Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Plastic Bag Tax-Are You For It? Is It Necessary? Will It Solve The Plastic Pollution Problem?

Monday, November 26th, 2018

November 26, 2018

 

Plastic Bag Tax-Are You For It? Is It Necessary? Will It Solve The Plastic Pollution Problem?

This proposal caught my attendance and is something that has been on my mind for some time. When I go to my local Kroger store, I always use the plastic bags to my shame. I could easily use my large canvas bag instead, but I don’t.

Under the plan, consumers would pay 7 cents for each plastic bag they use to carry their purchases from Memphis retailers sized 2,000 square feet or greater.

“This isn’t about revenue to the city of Memphis, this is about sustainability and protecting our waterways,” City Council chairman Berlin Boyd said Tuesday, pitching the plastic bag tax during the council’s public works, transportation and general services committee.

The Memphis bag tax proposal would funnel 2 cents to the grocers as a handling fee, while the city would pull in the other 5 cents per bag. People age 65 and older, and those who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits or other public assistance, would be exempt, Boyd said.

Then I did some research and here is an article that I think frames the great problem of plastic pollution. Read it for background info.

 

Here are some pictures I took at my local Kroger store in the last few days.

customer with plastic water bottles

 

rows after row of plastic soda bottles

 

 

stacks of plastic water bottles

 

 

It I obvious that the problem is more than just the plastic bags at grocery store checkout. However the proposal for a 7 cent tax on each plastic bag is a good start. The only thing that seems to work is a financial stimulus to get the public’s attention.

 

The real solution to the plastic container problem is inventing a material that can do the job that the present materials do but with the medium- and long-term characteristic of being able to dissolve into the earth with no harmful effects. Otherwise we will have to depend on financial incentives to make the public help us KEEP MEMPHIS BEAUTIFUL.

 

If any reader has thoughts on this subject, I would certainly love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

Amazon and Nashville/Memphis

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Now that the election is over, let us get back to important things like comparing Memphis/Shelby County to Nashville/Davidson County.

We have the news that Nashville is getting a piece of the Amazon pie, 5000 high paying jobs. It comes at a high taxpayer price but is probably worth it. Why Nashville and not Memphis?

Comparing Nashville to Memphis has been a project for me for some time. It is not easy to go through all the published financial data and come up with understandable comparison data. However, let us start with a few facts.

Population: Shelby County: 936,961, Davidson County: 691,243

Population of the core city: Memphis 653,236, Nashville 444,297

—————————————————————————————————-

Area: Shelby County: 755 sq. miles, Davidson County: 525 sq. miles

Area of the core city: Memphis, 324 sq. miles, Urban Nashville, 198 sq. miles, general service area 327 sq. miles for a total of 525 square miles.

Conclusion: population density of core city Memphis 2016/sq. mile

Population of core city Nashville 2243/sq. mile

—————————————————————————————————–

Property tax revenue: Memphis $458,671,000, Shelby County $793,849,000 for a total of $1,252,520,000 or 1.25 billion.

Property taxes, Nashville Metro, $971,643,000.

——————————————————————————————————–

Budget of Memphis and Shelby County $1.88 billion.

Budget of Metro Nashville $2.23 billion.

Budget expenditures per resident Memphis and Shelby County $2006

Budget expenditure per resident of Metro Davidson $3226

——————————————————————————————————–

Debt service as a % of operating expenditures

Metro Nashville                  9%

Memphis                               20%

Shelby County                     21.45%

——————————————————————————————————

Memphis pension liability 2018- $2.68 billion 89.6% funding ratio

Shelby County pension liability 2017- $1.2 billion 71% funding ratio

Nashville Metro pension liability 2017- 3.08 billion 95.4% funded

 

Memphis OPEB liability 2018 $334 million, 0.8% funded

Shelby County OPEB liability 2017 $232 million 83.3% funded

Nashville Metro OPEB liability $2.33 billion, zero % funded

Typical Winter utility bill

Memphis- $244.10

Nashville- $375.65

————————————————————————————————————-

The Statement of Net Position presents information on all the Government’s assets, deferred outflows of resources, liabilities, and deferred inflows of resources, with the difference reported as net position. Over time, increases or decreases in net position may serve as a useful indicator of whether the financial position of the Government is improving or deteriorating.

