A Memphis City Council member called the city and county Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) “broken."
Councilman Philip Spinosa Jr. said Tuesday that changes need to be made to EDGE and how it operates.
“I think we all agree that EDGE is a little bit
broken, to put it gently,” Spinosa said. “I think at the core, the issue is that there is no accountability.”
The first change is a move to amend the city ordinance that originally created EDGE, so that the president of EDGE, Reid Dulberger, reports to the board and not to the mayor, to whom he currently reports.
Spinosa said enforcing this will have to be a joint effort between the council and the county commission. The move will “get the ball rolling” on “changing the way that EDGE looks.”
Spinosa said he wanted the discussion to start six weeks ago when he sent an email to EDGE, asking for a copy of their policies, procedures, and performance reviews, but never received a response.
“I didn’t get any of the information I asked for, and that’s completely unacceptable,” he said.
Discussion of changes to EDGE first arose in late February during a joint meeting of the council and Shelby County Commission. Spinosa said he believes the intent of these changes are to make Memphis more competitive, while keeping EDGE accountable to taxpayers.
Another joint meeting will take place in the next coming weeks, Spinosa said, so that both bodies can have a “good healthy debate” on how to “restructure EDGE.”