State Rep. Tre Hargett (R-Bartlett), who achieved some prominence of late as co-chairman of a House committee appointed by Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) to look into possible budget cuts, is now being boosted by a colleague as an arbiter of the proposed new NBA arena in Memphis.
The recommendation was by Rep. Paul Stanley (R-Germantown), in a letter to Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout, who will make an appointment of a House member to the county's Public Building Authority.
Stanley recommended Hargett as one who "has distinguished himself as a hard-working, honest member who is able to evaluate many sides of a complex issue."
Earlier, Sen. John Ford (D-Memphis), who has long-established links to Memphis downtown developer Jack Belz, had been named by Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton to the PBA. After that appointment, authorized by newly crafted legislation mandating General Assembly representation on the Authority, Rout made it clear he was taken by surprise. The two mayors then met and agreed that Rout would have the opportunity to name a PBA member from the House.