Chairman Kemp Conrad’s Final Council Recap for 2016

Today was our final Council meeting of 2016, and I truly believe it’s been a productive year at City Council. It’s been an honor to serve as Chairman. Just a few highlights to recap the year of which I’m most proud:

  • Strong, Positive Relationship between Council and Administration: We started the year with six new members and a new mayor, and we’ve all worked together to keep the best interests of Memphians at the heart of our work
  • Smooth Budgeting: Those strong relationships translated into a collaborative budgeting process, moving from the Administration through the Council at an unprecedented pace so that we could return our focus to the work of City Government and serving the people of Memphis.
  • Keeping Money in Memphis: Speaking of the budget, we also worked hard to make sure Memphis got its fair share of the MLGW PILOT payment each year, bringing an extra $5 million into the General Fund and doing our part to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the City
  • Focus on Public Safety: With the administration, we increased funding for officers, neighborhood watch grants, and police vehicles, not to mention Councilman Spinosa’s neighborhood camera Sentinel program to promote safe neighborhoods
  • Cutting Red Tape: In regulating airbnb and other short-term rental properties—where other cities created burdensome permitting processes—we worked together to simplify our legislation, garnering praise nationally for how we handled this regulation. We’re taking the same approach now for the sale of city property, and we’ll continue to keep government as efficient as possible.
  • Communication: The final key focus of my chairmanship has been keeping you informed. Through Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor, and this Recap, we now reach more than 50,000 citizens with all our updates on Council Tuesdays and throughout the week. Government should be open and transparent, and I believe we’ve made great strides in that regard.

We move into 2017 with over $9 billion in ongoing development projects across the Memphis metro area. I’m honored to pass the gavel to my friend Chairman-elect Berlin Boyd, who I know will do great things, and I look forward to the year to come.

Sharing the Pennies: One last major achievement moving into the New Year—as winter sets in and Memphians crank up the heat, some of Memphis’ most vulnerable are forced to spend more than 25% of their incomes on utilities alone. This energy burden perpetuates the poverty and impacts low-income children the hardest, affecting their health and education. I’m honored to support Councilwoman Robinson’s bold suggestion to expand MLGW’s Share the Pennies program—for an average of $6 each year, with easy options for not participating, MLGW customers can come together in helping their neighbors with a home weatherization fund taking in $1.5-2.5 million each year, increasing the impact of an existing, successful program more than 30-fold.

Councilwoman Patrice Robinson in the holiday spirit, holding a jar of $11.88 of pennies, the maximum any MLGW customer would contribute to Share the Pennies each year

Memphis Championship Celebration Week, Part II: After honoring Trezevant, East, and Whitehaven last meeting, we were proud to welcome Lausanne, Memphis’ fourth high school championship team this season. We’re so proud of our student athletes, and we’re looking forward to basketball season next!

Councilwoman Frank Colvett, Jr. honors Lausanne High School’s football seniors and coach on a 14-0 State Championship season

All the best for a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 be your best year ever.

Category : Blog &Latest News

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