Last Word: Reappraisal Roller Coaster, Closing the Airport Post Office and District 95

By Bill Dries

Four years ago was a very different time in the world of property reappraisals. For the first time in the memory of most, if not all, of the local elected officials looking at how much money they would have, the 2013 reappraisal of property for tax purposes didn’t grow or at least remain level. Values were down reflecting the depths of the recession and more importantly the housing crash.

So when notices in the new reappraisal started showing up in mailboxes in the last month, there was a different kind of sticker shock.

It’s been a wild eight years for Cheyenne Johnson, the Assessor of Property. It includes an inverse roller coaster in the 2009 reappraisal in which reappraisals were up just as the housing bubble not only burst but at the height of the foreclosure crisis.

Did some one say real estate? Chandler Reports, the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc., has its annual real estate review Wednesday morning starting at 9 a.m. at the Memphis Botanic Garden. This is a review of local real estate trends and there is certain to be some discussion of the reappraisals.

A low-key council day around City Hall Tuesday included approval of the Crime Commission grant for police retention bonuses. And some council members called in the U.S. Postal Service to talk about plans to close the postal facility at Memphis International Airport by the end of April.

The USPS is losing its lease and the airport is not renewing because it needs the space. So the only post office in town with manned service up to 10 p.m. is on its way out and several council members are not happy about it. Council member Martavius Jones saying he spends thousands there a year in his business and council member Patrice Robinson complaining that in her district the Louis Carruthers Post Office, on the south side of the airport property, is a convenience the public shouldn’t have to do without. This is the post office you go to when you are trying to beat the deadline and the deadline everywhere else has a lead. You also have the satisfaction of knowing that what you have is probably going to be loaded pretty quickly onto one of the many jets you can hear all around you.

Plans are to move the mail processing part of the facility to the Holiday City mail facility. No definite plans for a retail post office just yet. But the council was not impressed by the promise of 24-hour self service at the Bartlett and Colonial post offices.

If you are over a certain age in Memphis, your impression of spring is at least partially informed by the spring of 1968. And this spring is the first one back in a long time for Clayborn Temple – the Presbyterian Church turned AME Church that was an integral part of the narrative of the 1968 sanitation workers strike. The developers who have title to the church continue to tell its story and look for a future beyond being the new sanctuary of The Downtown Church. And they have had a couple of important boosts since we last looked in during the fall when the church first reopened its doors with very basic repairs that allowed some of us to get another look around and others to get their first look at this remarkable institution.

Iberiabank is a little bit older at 130. It’s business heritage is in Louisiana with eight branches in the Memphis area in recent years. The bank is about to mark its anniversary with recent expansions into Binghampton and the Medical Center.

The Rendezvous Returns to AutoZone Park.

John Currie wants his orange ties back. More from AP on Currie settling in as the new athletic director at the Big Orange.

The special election for the state House District 95 seat has four potential Republican entries and one potential Democrat with a little more than a week to the filing deadline for the April primaries.

Elsewhere in the state, Andy Berke is re-elected mayor of Chattanooga. The Times Free Press with the details of the four-way race.

Checking on the progress of what will be the largest high school in the state, now under construction in Collierville.

Valerie June writes about her father’s art in The New York Times.

And American Songwriter with the new Sean Rowe song – recorded and mixed at Sam Phillips Recording where there is a lot going on in the here and now.

The U.S. trade deficit at a five-year high.

Not only did the number of people convicted of crimes in the U.S. and later exonerated grow in 2016, more than half of the exonerations were in cases where it was later determined no crime occurred. This is a report from the National Registry of Exonerations.

And Uber’s CEO is getting a COO to help out.