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Take Speed Dating, Add Politicians, You Get Speed Repping

The first "Speed Repping" event in the city happened at the Whitehaven Library, and that's where Local 24's Mike Matthews picks it up.
Speed Meetings With Leaders

The first “Speed Repping” event in the city happened at the Whitehaven Library, and that’s where Local 24’s Mike Matthews picks it up.

In a small, overheated room at the Whitehaven branch library, they sat at tables, ready to, well nobody was going to be rumbling here.

Not the two mayors, a fire director a police director, the head of the city’s utility company, or the people of Memphis. They were happy to get just three minutes to bring up anything they felt was important to the Memphis bigwigs. Jennifer Wheeler, who wasn’t very happy to see television cameras at the event said simply, “It’s a good opportunity.”

It was even a good opportunity for people to let the politicians have it. That’s democracy in action. City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson loved it, saying “I think this is an excellent idea.”

Sometimes the ideas were good, sometimes they were different, all of them written down, even the ones that don’t have an ice cube’s chance in August of surviving. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland got into a sometimes heated conversation with one lady. “Bless her heart,” he said. “She wanted us to put money into Libertyland. She wanted us to put millions of dollars in to recreate Libertyland.”

Most folks had good things to say about the event. Three minutes of talk was better for some than no minutes. Doctor Orpheus Triplett of the University of Tennessee Medical School said “Yes. Yes, it was, it was. I really appreciate the time. He (Mayor Strickland) was very receptive. It was a good format.”

You couldn’t help but notice the young folks. It was part of their school day, to come up with questions for the mayors and the others.  A big deal for fifth grader Jeffrey Tufford, who was almost gushing with excitement. “I get to talk to important people about important things in my life,” he said.