VOL. 131 | NO. 3 | Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Council’s First Meeting of 2016 Includes 2015 Leftovers
By Bill Dries
Memphis City Council members begin their first council day of the year Tuesday, Jan. 5, with a slate of a dozen appointments by Mayor Jim Strickland.
The 8:30 a.m. committee review of the appointees includes five of the six chief positions Strickland created in his restructuring of the mayor’s office. The chiefs report directly to the mayor.
Not included among the chief appointees is Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong, who is an interim position as Strickland’s administration conducts a national search for a new police leader.
The appointments will be on Tuesday's council agenda for a vote.
Also on the council agenda Tuesday are a few zoning and development matters postponed in 2015.
They include a special use permit for a hotel and retail on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and North Front Street that has been delayed several times since September.
There is also a tractor-trailer yard on the southeast corner of Brooks and McCorkle roads.
The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, as well as updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.
An 11:30 a.m. committee session is the council’s first look at a follow through on last year’s approval of the city’s lease with the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to develop the entertainment district for the city.
The committee will review a resolution that would transfer Handy Park to the city of Memphis. The Memphis Housing Authority currently owns the park, which has two tenants and sits at the corner of B.B. King and Rufus Thomas boulevards.
It’s a designation that goes back to the days in the late 1960s when the entertainment district became MHA property as a prelude to urban renewal efforts that included demolition of some Beale Street structures.
The quitclaim deed to be discussed would put Handy Park under the city along with virtually all of the property on Beale between Second and Fourth streets. That in turn means the tourism development authority will control the park.
And the council takes up what is the last of the contract impasses from 2015.
A council impasse committee sided with Memphis Light Gas and Water Division in the city’s standoff with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Council member Janis Fullilove has put the impasse decision on the agenda Tuesday in a push to veto it and instead take the union’s last final contract proposal.
Barring a successful veto, the impasse committee decision stands as final in the contract dispute.