VOL. 132 | NO. 199 | Friday, October 6, 2017
U of M Trustees Approve Parental Leave, Rudd Bonus
University of Memphis trustees approved a $100,000 bonus Wednesday, Oct. 5, for U of M president David Rudd at Wednesday’s trustees meeting. The bonus is from private funds raised by the university foundation.
The board also approved a six-week paid parental leave policy – specifically the funding for that policy.
And it reviewed scaled-back plans for the $30 million new rec center for students that will incorporate some of the existing rec center. It is being called the Center for Health and Wellness. It is one of five major projects on campus – north and south of Park Avenue – that will unfold over the next three to four years.
The other projects include the alumni mall, which features an amphitheater and a land bridge over the railroad tracks that connects the campus better. A football training center is also in the works, as is a realignment of Patterson Street at Walker Avenue, which currently is a three-way stop at a four-way intersection.
– Bill Dries
Chamber Mobilizes For Removal of Forrest Statue
The Greater Memphis Chamber is mobilizing support for Mayor Jim Strickland’s request for a state waiver to allow the city to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Health Sciences Park.
In advance of the Oct. 13 meeting on the Tennessee Historical Commission, where Strickland will make his case, the chamber’s board of directors has drafted a letter in behalf of the business community.
The letter calls the statue of the Confederate general, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard one of several “divisive symbols” that “hamper our city’s efforts to attract and retain top talent for the skilled workforce that is critical to our success.”
Greater Memphis Chamber president and CEO Phil Trenary sent chamber members a letter Thursday, Oct. 5, urging them to add their names to the letter to the commission.
Trenary said in the letter that chamber leaders are talking with the city administration about “the best course of action” for moving forward after the historical commission meeting next week.
The chairman of the historical commission has told Strickland commissioners will not hear the city’s request for a waiver at the Oct. 13 meeting.
– Bill Dries
City Announces 10-Member Zoo Parking Advisory Team
A 10-member city advisory panel will be part of the process for settling on a specific design for expansion and reconfiguration of parking for the Memphis Zoo in Overton Park.
The city administration announced Thursday, Oct. 5, the names of 10 people to the panel, which will first offer feedback on the preliminary work of designers and then select a concept plan.
The advisory panel members are: Jack Stevenson, project manager with the city engineering division; Mike Flowers, city parks and neighborhoods division; Kyle Veazey, city communications; Chuck Brady, Memphis Zoo CEO; John Conroy, Memphis Zoo; Tina Sullivan, Overton Park Conservancy executive director; Eric Barnes, OPC board chairman and publisher of The Daily News; Anne Pitts, Levitt Shell; Mary Wilder, Overton Park Alliance; and Cato Johnson, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
The initial design concept by Powers Hill Design of Memphis is currently underway, with the goal being a reconfigured zoo parking area that includes 415 additional spaces that are 9 feet by 19 feet. The Overton Park Conservancy and the Memphis Zoo have raised the money necessary for both planning and construction of the project.
The goal of the expanded parking area is to end overflow zoo parking on the Overton Park Greensward. The city has been taking public feedback on the design process since June and continues to at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The advisory panel’s first meeting, whose date has not been set, will include a review three concept plans and offer its input. Those three plans will also be posted on the website for more public feedback.
– Bill Dries