The 9:01: Here's How Memphis Is Changing Up Its Economic Development Game

April 18, 2018 - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland speaks during an event marking the opening of the new ServiceMaster headquarters in downtown Memphis. (Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal)(Photo: (Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal))Buy Photo

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Good morning from Memphis, where Memphis 901 Football Club is looking for the soccer version of Rudy. But first...

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland loves data. Not in a weird way, you understand. But if he ever announces a proposal that doesn't once include the word "metrics," send help.

So, it's no surprise that Strickland's new plan to rejigger the local approach to economic development calls for a more data-driven approach, as our Jamie Munks reports. The moderate proposal keeps the Greater Memphis Chamber as the business recruiter and the Economic Development Growth Engine as the incentives rainmaker, while at the same time making four big changes, according to city officials. What the proposal does:

  1. Targets industries. This is big. The city should have a study within a month that tells it what industries Memphis should chase. Will that mean a shift from transportation and logistics, which generally bring lower-wage jobs? Maybe.

  2. Adds goals. The Chamber and EDGE measure data — but instead of just measuring data, they would also use data to set goals by which we can measure success.

  3. Adds capacity. EDGE and the Chamber would expand, adding staff that would recruit companies and then shepherd them through the incentives process and help connect them with the local workforce.

  4. Adds accountability. Under the proposal, a new board would set the goals and the target industries, and make sure EDGE and the Chamber are doing what they should be doing. From the >Memphis Business Journal, which broke the story: "The new board would include Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, City Council members, Shelby County Commissioners, and representatives of both the Greater Memphis Chamber and EDGE. It would meet at least once per year to set the industry-specific recruitment goals and quarterly to evaluate local progress."

The plan isn't the final word on economic development. But it's a start.

The other part of this plan is Memphis 3.0, which will give the city a road map for how to improve neighborhoods. That strategic growth plan is due next year, getting underway at roughly the same time as these changes to our economic development approach.

The city hasn't released a detailed version of the plan, so stay tuned for more details.

Regional One fires Clayton John Hickey

Olive Branch, Mississippi. Nov 6th, 2018. pic.twitter.com/UN4vzu8tK2

— smokeySr🐶🐶🐶 (@smokeydaQue1212) November 7, 2018

Regional One has fired nurse and former Memphis police officer Clayton John Hickey, who wore a shirt with a Confederate flag, a noose, and the words "Mississippi Justice" to an Olive Branch polling place Tuesday, our Ron Maxey reports.

The full Regional One statement:

Regional One Health is committed to a safe, secure, and comfortable work environment for our patients, guests, employees and medical staff.  All allegations of inappropriate behavior and violations of trust involving employees are reviewed and investigated. We take this process seriously and are committed to following all necessary steps to verify the truth.

On November 7, 2018, we became aware of a photo circulating on social media of an individual identified online as an employee of Regional One Health. The Regional One Health legal and human resources teams promptly began an investigation into this employee and to determine if these allegations were real and accurate.

We understand and appreciate the intense feelings related to this situation, but it is our duty to perform a thorough due diligence to verify the truth.

As of today, November 8, 2018, we have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question. Regional One Health holds employees to a high standard.  We are committed to upholding our mission to provide compassionate care and exceptional services to all.  This includes fostering a safe and protected work and care environment for all.  Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  

I'm not a big fan of the kind of the social media-driven vigilante justice that goes on too often nowadays, but as I opined yesterday, firing him was the right decision. Someone who apparently embraces lynching shouldn't hold someone else's life in his hands.

Oh, and here's the alleged reason why he no longer works for MPD:

Before working at Regional One, Hickey was a Memphis police officer. He resigned in 2010 after he was stopped with an underage girl and alcohol in his car.

Interestingly, Hickey apparently tried to clean up his online image after his firing, BuzzFeed reports:

Though a few old news articles can be found about that incident, Hickey appears to have made a concerted effort in 2011 to place positive press releases, slideshows, and other references to himself on multiple websites. This is a common approach used by people to improve their online reputation.

Some press release and slideshow titles include, “Clayton Hickey Is A Brave Person,” “Clayton Hickey Memphis Police – Awarded Employee Of The Month In 2000,” “Clayton Hickey Memphis Police Is A Black Belt Winner,” and “Clayton Hickey Memphis Police Loves Sports.”

There’s also a Clayton Hickey Twitter account that a former coworker of his shared with BuzzFeed News, and which was used to promote links to the reputation-enhancing articles.

Additional reading: On the topic of racism, more generally, Rhodes College's Charles McKinney posted some thoughts on social media recently that are worth a read.

Salinas' chances of winning race fade

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Brian Kelsey, left, and Gabby Salinas. (Photo: The Commercial Appeal staff)

Democrat Gabby Salinas, who challenged incumbent Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey, hasn't conceded the race yet in hopes provisional ballots would put her ahead.

Well, that doesn't seem likely after the Shelby County Election Commission released a shorter-than-expected list of how many provisional ballots were cast and where, our Daniel Connolly reports. Although the numbers may change due to split precincts, Salinas doesn't seem to have the votes:

The Commercial Appeal reviewed numbers provided Thursday by the election commission and calculated that around 450 provisional ballots had been cast in Senate District 31. Even if all those votes had been cast for Salinas, they would not make up the deficit.

The election commission has said the precise vote tally might not be final until officials review each provisional ballot and the commission certifies results. State law says that must happen "no later than the third Monday after the election," which in this case is Nov. 26. 

The exact number of provisional votes in District 31 will likely be different from 450, for a number of reasons.

The other race still in play is Germantown's mayoral race, where incumbent Mike Palazzolo leads challenger John Barzizza by just 127 votes.

Additional reading: John Ryder, former general counsel to the Republican National Committee, opines about the recent midterm elections here. Ryder is current chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association and the lawyer for the Shelby County Election Commission.

Memphis looks for Soccer version of Rudy

The local soccer team, Memphis 901 Football Club, is looking for its own Rudy. From our report (which you can read in its entirety here):

The team announced Thursday it will hold open tryouts for local and regional players on Dec. 2 at the DeSoto County Soccer Association fields in Southaven. The tryouts are open to players 18 years old and up. The deadline to register is 5 p.m. Nov. 30. 

On Dec. 2, games will kick off at 10 a.m. and noon. All participants will be evaluated by the 901 FC technical staff, including head coach Tim Mulqueen. 

The 901 FC will hold another tryout in January geared toward current professionals and elite-level college players. Players who excel at the Dec. 2 tryout will be invited back to the tryout in January. 

The club, whose inaugural season kicks off in March 2019, has already filled six roster spots: defenders Louis Bennett, Wes Charpie and Josh Morton; forward Luca Uccello; and midfielders Dan Metzger and Raul Gonzalez. 

Recommended reading

The Fadeout

Lottie, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, will play Sleep Out Louie's at 6 p.m. tonight and Saturday (assuming her "Too Late" tour stop starts on time). Her latest video:

Ryan Poe writes The 9:01 column, a morning news briefing that runs weekdays at 9:01 a.m. Reach him at poe@commercialappeal.com and on Twitter @ryanpoe.

Source : https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/the-901/2018/11/09/memphis-jim-strickland-unveils-plan-change-economic-development-game-9-01/1932108002/

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