VOL. 133 | NO. 182 | Thursday, September 13, 2018
Veazey, Carr Promoted in City Hall Shuffle
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced Wednesday, Sept. 12, he is appointing Chandell Carr and Kyle Veazey to each serve as deputy chief operating officers to COO Doug McGowen.
The move comes following the loss of former deputy chief operating officer, Patrice Thomas, who was recently named CAO with the administration of new Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.
Carr comes to City Hall from being equity, diversion and inclusivity officer for the city’s division of Human Resources in a 13-year career in city government.
Veazey was deputy communications chief in Strickland’s administration before the promotion.
Carr’s duties will include day-to-day affairs of city government, along with budget and policy development.
Veazey’s role will be long-term projects of the administration, including the city’s role in economic-development initiatives.
In addition to Thomas’ vacancy, another position remains open in the city’s COO division.
Veazey and Carr will start their new positions next week.
– Bill Dries
Harris to Make Proposals to New Commission Sept. 19
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris plans to present the first initial proposals of his administration to the County Commission during committee meetings Wednesday, Sept. 19.
One proposal is the appointment of an education liaison, to improve communication between county government and Shelby County Schools, an idea from his county mayoral opponent David Lenoir.
Harris said the education liaison will update the commission and mayor on the what’s happening in SCS, so county government can make more informed decisions on how to assist SCS in the future.
“My goal is to identify a talent, but also identify a talent that will have credibility with the Shelby County School board,” Harris said on the WKNO/Channel 10 program “Behind the Headlines.”
“I think there are some suspicions, between county government and the SCS, about who’s to blame,” he added. “We haven’t seen enough progress fast enough, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, and we’ve got to be cognizant of that.”
Another priority for Harris is to improve the relationship between him and the county commission, which has eight new members on the 13-member body. Harris’ predecessor, Mark Luttrell, had seen his relationship with the commission become strained, especially after the opioid litigation dispute last year.
Harris, who took office after Labor Day weekend, hopes to compromise with the commission on two issues not on Sept. 19 but “soon after.” The first is resolving the ongoing legal dispute about the commission’s desire to have a separate attorney from the county mayor, and the other is combining the county mayor’s and the commission’s separate opioid lawsuits into one lawsuit.
“If I can help it, we’re not going to have two separate court cases against opioid manufacturers,” Harris said. “Instead, we will be all together in one litigation. The whole goal is to repair the relationship between the County Commission and the mayor’s office.”
Harris has made several key appointments, including Marlinee Iverson as county attorney and Patrice Thomas to serve as chief administrative officer. Thomas is the former city of Memphis deputy chief operating officer.
He said Thomas is a great hire not only because she was the most-qualified candidate but she can play a key role in improving county government’s relationship with the city of Memphis.
“I think (former mayor) Mark Luttrell had a great relationship with the city, and we want to continue to do that, because the city of Memphis, of the half-a-dozen municipalities in Shelby County, is the largest and in many ways it’s the most important,” Harris said. “That’s the message I took on the campaign trail that we’ve got to lift Memphis up if we’re going to be successful as a county, and I think wherever I was, whether I was in Collierville or south Memphis, everybody agreed about the importance of Memphis.”
— Special to The Daily News
Crosstown Concourse to Get Saucy Chicken Soon
There are signs – only signs – that indicate a chicken-themed restaurant will fill the Crosstown Concourse spot where the vegetarian-themed Mama Gaia closed earlier this month.
Two signs identifying the successor as “Saucy Chicken’’ have been erected at the space facing the Concourse dock near the West Atrium.
Inside, workers on Tuesday, Sept. 11, appeared busy getting the space ready to open, but there is still work to do. A Mama Gaia menu remained on one wall.
When a reporter asked if someone could speak about the new business, employees fetched a man who politely referred the reporter to the Obsidian Public Relations firm. The man did say the goal was to open on Monday.
An Obsidian account executive said in a text that no information could be released because “the news is embargoed until Monday.’’
— Special to The Daily News