 

Metro Nashville net position decreased by $266 million for the year ending 2017.

Memphis net position decreases by $58 million for the year ending 2017.

Shelby County net position increased by $86 million for the year ending 2017

 

If you have additional financial comparison information or disagree with any of the above information, please let me know.

 

————————————————————————————————————-

 

I think Memphis is a great city, beautiful trees, weather is consistently great, wonderful  people and compared to Nashville, a low cost of living. What is the difference?

 

EDUCATION AND TRAINED WORK FORCE.

 

We are told that these 5000 jobs Amazon will bring to Nashville have an average salary of $150,000/year. These are jobs that require high tech skills in management, engineering, computer science and programming. It is a pleasure to go to the Amazon website as its ease of use is outstanding and much better than its competitors.

 

However, Amazon’s main business is selling things made by others and getting those things to you fast and at a low cost.

 

Memphis needs to compete in the area of technical job training and skills that are needed in the next few years in manufacturing, health care, auto and aircraft maintenance, warehousing and transportation. Our new governor has promised to continue free junior college training (Tennessee Promise) and hopefully he will allow qualified non-profits like our local Moore Tech College to participate in the Tennessee Promise program.

 

Our local shortage of trained people needed by companies like Amazon will not be solved in a few years but while we upgrade our primary grade education, we need to emphasize trade school education to upgrade our local working wage level and reduce our comparative high poverty level.

 

I would appreciate your thoughts on what we can do to help Memphis to reach the next level of prosperity. Memphis is great, but we can make it grow and prosper with the right education policies. EDUCATION IS THE ANSWER.

 

 

 

 

 

I Voted Yesterday and Then Cleaned Out My Closet. What a Surprise!!

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

October 26, 2018

 

I voted yesterday and then cleaned out my closet. What a surprise!!

 

After hearing all the NO-NO-NO advertising and NO-YES-NO and NO-YES-YES on social media I fully expected to see NO! and YES! on the ballot. WRONG!!

 

What was on the ballot was “Vote For the Amendment or Against the amendment. I saw several voters talking to the election commission staff asking for an explanation. This is another example of the poor wording of these three ordinances. We will have to wait until November 6th or 7th to see the results. Will it be AGAINST-AGAINST-AGAINST or AGAINST-FOR-FOR or something else.

 

Then I went home and started cleaning out my closet and came across the following sign from 2008 when Memphis voters put term limits in place for the Memphis Mayor and Memphis City Council members, limiting each to two consecutive 4 year terms in office. None of our group shown in the picture were elected but the influence of 30,000 taxpayers paid off with the charter commission imposing two consecutive four year term on the Mayor and the City Council as was already the case for the County Mayor and the County Commission. The City Council at that time fought us tooth and nail but we won. Now both the Memphis City Council and the County Commission want to get 12 consecutive years rather than 8. Vote Against.

 

 

 

In the 2008 vote, more than three-quarters of Memphis voters approved the two-term limit.

 

Yesterday, on the second and third items I voted FOR and FOR.

 

Vote your conviction but please vote.

 

 

 

The True Facts About IRV Voting

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

October 16, 2018

 

I recently sent out an email and posted information on my website (www.memphisshelbyinform.com) giving my recommendation to vote NO-YES-YES on the three ordinances at the end of the upcoming ballot.

 

I then received an email from City Councilman Edmund Fore Jr. as shown below.

Mr. Saino,

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirit.

