Memphis will bid out efficiency study

Memphis city administrators are backing off a decision to hire a specific company to do an efficiency study.

Originally, this efficiency study - which would help the city save $50 million - was going to cost $650,000. Then, when council members balked, the price dropped to $500,000. Now - it looks like even that is too much.

Memphis city administrators will make Public Financial Management, and its local director, Marlin Mosby fight for the chance to do an efficiency study, putting it out for bids.

"I'm sad. I mean, I am sad. I know that no one else can do this as well as we can," said Mosby in an exclusive interview.

Mosby - a former city finance director - has been criticized because he's $46,000 behind on personal property tax payments for four business properties he owns in Whitehaven.

His company has made a lot of money from local government. Last year, PFM charged Shelby County $550,000 to do an efficiency study. Shelby County has also paid PFM to oversee seven separate bond transactions totaling $350,000 in fees since last year alone and another $50,000 to handle two swap transactions. The city of Memphis paid Mosby's company half a million dollars since last year in fees on city bond deals.

City Councilman Tom Marshall says putting the efficiency study out for bids will help with credibility issues.

"Put it out on the street. Make it competitive. And see if this company, along with any other is right for the task," said Marshall.

Mosby told Action News 5 company's earnings have nothing to do with his private financial situation.

"I have not been stashing this money around somewhere," said Mosby.

In fact, he says, he's been struggling.

"The money goes to PFM. I get paid a salary. And a part of the profits and I have not made enough money out of PFM and out of private businesses to pay those taxes. It's that simple," Mosby said.

Mosby's company PFM has offices all over the country. He started - and runs - the Memphis office and says he has saved the city of Memphis nearly $23 million since 1998.

Mosby says he plans to pay off his property taxes within the next year.