Monday, January 10, 2005

Letter: Restore CCC as Downtown planner

Commercial Appeal
Letters to the Editor

As this community faces the threat of higher taxes, our leaders are making a great show of efforts to reduce expenditures. Consolidation has become Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's solution to the looming shortfalls. He has an opportunity to show his belief in consolidation within his own domain.

Memphis has two semiprivate organizations that oversee the development of our city, the Center City Commission and the Riverfront Development Commission. Both organizations, funded to a large extent by taxpayers, are staffed with highly paid individuals, and both maintain executive office suites in Downtown Memphis.

Before the RDC was created, Downtown development efforts were led solely by the CCC. By removing the riverfront from CCC purview, the mayor was able to provide highly paid jobs for ex-city employees who carried on his vision of a grand-scale rebuilding of the city, centered on a land bridge and lake. In light of the current budget crisis, these plans have taken a low profile.

With the view that consolidated organizations are more efficient than divided and often duplicated efforts, now would be a great time for the mayor to consolidate the efforts of the CCC and the RDC, returning the development of Downtown to the CCC. This act would save millions by reducing duplicated costs, and allow costly planning efforts to return to a more realistic level, benefiting the city and taxpayer alike.

Thomas Kroll

Copyright 2004 - The Commercial Appeal is an E.W. Scripps Company newspaper.

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