We disagree on many things, but I will say that you are spot on regarding these items. In fact, IRV has been repealed in several cities due to costs and the number of exhausted ballots that are thrown out. Taking to the local Comptroller, Shelby County would have to pay up to $6.3 million for new machines.

I would be glad to provide more information, as the local media has refused to give the public both sides.

I appreciate your attempt to educate the people, even when we disagree.

 

He also sent me to a website (www.yes2repeal.org)  and if you will look at the video on this site it explains the faults in Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and he also sent me the document that you can read explaining the true cost and impediments of IRV. Enough said. Early voting starts tomorrow and please get out and vote and vote NO-YES-YES.

NO-YES-YES

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

October 15, 2018

 

Elections Are Coming and there are three interesting charter questions at the end of the ballot. There is a push by a local group. They are pushing for Instant Runoffs. The three items are written in a very confusing manner making it difficult to understand. I hope to make it simple.

 

ORDINANCE 5676 ASKS   VOTERS TO EXTEND TERMS LIMITS FROM 2 FOUR YEAR TERMS TO 3 FOUR YEAR TERMS. Our history of politicians hoping to get their pensions expanded as they did in 2001 with the pension resolution at the City of Memphis allowing elected and appointed officials to retire after 12 years regardless of age is an example of the need for terms limits. VOTE NO!!.

 

ORDINANCE 5669 ASKS VOTERS TO REPEAL INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING. Instant runoff voting was approved in 2008 without a lot of research and sold as a means to save money by not having runoff elections. Runoff elections are only required in the 7 single member Memphis city council districts. They are not required for the Shelby County 13 Shelby County Commission districts. The money that the proponents say will be saved varies depending on who you talk to. What will happen is confusion, delay, new equipment purchases necessary to implement a paper trail. MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO VOTE YES AND AFTER IRV IS KILLED, to go back to the court and get approval to elect the seven single member City Council members with plurality voting as is done in the 3 super districts and all 13 Shelby County districts. VOTE YES!!

 

ORDINANCE 5677 ASKS VOTERS TO AMEND THE CHARTER TO PROVIDE THAT THE CANDIDATE RECEIVING THE LARGEST NUMBER OF VOTES SHALL BE DECLARED THE WINNER, THEREBY ELIMINATING RUN-OFF ELECTIONS. VOTE YES OR NO!! If you vote NO we will still require runoff elections which is OK. If you vote YES we will probably have to go back to court to reverse the 1991 decision which required a majority vote and sometimes generated a runoff election. But if the court grants a reversal, there will be no need for instant runoff elections and its confusion and high costs. VOTE YES!!

 

 

There is a very important election coming up on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. Let us look at some of the important elections.

A new Tennessee Governor will be elected as our current governor is term limited. I am voting for Bill Lee.

 

Another important election is the United States Senate because of the retirement of our current senator, Bob Corker. I am voting for Marsha Blackburn.

 

Another important election is the District 8 United States House of Representatives and I recommend voting for David Kustoff. In my district I am voting for Charlotte Bergmann.

 

I am in Tennessee Senate District 31 and will be voting for Brian Kelsey.

 

I am in Tennessee House of Representative District 93 and there is no Republican running, so I will not be voting on this district.  I used to vote in District 83 and if I was still there I would vote for Mark White.

 

I have listed a complete ballot with my choices listed in red. Vote your convictions but please vote.

 

 

 

Sample Ballot
State and Federal General Election & Municipal Elections
 
General Election
 

 

Your ballot will contain four or five State and Federal races depending upon where you live. All ballots will have the race for Governor and US Senate. All ballots will have the correct district for the US House of Representatives and the Tennessee House of Representatives. Voters who live in Tennessee Senate District 29, 31, and 33 will have the correct race for their district on their ballots. Voters who live in Tennessee Senate District 30 and 32 will not see a Tennessee Senate race on their ballots since those districts will not be on the ballot until 2020.

