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“I’ve always had a passion for Memphis,” Dan Springer told the audience at last night’s Midtown Republican Club meeting.
Although he grew up in Waynesboro, Tennessee, Springer said his grandparents, aunts and uncles live here and he attended CBU. “Memphis is a city that needs people to step up and give back,” he said, that is why he is running for City Council District 5. It’s currently held by Jim Strickland, who has thrown his hat in the ring for mayor.
Just 31, Springer has some experience in government. “I had an internship in D.C. at the White House. I then worked for Senator Corker there for two years. I met then Sheriff Luttrell and after he won the County Mayor election worked as his assistant for two years and wrote his speeches.”
With Luttrell Springer created and coordinated the Shelby County Government Citizens’ University, a program that introduces citizens to Shelby County Government services. He also coordinated the Mayor’s Young Professionals Council and the Young Professionals Collaborative geared toward retaining our youths in our local workforce.
Currently he works as director of communications at Evolve bank & trust.
He told us his goals, should he win a City Council seat, are education, crime and economic development. “We need to see to it that we give our citizens a strong education background for jobs.” For crime, Springer thinks we should do more than “just arresting people. The jail has become a mental health facility and we need to get them help.”
As for economic development, Springer said “there are so many good things happening. I went to the Sears Crosstown opening. It was pouring down rain, but 500 people were there. If you ever had any doubt about it, the excitement there would prove you wrong.”
He then invited questions. “If I don’t know what your concerns and your needs are, I won’t do a good job.”
The first question asked was “how do you plan on handling the cantankerous people on the City Council?” Springer replied that he will have to “build relationships with them.”
Asked about smart meters, he said he didn’t have enough information on them and would have to do some research. On increasing property taxes Springer said he was against that, but he is for more funding for pre-K schools. On the Fairgrounds development, Springer said “I’d like to see what the plans are. I think it is bigger than it needs to be. I also think the state will have to approve it and they will say no.”
As for consolidating city and county, Springer said “it would be very expensive. It would put an undue tax burden on people although the idea of it makes sense.”
He then asked us what we thought the number one complaint is that comes to the Mayor’s Action Center. “High grass.” He explained that blight “makes you feel sad about where you are. You feel trapped. It’s an area where I’d like to put a strong focus on. I want people to feel good about where they live.”
His opponents are Mary Wilder, facilities director at MIFA; Worth Morgan, son of Allen Morgan of Morgan Keegan; and Charles (Chooch) Pickard, an architect who will be guest speaker at our April 7 meeting.