Monday, August 10, 2009

About me

In case you are interested...

Continues...I am a retired marketing and business development executive.

I moved to Memphis in 2003, after having visited here several times during the 1990s. One thing I was impressed with during those visits: I believed that Memphis had a good sense of, and respect for, its own history. I like that in a town. I am originally from another town with plenty of history: Washington, DC. I've also lived in historic capital cities in Europe, the Far East, and our northern neighbor.

Imagine my shock and consternation when, only two months after arriving, I attended that infamous riverfront meeting at the ballpark. The Bluff City was planning to replace what remained of its historic bluffs with sidewalks and skyscrapers. When I took a closer look at the rest of the riverfront plans, my concerns were only magnified.

I have since spent many, many hours following the situation and looking under the surface. I've attended more RDC Board meetings than some Memphis celebrities that have actually served on the board. I've spent days in RDC offices looking at documents the public has never seen. I helped a local grassroots organization, Friends for Our Riverfront, establish their Web presence and use technology to further their mission. I can also draw on my years of business experience, including some years as a CPA with clients in commercial real estate.

Last year, when I realized that Memphis was about to throw away its greatest cultural landmark, I decided to step forward and speak in my voice. I started this blog.

Sadly, after over ten years, the City's riverfront strategy is an epic failure. The trouble is, most Memphians don't even realize it. For reasons that seem to be structural, cultural, and political, Memphians want to and continue to believe in two myths: that developers are always their saviors, and that their riverfront is in capable hands.

I hope you will continue reading this blog and learn more of the truth. In future articles, I will explore more deeply some of the myths and realities that have made the Memphis riverfront almost the perfect archetype for what ails Memphis.

Michael Cromer

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