 

State and Federal Offices

Governor of Tennessee Bill Lee Republican BILL LEE
Vote for One Karl Dean Democratic
Mark CoonRippy Brown Independent
Sherry L. Clark Independent
Justin Cornett Independent
Gabriel Fancher Independent
Sean Bruce Fleming Independent
William Andrew Helmstetter Independent
Cory King Independent
Matthew Koch Independent
Tommy Ray McAnally Independent
Jessie D. McDonald Independent
Toney Randall Mitchell Independent
Yvonne Neubert Independent
Alfred Shawn Rapoza Independent
Chad Riden Independent
Robert Sawyers Sr. Independent
Heather Scott Independent
George Blackwell Smith IV Independent
Jeremy Allen Stephenson Independent
Tracy C. Yaste Tisdale Independent
Mike Toews Independent
Rick Tyler Independent
Vinnie Vineyard Independent
Jaron D. Weidner Independent
Patrick Whitlock Independent
Joe B. Wilmoth Independent
Mark Wright Independent
United States Senate Marsha Blackburn Republican MARSHA BLACKBURN
Vote for One Phil Bredesen Democratic
Trudy A. Austin Independent
John Carico Independent
Dean Hill Independent
Kevin Lee McCants Independent
Breton Phillips Independent
Kris L. Todd Independent
United States House of Representatives District 8 David Kustoff

Erika Stotts Pearson James Hart

Republican This race will only appear if you live in US House of Representatives District 8.
Vote for One Democratic
Independent
United States House of Representatives District 9 Charlotte Bergmann Republican This race will only appear if you live in US House of Representatives District 9.
Vote for One Steve Cohen Democratic
Leo AwGoWhat Independent
Tennessee Senate District 29 Tom Stephens Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 29.
Vote for One Raumesh Akbari Democratic
Tennessee Senate District 31 Brian Kelsey Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 31.
Vote for One Gabby Salinas Democratic
 

Tennessee Senate District 33

 

Katrina Robinson

 

Democratic

This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 33.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 83 Mark White Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 83
Vote for One Danielle Schonbaum Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 84 Joe Towns Jr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 84.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 85 Jesse Chism Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 85.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 86 Barbara Cooper Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 86.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 87 Karen Camper Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 87.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 88 Larry J. Miller Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 88.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 90 John J. Deberry Jr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 90.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 91 London P. Lamar Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 91.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 93 G. A. Hardaway, Sr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District

93.

Vote for One

 

Tennessee House of Representatives District 95 Kevin Vaughan Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 95.
Vote for One Sanjeev Memula Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 96 Scott McCormick Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 96.
Vote for One Dwayne Thompson Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 97 Jim Coley Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 97.
Vote for One Allan Creasy Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 98 Antonio Parkinson Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 98.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 99 Tom Leatherwood Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 99.
Vote for One David Cambron Democratic
City of Bartlett
City of Bartlett Mayor John Lackey Non-Partisan
Vote for One A. Keith McDonald Non-Partisan
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 1 W. C. “Bubba” Pleasant Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 2 Mitch Arnold Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Bartlett
Vote for One Emily Elliott Non-Partisan
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 3 David Parsons Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett SchoolBoard – Position 2 Erin Elliott Berry Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett School Board – Position 4 Bryan Woodruff Non-Partisan
Vote for One
Town of Collierville
Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 1 William Boone Non-Partisan
Vote for One Maureen J. Fraser Non-Partisan
Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 2 Billy Patton Non-Partisan
Vote for One
 

Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 4

 

Tom Allen

 

Non-Partisan

These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the Town of Collierville.
Vote for One Gregory D. Cotton Non-Partisan
Town of Collierville School Board – Position 2 Wanda Chism Non-Partisan
Vote for One
Town of Collierville School Board – Position 4 Eelco R. Van Wijk Non-Partisan
Vote for One Frank Warren Non-Partisan
City of Germantown
City of Germantown Mayor John Barzizza Non-Partisan
Vote for One Mike Palazzolo Non-Partisan
City of Germantown Alderman – Position 1 Scott Sanders Non-Partisan
Vote for One Brian D. White Non-Partisan
 

