A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an editor's note about the trash floating in Wolf River Harbor. It was in response to John Branston's column on the mess at the new Beale Street Landing dock, and the bad impression it would make on those who would be soon arriving via riverboat if it wasn't cleaned up.
Judging from the following letter, it wasn't cleaned up:
After a wonderful Mississippi River trip on the Memphis-based American Queen, we arrived at Beale Street Landing on Sunday morning. We were embarrassed for the city, as we immediately saw construction debris around the unfinished and over-budget structure. More disturbing was the massive amount of debris and trash floating in the water between the dock and the building.
We landed at river towns and cities from New Orleans to Memphis. We were greeted by proud city ambassadors and clean downtown ports in all the stops except Memphis.
The Riverfront Development Corporation has been unable to manage the development of Beale Street Landing. Further, more than one half of its funding comes from the city, and an overwhelming percentage of the expenses are salaries. The president of the RDC got a raise this year, and the RDC just added a vice president who is paid in excess of $120,000.
Based on what over 300 arriving passengers and hundreds of crew members from the American Queen saw this weekend, the RDC and its staff are incompetent. I suggest that the city pull its funding and take over the functions of running the city's riverfront.
Hard to argue with that, Mr. Burns.