VOL. 9 | NO. 9 | Saturday, February 27, 2016
Overton Park Greensward Controversy Moves To City Hall Tuesday
By Bill Dries
The next setting for the Overton Park greensward controversy isn’t the park. It is City Hall.
Memphis City Council members have an executive session “discussion of Overton Park” on their committee list for Tuesday, March 1.
And opponents of Memphis Zoo overflow parking on the greensward are mobilizing on social media to turn out for the meeting.
Their fear is that the discussion could turn into some kind of action by the council in the dispute which is in court and in mediation – in both cases with the Memphis Zoo on one side and the Overton Park Conservancy on the other side.
There is no item on Overton Park on the council’s agenda for a vote later in Tuesday’s council day.
But a majority vote by the council could add an item to the agenda for a vote.
Meanwhile, Ursula Madden, chief communications officer for Mayor Jim Strickland, said the administration is aware of the discussion item.
“That item has been placed there by the City Council,” she said in a written statement. “We don’t know precisely what the council is proposing at this time.”
Neither does Overton Park Conservancy executive director Tina Sullivan who points to the start just last month of the mediation effort that has been brokered by Strickland. There is also a parkwide traffic and parking study underway by the conservancy that has yet to move to a set of recommendations.
The controversy was one of the first briefings the new council that took office last month got at their first committee sessions in January. The council has six new members.
Daily News publisher Eric Barnes is on the board of the Overton Park Conservancy. He did not participate in the reporting or editing of this story.