City of Germantown Alderman – Position 2

 

Jeff Brown

 

Non-Partisan

These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the Town of Germantown.
Vote for One Mary Anne Gibson Non-Partisan
City of Germantown School Board – Position 2 Brian Curry Non-Partisan
Vote for One Betsy Landers Non-Partisan
City of Germantown School Board – Position 4 Angela Rickman Griffith Non-Partisan
Vote for One Robyn Rey Rudisill Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker Non-Partisan
Vote for One Mike Cunningham Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland Commissioner Jeremy Clayton Burnett Non-Partisan
Vote for up to two. Michele Dial Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Lakeland.
Michael Green Non-Partisan
Richard A. Gonzales, Jr. Non-Partisan
Clark Plunk Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland School Board Zachary Coleman Non-Partisan
Vote for up to three. Kevin Floyd Non-Partisan
Laura Harrison Non-Partisan
Deborah Thomas Non-Partisan
City of Millington
City of Millington Alderman – Position 1 Bethany K. Huffman Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 2 Albert “AL” Bell Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 3 Jon Crisp Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 4 Larry Dagen Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Millington
Vote for One

 

 

City of Millington School Board – Position 2

 

Marlon Evans

 

Non-Partisan

Vote for One Cecilia “C.J.” Haley Non-Partisan
City of Millington School Board – Position 4 Cody F. Childress Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington School Board – Position 5 Barbara Halliburton Non-Partisan
Vote for One Donald Holsinger Non-Partisan
City of Millington School Board – Position 6 Austin Brewer Non-Partisan
Vote for One Larry C. Jackson Non-Partisan
 

City of Memphis

These questions will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Memphis.

 

NO-YES-YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5676 Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide no person shall be eligible to hold or to be elected to the office of Mayor or Memphis City Council if any such person has served at any time more than three (3) consecutive four-year terms, except that service by persons elected or appointed to fill an unexpired four-year term shall not be counted as full four-year term?
Vote No
I, Doug McGowen, Interim Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that the foregoing amendment shall have no impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.
 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5669

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to repeal Instant Runoff Voting and to restore the election procedure existing prior to the 2008 Amendment for all City offices, and expressly retaining the 1991 federal ruling for persons elected to the Memphis City Council single districts?

Vote Yes
I, Brian Collins, Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that without speculating about certain assumptions I cannot estimate whether the foregoing amendment will have any impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.
 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide that in any municipal election held as required by law, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared the winner, thereby eliminating run-off elections?

Vote Yes
I, Doug McGowen, Interim Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that the foregoing amendment shall have no impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.

 

NO-YES-YES

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

 

September 18, 2018

 

NO-YES-YES

 

There are three interesting proposals at the end of the upcoming November 6th ballot here in Memphis.

These three are very interesting and particularly difficult to understand but I will try to explain them to the best of my ability and research.

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5676 Vote yes or NO

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide no person shall be eligible to hold or to be elected to the office of Mayor or Memphis City Council if any such person has served at any time more than three (3) consecutive four-year terms, except that service by persons elected or appointed to fill an unexpired four-year term shall not be counted as full four-year term? Vote NO

 

 

This is an attempt by the political class to undue the terms limits put on the City of Memphis by voters. You can see what happens when politicians get too many terms in office. Look at the 2001 pension resolution by the City of Memphis when they approved elected and appointed officials to get immediate pensions after 12 years of service regardless of age. This cost the city of Memphis millions until finally rescinded. More recently the Shelby County Commission tried a similar plan which was vetoed by the outgoing County Mayor and may come up again with the new County Commission and new County Mayor. VOTE NO!

