Memphis is sort of like a flounder, big and flat. It takes a long time to get from one side of the city to the other, and it costs a lot of money to provide city services. Mayor Jim Strickland is looking at changing that, as Local 24’s Mike Matthews tells us.
This is the future.
Forget about East Memphis.
Think about Binghampton and other inner city neighborhoods. “We want to focus on the inner city and stop the sprawl of pushing people out now,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. He was at a groundbreaking for a new supermarket and shopping center in Binghampton. “We need to focus on the inner city and grow that. That’s where our base is. That’s where our strength is.”
This becomes important, because the folks on Capitol Hill in Nashville always seem to be watching Shelby County and waiting. Last year, they came close to passing a deannexation bill that could have stripped this city of virtually every neighborhood annexed in the past 40 years.
What Mayor Strickland is hoping is to come up with his own plan. This week, meetings begin in areas officials are looking at possibly deannexing.
“We’re going out to these neighborhoods that are prime for deannexation,” Mayor Strickland said, “… to see if they want to be deannexed. We know some do, but some who fit the criteria may not want to be deannexed. If they don’t want to, we’re not going to push to have them deannexed.”
The goal is a smaller Memphis, and that means they can save money on services like police and fire and picking up the trash. As anyone knows who has lived in this city for more than a couple of seconds, getting from one side of Memphis to the other is a long ride.
A more compact city is a less expensive city to run.
“We believe we will need four years for deannexation to become effective,” the Mayor said, “… because we’re going to lose seven to eight million dollars per year and we need time to prepare for that kind of loss.”