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As 100 Days End, Administration Moves Into Budget Season

May 3, 2012

May 1st marked both the end of the Mayor’s 100 Days and the second day of the Memphis City Council’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget hearings.

During his State of the City speech last January, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. talked about a period of action when the administration would jumpstart the term’s four priorities: Creating safe and vibrant neighborhoods, growing prosperity and opportunity for all, investing in the area’s youth, and advancing a culture of excellence in government.

During the 100 days, the administration assessed the condition of every city park, developed a maintenance plan for those parks, and brought city mayors from all over the country to Memphis to talk about education and post-secondary success.

The city focused on connecting city parks to greenlines via bicycle facilities and bringing baseball back into neighborhoods. It began working with the Redbirds to strengthen the team’s presence downtown – Mayor Wharton was even invited to throw out the first pitch – and working with community groups to clean up neighborhoods.

As part of the 100 Days, the Memphis Police Department also developed and implemented its new Community Outreach Program, or COP.

“One of the items I am most pleased about is COP,” said Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. “When we began talking about COP, citizens were concerned that we were getting rid of Blue Crush and all the success we’ve had with that initiative. The reality is the COP builds on the data and techniques we were using as part of Blue Crush and enhances it with real community engagement.”

And there’s MORE, literally.

MORE is the Mayor’s Office of Resources and Enterprise, and the hope is that it will help small and minority- and women-owned businesses bid for and win contracts. Headed by Alandas Dobbins, MORE’s goal is to help grow a new layer of thriving local businesses.

“It’s one thing to bring companies such as Electrolux or Mitsubishi Electric to town using the city’s natural assets,” said Mayor Wharton. “We also need to create an economic infrastructure to help nurture and grow the city’s small businesses into the next Electrolux or Mitsubishi Electric.”

Within this same 100 days, the City of Memphis saw the American Queen return to cruise the Mississippi River with Memphis as its home port and headquarters. Prior to that, the city participated in a job fair for the Great American Steamboat Company, which helped the company staff many of its 300 ship staff positions with Memphians.

We also saw the Memphis Grizzlies make it to the NBA Playoffs, and the Leadership Academy begin the Mayor’s Millennials group to discuss what young professionals want to see out of their city.

Parks and Neighborhoods, General Services, and Finance presented their budgets during Memphis City Council committees Tuesday, May 1st. Budget hearings continue May 9th.

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