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677 Vote YES  or no

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to repeal Instatnt Runoff Voting and to restore the election procedure existing prior to the 2008 Amendment for all City offices, and expressly retaining the 1991 federal ruling for persons elected to the Memphis City Council single districts?

 

Instant runoff voting is a very bad idea and it is being sold to save money by not having a run off election. Nationwide it has proved to not work and to cause confusion with the electorate. More importantly it does not necessarily lead to a candidate winning with a majority as is required in the single member districts of the City Council. A good example is the 2015 election to the City Council. City council races for Districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 required runoff elections on November 19, 2015, with no candidates receiving majorities of the general election vote. A particularly bad example was the race eventually won by Worth Morgan.  There were 4 candidates in the first round that won 90% of the votes. In the runoff between Morgan and Springer, Morgan won by only 136 votes. If we had had instant runoff voting it is probable someone else would have won and that person would have won without a majority of voters thus violating the 1991 federal ruling. 2nd and 3rd choices do not count as a majority decision and you end up with a winning plurality candidate. Only a one on one runoff election insures a majority winner. VOTE YES!

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677 Vote yes or NO

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide that in any municipal election held as required by law, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared the winner, thereby eliminating run-off elections?

 

This is an attempt to change from a majority vote system to a plurality vote system. The County uses a plurality system for their 13 seats on the County Commission as to the 6 City Council members in the super districts. These runoff elections which happen only in the 7 City Council single member districts were caused by a 1991 court ruling should be reversed as circumstances and population has changed. VoteYES and pending the court ruling there will no longer be a need for runoff elections.

The New Shelby County Government Is Looking Like the Old City Government

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

September 4, 2018

The New Shelby County Government Is Looking Like the Old City Government

 

The new Shelby County government is just beginning and we all wish them well. We all want and need low cost and efficient government to furnish fire and police services, bring us our utilities, repair our roads, run our legal system, furnish medical services and educate our children.

 

Shelby County government has been well run for many years as compared to the City of Memphis. Let me give you several examples.

 

In 2007 the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued GASB 45 which required that other post-employment benefits (OPEB) must be recognized as the benefits earned rather than as they are paid. The county in 2008 made certain positive changes as shown on the attached document. The City of Memphis did nothing until 2017 when they made changes to the benefit plan. The County OPEB unfunded liability went from $319 million in 2008 to $46 million today. The City of Memphis did nothing until 2017 when the benefit changes brought the unfunded liability from $857 million to $417 million, due to plan benefit changes.

 

The City of Memphis pension board regularly approves line of duty liability at 10 times the rate per employee as the County and the MLGW. This has led to an annual cost for LOD disability for the city of Memphis of some $17 million dollars per year, 10 times that of the County and the MLGW. The problem is the makeup of the pension board membership that grants these LOD disability pensions.

 

And finally, the new County pension scam allowing benefits for life with 12 years of service looks much like the January 2001 pension scam of the City of Memphis. That disastrous action allowed elected and appointed employees with 12 years of service to receive their lifetime pensions immediately.

 

It is noteworthy that the new county resolution passed with an 8-2 majority. Commissioner Walter Bailey sponsored the resolution saying that “since elected officials with term limits shouldn’t be penalized for their public service”. Commissioner Walter Bailey was term limited after his first two 4 year terms and then reelected later after laying out for a term for another term.

 

Now some politicians want to do away with term limits. The above scams only make me want to tighten terms limits so that term limited politicians do not twist the rules to feather their nests. We need term limits pension scam rules not only locally but also for the US House of Representatives and for the US Congress.

 

What are your thoughts?

There Is No 4 Or 8 Year Solution To Poverty

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Lee Harris will become the new Shelby County mayor on September 3rd of this year. In a recent article in the CA he stated that he would use the borrowing power of the state’s most populous county to spur regrowth in old Memphis neighborhoods and ease poverty. A graduate of Yale law school, he wants blight and poverty eased, and favors building four or five public schools (each costing $100 million) in humble neighborhoods.

