Wharton names transition team - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton names transition team

A C Wharton A C Wharton

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton unveiled his transition team in an announcement on Facebook late Monday afternoon.

The team includes local experts along with private, public, and non-profit community leaders.  Republican Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter, co-chair of Wharton's transition team, expressed confidence in the group's abilities.

"It's such an exciting time in our city right now," Carpenter said Monday. "To be a part of that on the front end is an honor."

The city hasn't been in this position for nearly 18 years, after former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton won five consecutive terms.  But next Monday, the Shelby County Mayor will move across the tracks to the seventh floor of Memphis City Hall with his transition team in tow.
"He knows what his vision is for this city," Carpenter said. "Our job is to help him begin to implement that vision in the smoothest way possible."

Carpenter described the transition team as diverse, innovative, and experienced.  Methodist Health Vice President Cato Johnson, will co-chair the transition team with Carpenter.
Other transition team members include:

  • Herman Morris, Financial Adviser at Waddell & Reed and former Executive Director of MLG&W
  • Rev. Dwight Montgomery, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Memphis Chapter of SCLC and community activist
  • Nisha Powers, President of Powers Hill Design, Inc.
  • Paul Morris, Martin & Tate
  • Douglas Scarboro, Vice-President of The Leadership Academy
  • Steve Reynolds, President and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.
  • Diane Rudner, Chairman of the Plough Foundation
  • Darrell Cobbins, President & CEO of Universal Commercial
  • Tomeka Hart, President & CEO of Memphis Urban League and Memphis City School Board Commissioner
  • Jim Strickland, Memphis City Councilman and Partner at Kustoff & Strickland
  • Jose Velasquez, former executive director of Latino Memphis

Carpenter said public safety was at the top of Wharton's agenda.

"Public safety is a priority," he said. "Transparency in government is a priority, economic development, and our talent deficit. Talent retention are priorities."

Wharton's transition team will also have some hot potatoes to juggle, including the city's role in school funding, and helping the new mayor assemble his personnel, including former City Attorney Elbert Jefferson.

Jefferson wants to work for Wharton after resigning amid a fierce battle with Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery.

"I don't think we'll know what the mayor wants to do until his team goes in and reviews the office and takes a look at what the issues are, not just from a personnel side, but also from an operational side," Carpenter said.

Wharton plans to appoint a special task force to review the city attorney's office.

Carpenter says the transition team will leave all discussions and decisions on consolidation to the recently appointed Metro Government Charter Commission.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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