MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is rolling out a new initiative hoping to make the city more efficient. Instead of looking at the city's money woes one year at a time, he wants to look long term. Surprise, surprise, he's hired a pricey consultant to help do it.
You have probably heard the old saying, 'You have to spend money to make money.' That's exactly what Mayor Wharton is doing in this situation.
"We've got to change the way we do business," stated the city's Chief Financial Officer, Robert Lipscomb.
The city hired consultants to look at everything from staffing levels and salaries to contracting and reorganization of departments. Consultants will come up with a five year plan to trim government.
The consultants are being paid $300,000. Critics wonder why the city needs to spend the money.
Truth is, many of these issues have already been looked at and it didn't cost the taxpayers a penny.
The Strategic Business Model Assessment Committee was a group of business and community leaders Wharton assembled last year to look at streamlining government operations. Group members volunteered their time and came up with a long list of recommendations.
Prior to Wharton taking office, other groups looked at how to make the city more efficient; those recommendations were never acted on.
Wharton says truth is some of the things earlier groups recommended were things already being done.
So will this be money well spent?
Truth is consultants coming up with a list of recommendations and getting the mayor, along with the city council, to agree on them are two different things.
The consultants hope to have their recommendations complete by early next year, just in time for the budget. But truth is unless city leaders actually do what is recommended, the plan could do nothing except collect dust on a desk.