 

He states that better schools would help children climb out of poverty. Improved education and could draw new residents in waves. They’d repair blighted houses to live near the schools, bring new life to entire neighborhoods. He’d have the county borrow the school construction money.

 

I have several thoughts about his vision.

 

  • A fancy $100 million-dollar school building does not guarantee a great educational institution. It is the eager to learn students and great teachers that make a great learning place.
  • How do you pay for $500 million dollars in bonds for education services without raising property taxes or cutting other county obligations such a health services, law and fire services, pension and OPEB obligations?

 

These short-sighted political solutions to a long-term problem is typical of many politicians. The real problem of poverty lies in a lack of education in the population that Mr. Harris wants to help but his solution will not work and could be counterproductive. Poor education is a generational problem caused by the destruction of the family and children growing up without the support of two parents who demand that their children learn principally at home and also in school. A demand for learning at home and for discipline is what is missing and fancy schools will not help.

What is your opinion of Mr. Harris’s plan to end poverty?

Buried Memphis Treasure, More Valuable Than Gold

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

July 23, 2018

Buried Memphis Treasure, More Valuable Than Gold

 

Recently Mr. Jerry Collins, the recently retired President of the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division gave a talk to a local group which I attended. The presentation was very interesting and full of important points. The most interesting and contraversal point was his statement that water under the tri-state aquifer is increasing rather than decreasing.

 

This statement caused some discussion and when I repeated it to my daughter she challenged me. So, I went back to the source of the statement, Mr. Collins, and he gave his reasoning for the assertion. The hydrostatic pressure of water in the aquifer is increasing not decreasing indicating more water, not less.

 

You must look at his resume to understand his qualifications to make this statement. He has a bachelor and master’s degree in civil engineering and has 30 years’ experience at the City of Memphis all related to water treatment and then 11 years as President of the MLGW.

 

Another critical point in his explanation is that regulations mandating things like more efficient flush toilets, washers and other appliances have had the effect of people using less water. The same can be said for electric and gas using appliances. Conservation by reasonable regulations can be important in preserving our natural resources.

 

Memphis, in my opinion, has a bright future if we understand what we have here. Our water resource is our most valuable treasure and Jerry Collins with his history of smart water decisions diminishing flooding during heavy rains, and water treatment has helped make Memphis a great place to live. Your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.

 

ELECTIONS ARE COMING

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Elections Are Coming

 

July 11, 2018

 

There is an important election coming up on August 2, 2018. Let us look at some of the important elections.

A new Tennessee Governor will be elected as our current governor is term limited. You will be asked to choose whether to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. I am voting in the Republican primary. For me it comes down to Diane Black or Randy Boyd. I met Ms. Black recently and was impressed. Mr. Boyd has the support of Mike Huckabee. Take your pick but I am voting for Ms. Black.

Another important election is the United States Senate because of the retirement of our current senator, Bob Corker. I am voting for Marsha Blackburn. She will have a tough fight in November against Phil Bredesen, the Democrat.

The most important local election is the County Mayoral election. Shelby County has been well run under Mayor Luttrell and David Lenoir is the best candidate and I will be voting for him.

Another important election is the District 8 United States House of Representatives between the current representative, David Kustoff, and George Flinn. I know and like George and while he has a high hill to climb I would vote for him, but I am not in his district. In my district I am voting for Charlotte Bergmann.

I am in Tennessee Senate District 31 and will be voting for Brian Kelsey.

I am in Tennessee House of Representative District 93 and there is no Republican running, so I will not be voting on this district.  I used to vote in District 83 and if I was still there I would vote for Mark White.

Another important election is the Shelby County Commissioners. I am voting in District 7 and will vote for Samuel D. Goff. I recommend the republican candidates where they are running.

I have listed a complete ballot with my choices listed in red. Vote your convictions but please vote.