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Making Memphis a City of Choice: The Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee

July 13, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, under the leadership of Committee Chairman Doug Edwards, the Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee got to work for the people of Memphis.

Memphis is not unique in the fiscal challenges we face or in the ways that the great recession has impacted us.   We are unique in our approach to solving our problems in the most transparent, innovative, forward-thinking manner possible.

Simply put, your government is broken.  Our current business model is literally unsustainable.  Changing the way we do business is not simply a good idea, it is an imperative and urgent directive.  Our tax burden is too high, our service delivery model is too costly, and the economic opportunities and quality of life for our citizens is far too inadequate.  While so many positive developments are now occuring in our city, an inefficient and broken government model keeps us from fully capitalizing on their potential.

We are long overdue for a reckoning—an exhaustive review of the size and true purpose of city government, how we plan to fund its operations, how it can be made more cost-efficient and effective, and most importantly, how we plan to grow and sustain our middle class and most talented workers.  This committee will provide this reckoning.

The diverse membership of this committee includes corporate leaders, neighborhood leaders, elected officials, labor officials, and experts in the fields of education, finance, real estate, management, and community development.  These individuals were asked to serve because of their belief in Memphis’ future and for the wealth of knowledge in their respective fields that they are able to offer to the common good.

The committee will be divided into five sub-committees: Taxes, Fees, and Economic Incentives; Personnel and Employee Benefits; Zero-Based Budgeting; CIP and Debt Management; and Resource and Facilities Utilization.  Each subcommittee is beginning its work immediately.  My expectation is for this process to be complete by February 2011 so that the subcommittees’ recommendations can be used to shape the FY 2012 budget process.

The input and suggestions of the public will be critical to the success of this endeavor, and as always, I welcome the public’s comments and feedback at (please include “Strategic Business Model Assessment” in the subject line.)

Together, I know we can do better.  We can make lasting changes that will make your government smarter, more effieicent, and more useful.  Together, we will make Memphis the city of choice for businesses and families that we know it can be.


Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee members and subcommittees:

Doug Edwards, Chairman

Taxes, Fees, and Economic Incentives
Stephen Reynolds, Chairman
Jeff Sanford, Blair Taylor, Emily Trenholm, David Waddell

Personnel and Employee Benefits
Burnetta Williams, Chairman
Harry Goldsmith, Jeff Herbison, Will Moore, Johnny Pitts

Zero-Based Budgeting
John Pontius, Chairman
Kemp Conrad, Lynn Evans, Susan Stephenson, Keith Williams

CIP and Debt Management
Johnny Moore, Chairman
Gwyn Fisher, Dallas Geer, J.W. Gibson, Jeffrey Higgs

Resrouce and Facilities Utilization
Larry Jensen, Chairman
Edmund Ford, Jr., Martavius  Jones, Charles Scott, Johnnie Turner, Rudy Walker

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laverne Jackson permalink
    July 16, 2010 3:37 pm

    Please make a correction on The Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee dated July 13,;
    Larry Jensen, Chairman – from Resrouce to Resource.

    Thank You,
    Laverne Jackson


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