BY MICHAEL WARD, Collierville Herald
September 2, 2010

Tennessee’s Senate Majority Leader and Collierville resident Mark Norris is embracing his role as a member of new Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s transition team.

“I’m happy to do it,” Norris said of Luttrell’s request for him to join the team.

Luttrell announced the 14-member consulting team on Aug. 9, four days after securing the election victory with 57.8 percent of the vote to Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford’s 41.6 percent. He officially took office yesterday, relinquishing his role as Shelby County Sheriff, a position Bill Oldham won during the Aug. 2 Shelby County General Election.

“(I’m) certainly going to hit the ground running,” Luttrell said, noting work has been ongoing on an economic development initiative for the area.

The transition team is tasked with providing ideas and suggestions to help create a more business-friendly environment, strengthen ties with loc al and state government officials, improve efficiency and quality of public schools and ensure public safety through partnerships with law enforcement agencies and the Operation Safe Community initiative.

Luttrell noted Norris’ history in both local and state government as a reason for selecting him as a team member. “Mark has vast experience as a county commissioner prior to his election to the state Senate.”

Norris is chairing the team’s government relations subcommittee. He said the committee has spent – and will continue to spend – time with stakeholders, including suburban mayors, legislators and business and community leaders to find out what can be done better.

“The key to putting the county’s best foot forward is relationships and effective communication,” Norris said. He added that the group is also working to help identify potential impediments that could prevent the administration from achieving its goals.

Luttrell said he has asked the team to provide a report with recommendations in 60 days, which gives the group roughly five more weeks to work. He added that his administration will work to “make government more responsive” by working on organization, transparency and building people’s confidence in government.

“There’s an overriding sense of optimism,” Norris said of the new county administration. “People think the stars are aligned for good things to come.”

Comments are closed.