Archive for February, 2013

The Bass Pro Signs

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

 

You have probably read about the four huge Bass Pro lighted signs that will adorn the Pyramid if approved by the City Administration. Here is what John Malmo, a noted marketing expert had to say about the issue.

 

John Malmo, Memphis advertising executive, said, “That’s one helluva sign package, but if you rent the Lincoln Memorial to a retailer and he wants to put up a huge sign to advertise autographed pictures of Jefferson Davis, he’s going to do it unless the lease forbids it.”

 

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The School Consolidation Debacle

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

February 20, 2013

I have been investigating the school consolidation deficit debacle. There have been newspaper articles reporting the new combined deficit of anywhere from $80 million to $180 million dollars.

Now here are some interesting tidbits that I dug up.

Look at the bureaucracy at the two systems. Who is losing their jobs with the combination? This is just a small example of the (more…)

More On Smart Meters

Monday, February 18th, 2013

February 18, 2013

I want to thank Jerry Collins, President of MLGW, for reading and responding to my posting on Smart Meters. He invited me to meet with Chris Bieber, Vice President of Customer Care. I also met three other employees involved in Smart Meters.

I had a series of questions which I put to them and they were all answered with good and complete answers. Here are some of the high (more…)

Local School Math 2+1=4

Monday, February 11th, 2013

February 11, 2013

When the school consolidation vote passed I went to the first few meetings of the transition board. They regularly met at each meeting for 5 hours or more and they met often. The seats were as hard as high grade steel so I stopped going.

Now I read that the proposed new consolidated school system has an $80 to $90 million dollar looming budget deficit. How could this happen?

Before the vote to give up the City School Charter, the Memphis City School 2011 actual budget was in balance ($1.175 billion). The Shelby County School actual budget ran a small deficit.

Now I read in the CA article that the preliminary general fund budget for the new unified school district is $80 to $90 million dollars in the red.

You smart people out there please help me out. We voted to combine the two school systems and supposedly to come up with a more efficient, fair, more intelligent new school system by doing away with duplicate jobs, outsourcing services, reforming retiree health care and having one superintendent with one staff. However, with all these savings, we still cannot balance the budget.

People, something stinks here and I would like an explanation. We have to start educating the students in the basics; math, reading, history, science and needed trades. All the other stuff is nice and if we can afford it should be added. However let us get back to the basics so that 2+1=2.75.

City of Memphis Salaries

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

February 7, 2013

Congratulations to Mayor Wharton and his new website revisions. Here is one example. He has posted the salaries, job titles, service centers, divisions and estimated benefits of all city employees. While this is good and needed information, it raises several questions. I have posted all city employees from highest salaries to lowest.

  • On the face of it, some salaries seem high and some seem low. It should depend on the skill level needed to do the job.
  • The average City of Memphis salary is $48,554 for all 6979 employees listed. There are 4451 employees above the average salary and 2528 below the average salary. The average salary for those above the total average is $55,923. The average for those below the total average is $35,599.
  • Has the City done a comparable salary and benefit comparison with comparable private sector jobs?

According to the latest Memphis CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) report the per capita personal income for Memphis is $37,569., 5.5% above the bottom group average of city employees. The top average City of Memphis employee group is 48% above (more…)

MLGW Smart Meters?

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

February 4, 2013

On November 20, 2012 City Councilman Morrison made a motion to increase the purchase of 6000 so called smart meters to 60,000. WOW!!

He got Yes votes from Boyd, Conrad, Flinn, Ford, Harris, Lowery, Strickland and  himself. There were No votes from Fullilove, Brown and Collins. Hedgepeth did not cast a vote and Halbert was absent.

Has anyone really thought about Smart Meters, the cost, the savings (if any) and what is really their purpose?

Well here is my 2 cents worth.

It should be easy with modern technology to have a meter that broadcasts your readings and does away with the meter reader’s job. (more…)