The (nearly) brand new Memphis City Council and new mayor Jim Strickland began work Tuesday in the first public meeting of the new year.
Nearly every speaker at the council and mayor’s swearing-in ceremony Friday noted that the new leadership at Memphis City Hall made it a “new day in Memphis.” Mayor Jim Strickland called the results of October’s election the biggest shakeup in Memphis leadership in a quarter century.
Six new council members began their service to Memphis Tuesday. They are: Frank Colvett, District 2; Patrice Robinson, District 3; Jamita Swearengen, District 4; Worth Morgan, District 5; Martavius Jones, Super District 8 Position 3; and Phillip Spinosa, District 9 Position 2.
The council’s first committee meeting began the way most start new endeavors, with a tutorial. Council members received an overview of the appointment process, in which the council approves personnel to sit on myriad boards and commissions sponsored by the city.
It is usually routine work but Tuesday’s was a bit different, of course. The new council’s first order of business was to approve a slate of appointments to work in Strickland’s administration.
Here’s the list council members heard Tuesday morning:
- Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer
- Brian Collins, Chief Financial Officer
- Ursula Madden, Chief Communications Officer
- Bruce McMullen, Chief Legal Officer/City Attorney
- Alexandria Smith, Chief Human Resource Officer
- Gina Sweat, Director of Fire Services
- Antonio Adams, Director of General Services
- Paul Young, Director of Housing and Community Development
- Richard Copeland, Director of Planning and Development
- Robert Knecht, Director of Public Works
- Keenon McCloy, Director of Libraries
- Kevin Woods, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Network
The rest of the council’s agenda Tuesday was far from earth-shattering. Though, they were to hear proposals that would yield some property in Handy Park back to the city and they were to hear about a process for customers to opt out of getting one of MLGW’s smart meters, always a hot topic at Memphis City Hall.
But one should definitely expect council agendas to heat up as the year progresses, as council members and the new mayor bring their fresh ideas to the people’s house at 125 N. Main Street.
New City Council Members 2016
From left: Colvett, Robinson, Swearengen, Morgan, Jones, Spinosa