Tuesday, July 16, 2019

City Council Could Spend $15K on Memphis 3.0 Consultant

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge flyby_show_morgan_the_money.jpg

The Memphis City Council could pay a consultant $15,000 to assess the financial impact of the Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive plan.

A council committee voted 4-1 on Tuesday morning in favor of the move, recommending its approval to the full council.

Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson, who is proposing the study, said she believes Memphis 3.0 is a good plan, but that residents don’t fully understand it. Johnson said she’s received a number of phone calls from constituents who want to know exactly how Memphis 3.0 would affect their neighborhood, as well as what the financial impact will be on underserved communities, especially ones of color.

The $15,000 would come from the city's legislative division budget.

Councilwoman Patrice Robinson said she supports the study: “It wouldn’t do any hurt or harm for council to have another eye, another look, and a further explanation.”

Robinson said the consultant will review the strengths and weaknesses of the plan, and determine any opportunities or threats that could arise because of it.

Councilman Worth Morgan abstained from voting, saying that the financial impact of the plan will likely be hard to determine. He also added that he doesn’t want to support hiring a consultant until the council knows exactly what additional information the consultant will produce.

Morgan said $15,000 isn’t a “great amount for a study,” but he is unsure if “the value of the information will match the $15,000 price tag.”

Councilman Sherman Greer cast the only no vote, saying that Memphis 3.0 “isn’t the Bible,” and that it can be amended even after the council approves it. He also questioned what information the consultant would reveal that the council doesn’t already know.

The full council is scheduled to vote on the resolution at its meeting Tuesday (today) at 3:30 p.m. If approved, the selected consultant will have until September 17th to present its findings. That would mean the third and final vote on the ordinance that would implement the plan would be pushed back until mid-September as well.

click to enlarge Carnita Atwater protests the Memphis 3.0 plan - MAYA SMITH
  • Maya Smith
  • Carnita Atwater protests the Memphis 3.0 plan

The council was slated to take the second vote on the ordinance Tuesday, but that vote could be delayed as well.

In May, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland signed an executive order to ensure Memphis 3.0 would guide all city decisions on the administrative side excluding land use. The council still has to approve the plan before it can impact land use.

The council has delayed the vote on Memphis 3.0 several times since March. The council first delayed the vote on the city’s comprehensive plan after a group of residents from the New Chicago area voiced opposition to the plan, citing a lack of inclusion.

Since then, delays have been attributed to the council needing more information about the plan and its implications. The council took the first of three votes on the ordinance at its July 2nd meeting.

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