected Tuesday, Oct. 1, with a plan to overhaul city sanitation services and, in the process, provide a pension supplement to sanitation workers.

77. City Hall Goes Back to Financial Issues -

After a summer break, the concerns about the long-term financial health of Memphis city government go back to the front political front burner at City Hall Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Memphis City Council members will take up a new report on the city’s pension plan that concludes the plan for city employees is unsustainable and “has continued to deteriorate.”

78. Other Shoe Drops in Troubled City Hall Finances -

Concerns about the long-term financial health of Memphis city government that subsided in June go back to the front political burner at City Hall this week.

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has a report on the city’s pension plan from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of Atlanta that concludes the city’s pension plan for city employees is unsustainable and “has continued to deteriorate.”

79. 23-Member School Board Holds Final Meeting -

The countywide school board holds its last meeting as a 23-member body Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Effective Sept. 1, the transitional board slims down to seven members elected in 2012 from seven districts that cover all of Shelby County, including the city of Memphis.

80. Funding for Untested Rape Kits Sparks Debate -

The Memphis City Council’s sharpest debate during a Tuesday, Aug. 20, council agenda with several major issues wasn’t about Smart Meters or changes in garbage pickup.

It was about “several thousand” rape kits Memphis Police have – some dating back to the 1980s – that investigators never processed.

81. Editorial: Financial Stability Critical for City -

At the overtime sudden death end of the local budget season, if you live in Memphis you leave with a combined $7.78 cent tax rate – city of Memphis and county property tax rates – the highest property tax rate in the state of Tennessee.

82. Council Grapples With Attrition Plan Reality -

Every version of a city budget the Memphis City Council and Mayor A C Wharton Jr. considered in June included a plan to lose 300 city employees through attrition for long-term savings toward meeting rising future debt obligations.

83. Council Ponders Use of Reserve To Keep Fire Station Open -

Memphis City Council member considered briefly Tuesday, July 16, using $1.1 million from the $48 million city reserve fund to keep a North Memphis fire station open.

But they dropped the idea after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. agreed to keep Fire Station #6, on Danny Thomas Boulevard north of Chelsea Avenue open at least until Labor Day.

84. Wharton: Revenue Officer Needed -

Call it a “budget resolution.” A week after the Memphis City Council set the city’s operating budget, capital budget and a property tax rate of $3.40, council members and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. resolved Tuesday, July 2, to continue making changes in City Hall’s financial practices.

85. Strickland, Conrad Warn of Budget Pitfalls -

When most of the 13 people on the Memphis City Council began their service in 2008, the city’s property tax rate was $3.43 and rolling back that rate was a priority of a voting majority on the body.

86. Property Tax Hike Highlights New City Budget -

Memphis City Council members raised the city property tax rate Tuesday, June 26, by 4 cents above the recertified tax rate and put the rest of a turbulent budget season to rest.

The approval of the $3.40 property tax rate and city operating and capital budgets came in a council session that ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

87. Council Approves Tax Hike in $3.40 Property Tax Rate -

Memphis City Council members raised the city property tax rate Tuesday, June 26, by four cents above the recertified tax rate and put the rest of a turbulent budget season to rest.

The approval of the $3.40 property tax rate and city operating and capital budgets came in a council session that ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

88. Council to Take Final Votes on Budget -

The most critical vote at last week’s budget-dominated Memphis City Council meeting may have been the vote to adjourn leaving final budget decisions pending.

It left a week for all sides in the ongoing budget drama at City Hall a wealth of time by political standards to build support for their respective positions.

89. City Council Again Tackles Budget, Tax Rate -

Some Memphis City Council members say they are prepared for a long day Tuesday, June 18, at City Hall as they continue down the arduous path to a tax rate and budget for the coming fiscal year.

“Let’s just be ready to spend the night,” said council member Harold Collins last week. He commented as council-mediated discussions between the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and municipal union leaders on possible cuts in employee benefits got nowhere quickly and ended after less than an hour.

90. Council Faces Pressure in Financial Crisis -

The Memphis City Council is caught between hints of a state takeover of city finances and the possibility of a lawsuit by most, if not all, of the city’s municipal labor unions in a fiscal crisis that is also evolving into a significant labor dispute.

91. Comptroller Urges Council to Act on Fiscal Problems -

That didn’t take long.

An ad hoc committee of Memphis City Council members trying to find common ground between the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the city’s municipal labor unions met for less than an hour Wednesday, June 12, before calling it a day.

92. Editorial: A Few Suggestions for Our City Leaders -

For the last three years or so the game at City Hall has been to move money around from one pocket to another to try to make projects happen in the toughest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

93. Budget Vote Faces Postponement -

Memphis City Council members have final votes on their agenda Tuesday, June 6, on an operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 in addition to setting a city property tax rate.

But before the council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St., the group’s budget committee will hear from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and his administration one more time on possible changes to the budget and the tax rate.

94. Mayor, Council Talk Budget Reset -

This wasn’t what the Memphis City Council had in mind when its budget committee set Thursday, May 30, as its wrap-up session on the city budget.

Such sessions are usually the time when the budget committee takes final votes on whether it agrees with parts of the administration’s budget proposal and council members begin to roll out their own proposals and substitutions.

95. State Concerns Blow Up City Budget -

When the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. went to the state earlier this year for approval of a $112.4 million refunding bonds issuance, it was the second time in four years City Hall had used a debt tactic known as “scoop and toss.”

96. Critical State Report Remakes City Budget -

An April report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury critical of city finances threw the budget season at City Hall into remake mode Tuesday, May 21.

The bottom line for the budget is a remediation plan that will increase the city’s long term debt, force the city to use its reserves, and take reserves below the 10 percent level considered key with bond-rating agencies.

97. Judicial Redistricting Plan Leaves Shelby Same -

About a year after the Tennessee legislature set new district lines for itself and the state’s nine members of Congress, it is about to set the district lines for civil and criminal trial court judges at the state level.

98. A Higher Order of Sausage -

GOD’S SAUSAGE. (When you see this column, it’s the 40 Days of Waffle Shop again, so strike while the iron is hot.)

“You might just be a copywriter,” Brick Muller said, staring down at the piece of paper I’d just handed him. On it was an ad idea I’d just pounded out on the 1948 Royal typewriter he was paying me to use as a copywriter. The fact that this was his first recognition that I might be one was gratifying since I’d already been there for nine months.

99. Lawmakers Re-Elect State Constitutional Officers -

The Legislature has unanimously re-elected the Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard to another term in office.

100. Lawmakers Re-Elect State Constitutional Officers -

The Legislature has unanimously re-elected the Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard to another term in office.