Lipscomb is the man with the plan in Memphis

By Andrew Douglas - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - If a project is planned in Memphis, chances are Robert Lipscomb's fingerprints are on it.

Lipscomb, executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority, is paid two full-time salaries totaling more than $250,000 a year.

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton called the reshaping of Memphis public housing one of his defining legacies.  Behind those projects was Lipscomb.

"A whole new city being redefined ... by the public housing," Lipscomb said.

Ricky Wilkins is a chairman of the Memphis Housing Authority and is essentially Lipscomb's boss.  He said Lipscomb has built a reputation throughout the city.

"Over the years, anybody will tell you Robert Lipscomb is seen as the go-to guy," Wilkins said.

Lipscomb receives a salary from the Memphis Housing Authority of $132,000 a year, paid by federal taxpayers.  The job comes with 22 duties and responsibilities, and Lipscomb has had the job for over a decade.

"We hired him because of his work ethic," Wilkins said.  "We hired him because of his honesty, his ability to get things done."

Lipscomb has another full-time job at Memphis City Hall as Director of Housing and Community.  The job pays him more than $125,000 a year, provides a city vehicle, and puts him on call 24/7.

"He exceeds satisfaction," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.  "Robert and I work every Sunday on long term plans."

With two of the most important jobs in local government, Action News 5 wanted to find out how Lipscomb had time to do it all.

"Hard work, dedication, good staff," Lipscomb said.  "I think people should be just not about how hard they work but about the results they achieve."

Lipscomb pointed to results like the pending Bass Pro Shops deal.

"We'll be the only city in the country that's had any kind of adapt and reuse of their arena," LIpscomb said.

He also talked hinted at private development plans in and around Graceland.

"I'm sure they'll be coming forward with a major announcement fairly soon," Lipscomb said.

As Memphis waits for more results, Mayor Wharton hinted that a change may be coming and that Lipscomb will remain part of the plan.

In the meantime, Lipscomb said he hopes to keep winning raves from his bosses and results for Memphis.

"I don't have anything to prove to anybody," Lipscomb said.  "Drive around.  The results speak for themselves."

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