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Opinion | Smart politics helped in Strickland's pick for MLGW's next chief | Richard Ransom

Richard Ransom explains what he thinks about Mayor Jim Strickland's picks for MLGW's next CEO and the city's next COO.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Smart politics. That's the only way to describe Mayor Jim Strickland's decision to move swiftly in putting a new person in charge at MLGW.

Around City Hall, everyone likes Doug McGowen. He's highly respected after seven years of serving the mayor. He's known for running a tight, efficient ship and as Strickland said, getting things done.

I know we don't like to go back there, but it was Doug McGowen who took over the COVID vaccine fiasco. After the state decided the Shelby County Health Department had screwed up so badly, he took charge with daily press briefings and the fiasco quickly became a model around the state.

The rap against him is he hasn't run a utility before, to which I say, so what? He has been Commander at an entire Navy base before and has run an entire city government before. I think he can handle a utility that could stand to be a bit more efficient. 

Much of the same could be said about Strickland's choice Wednesday to replace McGowen at City Hall. Chandell Ryan is also highly respected and becomes the first Black woman to be the city of Memphis' COO.

I'd love to hear what you think. Join the conversation by email, Facebook or Twitter

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