Memphis City Council appoints three new members to return to full strength

Published on: January 9, 2019

By Samuel Hardiman, Memphis Business Journal

The Memphis City Council broke weeks of deadlock Tuesday when it appointed three new members, bringing it up to 13 members for the first time since November.

The City Council appointed Sherman Greer to fill the District 1 seat vacated by Bill Morrison. Greer said he recently pitched himself as a consensus candidate after the council reached an stalemate — stuck between two applicants to fill the seat. Greer is the executive director of government affairs for Southwest Tennessee Community College.

To fill the vacant Super District 8-2 seat left open by Janis Fullilove, the council chose former Shelby County Assessor Cheyenne Johnson.

And finally, to fill the seat that Edmund Ford Jr. emptied when he resigned after being elected to the Shelby County Commission, the council chose Gerre Currie, a community development officer at Financial Federal Bank. In doing so, the council passed over Ford Jr.'s father, former Councilman Edmund Ford Sr.

Greer and Johnson were sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 8, shortly after their appointments.

The council also chose a new chair and vice-chair for the 2019 year. Patrice Robinson was chosen as vice-chair and Kemp Conrad was chosen as chairman. Conrad faced little opposition to become chairman, receiving nine votes out of the 10 council members at the time. Councilman Joe Brown voted for himself for chairman.

Berlin Boyd and Frank Colvett Jr. vacated the chair and vice-chair positions, respectively. With the new members appointed, the council will soon consider smaller rate hikes for Memphis Light, Gas and Water. The utility is proposing smaller rate increases after the council voted down the city-owned utility's proposed budget in late December. The new members will also get the chance to weigh in on developer's $50 million ask for parking incentives for Union Row.