Wharton announces George Little as city's new CAO - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton announces George Little as city's new CAO

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton announced George Little as the city's new Chief Administrative Officer during a Wednesday afternoon press conference in the Hall of Mayors.

Wharton said his new choice for Memphis' CAO is a perfect fit.

"He's tough," Wharton said. "He's reasonable. He's pragmatic. He's visionary."

Little will replace acting CAO Jack Sammons, who was appointed to the position earlier this year by then-Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery.

"Today represents the beginning of a new chapter," Little said. "A chapter of hope.  A chapter of transformation, certainly for me personally, and I hope for the city of Memphis."

Little served in the cabinet of Governor Phil Bredesen as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, a position to which he was appointed in 2005.  Wharton said Little's management skills and familiarity with crime and public safety issues make him the best man for the job.

"His extensive background in corrections and pardons and parole.  There will be no learning curve at all, so we're bringing someone in who is ready to jump on board," he said.

Little said he knows he'll have his work cut out for him, but he's ready.

"Education, jobs, simple communities and neighborhoods.  Those are all areas I think we can improve here," he said.

Wharton says Little's annual salary will be more than $155,000.  Little is expected to officially begin in his new role with the city of Memphis on January 1, 2010.

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