Mayor Luttrell addresses key issues at prayer breakfast - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor Luttrell addresses key issues at prayer breakfast

(WMC-TV) – Tuesday, Mark Luttrell, Shelby County Mayor, offered a glimpse into his agenda for 2013. This happened at Memphis Councilman Myron Lowery's 22nd Annual new Year's Day Prayer Breakfast.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell used the forum to address the state of the county's finances, local education issues and the issue of gun violence.

"I think the status of our county is healthy," Luttrell said.

The mayor kicked off New Year's Day with word that the county is taking a bite out of its debt.

"Our bond rating is good, which means we can borrow money at a pretty favorable rate. We're living within our budget," he said.

Luttrell also voiced concerns about a conversation he had with some local employers seeking job applicants.

"They said of all the people applying for jobs in our industry, we're finding only 20 percent meet the minimum qualifications," he said.

And after years of fighting to open a new jail, Luttrell revealed his changed view.

"If we're going to truly address the issues of crime, we've got to do more than just build jails and prisons," Luttrell said.

While there, he also addressed gun control, after the Connecticut elementary school massacre, and a rash of recent gun violence cases across Shelby County.

He says the community must take a more progressive approach to addressing mental health issues.

"I think there are people out there who should not have guns and we need to address that," said the mayor.

Luttrell also pointed out that truly educating the community hinges on getting the people job-ready.

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