I had the absolute BEST time I've had in this city in a long time. Kudos to MSO/Opus One, Al Kapone (also repping Central High School!) and the dancers. AND the conductor for whoopin that trick. Ha.
No one from her camp has even mentioned race - it's everyone else, Cohen and all of these couch commentators. And from what I've seen of her, I imagine she will do her damnedest to float above this tact and topic. She's a stand up lady by any measurement and definitely a stand up Memphian. I encourage a shake up of the status quo. Cohen is doing a good enough job but new energy and fresh legs isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Fred Smith is a brilliant businessman. I respect his perspective and am glad that he is co-opting my initial thoughts on consolidation. He is absolutely right. Memphis must first think globally then we can compete globally. Branston is also correct - we take Fed Ex for granted. If Fed Ex moved elsewhere or just closed shop in Memphis, it would be crippling for everyone not just Memphis proper.
First of all, I am highly offended that this is the image you or the paper chose to use in an article about consolidation! Granted Janis Fullilove made an ass out of herself and the entire city but still! Inappropriate on so many levels. Just as inappropriate as her old behind swinging off of a pole outside of the confines of her boudoir.
Aside from my initial frustration with the choice of imagery, I think there are some challenges faced by proponents of the Charter. BUT people must get over their myopia and look at the bigger picture. Hopefully this message will resonate and people will receive it in the spirit in which it's given -- it's about the greater good and the future of our children.
Mr. Branson - I must respectfully disagree with you. I think that merging the governments would create some balance between the city and county and more of a shared responsibility for services. Your perspective is a bit myopic in that you seem to gloss over the fact that this is no short term salve. We most likely won't get the maximum benefit in 1-3 years. Rather, it is a long term strategy where we will see the most benefit in 5-7 years once the the rhythm is established and all the pieces are firmly in place. BUT that said, I'm glad that you pointed out that there is some benefit for county residents.
I am not sure why you feel the input process was not public. The "private advocacy group" conducted well over ONE THOUSAND meetings in homes, offices and churches across the city and county in an effort to funnel information to the Charter Commission from the people. Which is by definition input. At any rate, it is understandable to be skeptical of change. Most people are because change is uncomfortable. But sometimes - just sometimes- change is for the better. If people believe what we have now is working then fine. But they don't. This was 40 years in the making. We don't have another 40 to get this city - and subsequently the county- on the right track. Doing nothing is as good as saying you agree with inefficiency, loose ethics, bloated operating budgets and wasted city dollars.
This is a very reasonable position on consolidation. Even his couterpoints are honest, reasonable and seem to be made without the benefit of political agenda. The truth is, this model HAS worked in other cities. Why do you think they have left Memphis eating their dust? As someone who was on the first thing smoking after high school (to UT -though Knoxville is a horrible city) and then again after college (to NY), I totally identify with this gentleman's plight to attract talent. I actually tried to get a job here just before 9/11 and couldn't - even with major market experience and a director's title under my belt before the age of 30. Others will share that same story. So many of us wanted to stay and want to come back, but not if it means having to take substandard jobs and wages. If anything blows, that does.
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By Richard Alley
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