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Strategic Business Report Released

February 8, 2011

Yesterday, Mayor A C Wharton’s Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee released its report to the City Council, saying that the city should revisit employee health care options, as well as vacation and sick day policies, expand the finance division, centralize all fee collection, retain a third party to collect fines, and adopt a zero-based budgeting process for all city divisions.

Citing the highest tax burden in Tennessee, a costly service model, and an eroded tax base, Wharton charged the committee with an extensive review of city government.

“Changing the way we do business is not simply a good idea; it is an urgent necessity,” Wharton said. “Memphis City Government is long overdue for a reckoning — an exhaustive review of the size and purpose of city government, how it is funded, how it can be made more cost-efficient and effective, and most importantly, how we plan to grow and sustain our middle class.”

The resulting recommendations were across the board, and included using a renewed public/private partnership model for the library system, considering “sin” taxes for cigarettes and disposable bags, and looking at overlapping services between the parks, public services, and community enhancement division.

The committee also looked at the fire operations of several peer cities, finding that Memphis seems to have an abundance of fire/EMS resources.

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