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Early voting begins, Bartlett mayoral candidates make final appeal

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: November 02, 2022 8:41 AM CT | Published: October 20, 2022 5:08 PM CT

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With early voting starting Wednesday, earlier in the week the four Bartlett mayoral candidates had their final chance to convince voters that they are the right person for the suburb’s top elected position.

Brent Hammonds, John Lackey, David Parsons and Kevin Quinn met on Monday night at the Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Center for their second debate over the past month.

They addressed a wide range of topics including Bartlett’s future growth, the ongoing wastewater treatment issues with the City of Memphis, term limits for elected officials, increased pay for teachers and city employees, transparency and more.

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Regarding future growth, Parsons, a small business owner and Bartlett alderman, sees a need for more housing in the suburb.

“Back in the day, we would have 300 or 400 building permits issued a year. The past several years we haven’t exceeded 40, 50, 60 building permits,” Parsons pointed out, adding with the proposed BlueOval site in Haywood County, “I’ve been told over the next 10 years there’s some 25,000 or 30,000 new houses needed. We need to make housing available in all different types for all different folks.”

Media specialist and Bartlett alderman Quinn thinks the city needs a new master plan since it is still working off the one from 1997.

“The problem I see that Bartlett’s had is we have had a dozen years of anemic growth - 0.5% per year. Some people are happy with that, and a lot of us aren’t,” he said. “We have had a lot of accidental growth over the decades. You have developers coming (up) saying: ‘I want this piece, and I want that piece’ and then you have all these disjointed pieces. And that’s a problem. I want to see some real plans with some real teeth.”

Bartlett police officer Hammonds has issues with the new mixed-use Union Depot project at the former Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home property near U.S. 70 and Stage because it is unlike anything previously done in Bartlett.

Ballot Basics: Early Voting Oct. 19-Nov. 3

“All I want to do is be smart about our plan of action as far as who we allow to come in and develop our properties,” he said. “We do have areas in our industrial park to grow. Right now we’re dealing with the sewage issue. We can’t grow (at our full potential) until that’s fixed.”

With many of the city’s recently elected officials serving 20 years or more in their roles. Hammonds would like to see three-term limits imposed for the city’s mayor and alderman positions.

“We need new innovative ideas, new creative ideas,” Hammonds said. “So we need to look at inspiring others that want to run for office. There’s no women up here. There’s no women running for alderman. Why is that?”

The other candidates also support implementing term limits.

Retired Shelby County engineer and Shelby County Reserve Sheriff Deputy Lackey, as well as the other candidates, supports increased pay for teachers as well as all city employees.

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“Yes I think the city employees need a pay raise, and we might have to go up on taxes,” he said.

Early voting runs until Nov. 3, and Election Day is Nov. 8.


2022 Bartlett elections David Parsons John Lackey Kevin Quinn Brent Hammonds

Michael Waddell

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian with more than 20 years of professional writing and editorial experience, working most recently with The Daily News and High Ground News.


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