James Harvey To Serve As County Commission Chair

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(Memphis) Starting in September, Shelby County Commissioner James Harvey will take over as chairman of the commission. Harvey was a surprise pick to chair the commission because of his spotty attendance record.

“He previously had employment that kept him out of town but now he’s got local employment,” said Commissioner Walter Bailey.

Harvey now works for Tri-State Bank. He wasn’t available for this story.

Bailey has severed 37 years on the commission over two separate periods. He’s been chairman twice.

“It requires an enormous amount of attention and commitment. You’ve got to deal with various department heads that want matters on the agenda,” said Bailey who said he thinks that Harvey can handle the job despite their differences.

“I’ve been pretty much a team player and more organizational in terms of my approach,” said Bailey.

Current chairman Mike Ritz is retired and he said that helps with the job demands.

“I probably spend another couple days a week on the county commission chairmanship: managing the budget situations, the information and elected officials and setting the agendas,” said Ritz.