MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) of Memphis and Shelby County hopes to drive businesses to Memphis. EDGE is a joint venture between the city and county with both promising millions of dollars to the program, but folks in the county say Memphis has gone back on that deal.
Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism told abc24.com, "If they're not going to participate in the manner in which they say they were going to, I don't think they should have as much participation on the board."
The city and county each get four seats on the board and they both appoint the ninth. Commissioner Mike Ritz wants to change that. "I think frankly we ought to make it a county operation," he said.
Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn thinks that's a good idea. Flinn said, "I think it dovetails nicely with things we've said on the Council side."
"On a countywide basis we've lost about 40,000 jobs that were here in 2007," according to Reid Dulberger, President of EDGE. "EDGE was designed to be that entity to help make up those jobs and plot a better future for our community."
Memphis and Shelby County plotted that future together with both pledging more than $7 million apiece to EDGE. Shelby County Commissioners say the county has lived up to its obligations and paid its part, but the City of Memphis hasn't.