barfolomew 
Member since Jun 29, 2017

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Re: “Memphis In May Cites "Challenges," "Issues" in Tom Lee Park Redesign

Got to love how special interests (first the Zoo at Overton, now the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association/ MIM at Tom Lee) have so much say over public parks in Memphis. They want the public to foot the bill for their maintenance, operation and improvements but then want to have veto power over ideas that would make them better for the other 345 days out of the year.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by barfolomew on 02/22/2019 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Chaos Country

I like the think that the only time I could be considered a pessimist is when surrounded by a group of untethered optimists, but is this really a solvable issue? Where in history has a republic managed to hold itself together through such divisiveness? Even the Brits went through their fair share of civil wars and uprisings that reset the clock. They also have the added benefit of a unifying figurehead that is separate from the fracas. The Swiss and the Netherlands have also had their fair share of external influence, meddling and internal civil strife during their histories as republics.
Can this ship be righted (even if only slowly) in absence of a nationally traumatic event?
Looking at the pages of yesteryear, our evolution seems to so closely mirror that of the Romans. Of course, we have the added benefit of a steroid in the form of mass telecommunication (from telegraph to tweets) that has sped the process along.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by barfolomew on 02/21/2019 at 9:28 AM

Re: “Tom Lee Park Re-Design Sparks Concern for Memphis In May, Tourism

For example, SCAPE is one of the members of the design team. Their portfolio includes design and implementation of projects that create new community amenities while also serving to mitigate the impact of storm surge and flooding.

What grinds my gears is when people like Tabor deride an idea or plan even though they admit that they have not thoroughly reviewed it. Based on Colettas rebuttals, it appears that most (if not all) of Tabors comments were apparently based on misperceptions or ignorance. Did he bother to ask the MRPP questions before commenting? If not, then he is showing a bit of a bias or a lack of understanding.

In the end its a city park and all residents should have equal voice in deciding whether its design should kowtow to the desires of Tabors special interest (lobbyist) organization or an event that actively uses the space for 3% of the year. I wonder if that is why MRPP decided to share the plan directly with the public without giving Tabor a special audience.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 02/12/2019 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Tom Lee Park Re-Design Sparks Concern for Memphis In May, Tourism

Just because something was built does not mean that any licensed professionals were involved in the design. A lot of the built landscape is created by developers who use the services of unlicensed "designers". Many places do not require the designers of single family homes (beach or inland) to be licensed in any way. In many cases,the contractor is the only person in the process required to have a license.
RE: Main Street, you're talking way before my time. I do know that there were professionals warning cities of the folly of such approaches.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 02/12/2019 at 2:12 PM

Re: “What’s the Matter With Memphis? Time to Reconsider PILOTS

That said, I am very skeptical of the practice of awarding incentives to employers who simply seek to move around within the region. Deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 02/12/2019 at 1:45 PM

Re: “What’s the Matter With Memphis? Time to Reconsider PILOTS

Herbert- Too true. But the same market issues you just mentioned also highlight why such projects are not the norm here. Memphis is simply too poor to afford projects that might actually transform the urban environment in a significant way without some form of public support. Grit and grind may be great for those that are here, but they are far less appealing to a recent college grad who is inclined to select a destination before they begin searching for a job. We continue to struggle recruiting talent to Memphis because these same individuals can easily go somewhere else which is directly related to the topic at hand. Just as talented individuals have choices when it comes to where they want to live, desired employers also have choices. The locally high crime rate, poor public schools (even the muni's are blah compared to other regions), mediocre universities, a lackluster surrounding region (the Delta is dying) and unremarkable quality of life all deter potential residents and employers. So far, the only approach Memphis has taken to leveling the playing field is via PILOTS and incentives. There are other paths, but no one should be under the false impression that Memphis is competitive for the types of higher paying jobs and higher quality development everyone wants to see here.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by barfolomew on 02/12/2019 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Tom Lee Park Re-Design Sparks Concern for Memphis In May, Tourism

Crack-
You do not have to be local to understand the issues involved with designing within a flood zone. After all, the nation is replete with high velocity flood zones. I would suggest doing more to understand the qualifications of those involved in the process. I do wonder whether they expected to encounter such small minded, "they ain't from round these parts" mentality while in Memphis.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 02/12/2019 at 10:36 AM

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