Last week, Memphis City Council chair Scott McCormick announced he'd be leaving his post at the end of the month to take a job as executive director of the philanthropic Plough Foundation.
Elected in 2004 as a replacement for Pat Vander Schaaf, McCormick says he is most proud of his role in brokering a deal to abolish the city's 12-year retirement plan. In 2006, he also led the effort to censure fellow council members Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford after they were indicted for bribery in Operation Main Street Sweeper.
When he isn't busy with council matters, McCormick runs Central Imaging and Printing, a local printing company. But beginning next month, McCormick will take the reins of the Plough Foundation, which issues grants for nonprofit organizations in Memphis and Shelby County.
The Flyer asked McCormick to reflect on the past four years on the council. — Bianca Phillips
Flyer: What five lessons did you learn during your time with the Memphis City Council?
1. With seven votes, you can move City Hall to Mud Island.
2. If you find an extra million dollars, don't worry. Someone will find a way to spend it.
3. Never commit to something before you hear all the facts.
4. Never worry how another council member just voted. Focus on how they will vote on the next issue.
5. You don't need a watch.
Do you have any regrets? Anything you wish would have been accomplished while you were on the council?
I wish we could have found a use for the Pyramid.
What was the most challenging issue you dealt with as a council member?
The budget crisis of 2005.
What will you miss the most about the City Council?
Cedric Young, the council's police officer. He is truly one of Memphis' finest.
Why did you take the job at the Plough Foundation?
The Plough Foundation is a wonderful organization committed to improving the quality of life in Shelby County. I viewed moving to the foundation as a way to continue to help the community.
If Herenton had resigned, as chairman of the council, you would have become mayor. What would you have done?
I was willing to serve for the 20 days the charter requires. I planned to keep the city running and encourage the council to quickly vote for a new mayor.