Mayor Wharton chooses not to reappoint three directors

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) – While seven of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's division directors were re-appointed Tuesday, three others were not.

Memphis' Chief Administrative Officer, George Little, said the administration is looking at government efficiency and the taxpayer's dollar, not anyone's personality.

"This is the time for action and this is one part of a larger action plan," Little said.

As Chief Administrative Officer, Little oversees division directors.

"There were, of course, two directors that were not retained, and that decision was made some time ago," Little said.

Wharton relieved Human Resources director Lorene Essex and General Services director Estrice Boone of their duties before Little's arrival.

The other three directors Wharton did not reappoint were Parks Director Cindy Buchanan, Public Services and Neighborhoods Director Janet Hooks, and Community Enhancement Director Ernest Dobbins.  They are still currently working for the city.

"There are three divisions that we're currently looking at possibly combining," Little said.  "Hopefully, we can achieve some efficiencies and savings.  We think there is overlap between the functions."

With the help of a council member and a transition team, the directors will help Wharton streamline the three divisions, possibly into one.  Then, they will look at streamlining inside the divisions.

"I do know that the mayor is also committed to looking at not so much Director Godwin, but our police strategies and police functions," Little said.  "Making sure that we're taking the most effective approach to making Memphis a safer city."

The seven directors re-appointed include police, fire, engineering, housing and community development, finance, public works, and planning and development.

"As far as the final personnel decisions," Little said, "that ultimately will be the mayor's call."

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