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Interview with Frank Colvett, Chairman, Memphis City Council

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This month’s “Who Is” interview is with Frank Colvett, Chairman of the Memphis City Council. Here’s an abbreviated, and slightly paraphrased, recap of that interview. Watch the video for the full content.

CORPRO:

Before I ask any personal questions, let me ask you; What is your role at the Memphis City Council. What does a typical day at work look like?

COLVETT:

I currently serve as the Chairman of the Memphis City Council. The council is part of the legislative branch of city government. Our primary goal is to pass a balanced budget and to do that hopefully without raising taxes. I, and other council members, spend much of our time listening to our constituents within the districts. We take their concerns to the full council and sometimes create resolutions or laws to address those concerns. As the Chairman of the council, it is my responsibility, and my personal leadership style, to oversee the process to ensure that it is conducted fair and orderly. I strive to do this regardless of whether I may agree or not on the issue at hand. I want council members and all constituents to feel that, regardless of the outcome, the process was fair.

CORPRO:

What has your career path been since leaving High School?

COLVETT:

My first introduction to politics was from the first republican in west tn to be elected congressman since reconstruction. That person was my uncle Robin Byrd. He took me with him to the nation’s capital during President Carter’s administration as part of his normal duties. I later interned with congressman Sunquest. Shortly after graduating from college in 1992, I become friends with David Kustoff who asked me to join him on Governor George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. After helping to support other campaigns for a while, I became frustrated with what I saw happening to my own city of Memphis. In 2015 I decided to help “steer the ship” by running for Memphis City Council. I was elected and then re-elected again in 2019.

CORPRO:

Where were you born and what places have you lived and/or traveled to throughout your life?

COLVETT:

I am a lifelong Memphian and have actually lived in district 2 my entire life. I left Memphis for a brief time to attend college. I love Memphis but we are our own worst critics. I enjoy sharing all the positive things about Memphis with others. I believe that if we all get involved, start with what we agree on and keep positive, we can make a difference in our city. In 1992, my grandfather started Greenscape, a landscape business where I worked until it was recently sold. My “day job” now is selling real estate.

CORPRO:

Tell us a little about what life looks like for you outside of your council duties and work responsibilities. Wife – Kids – Pets – Activities – Hobbies

COLVETT:

I am very blessed to be married to my wife, Leslie. We will celebrate twenty years of marriage this September. We have two daughters. Harmon will soon be 18 and Ellen will be 14. My life is split between council responsibilities and my family who has been 110% behind me from the beginning. I’m also fortunate to have the support of my parents and in-laws. I tell new council members that although this job is technically part-time, it requires your attention 24/7. For this reason, you must have your family’s complete support and understanding.

CORPRO:

If you loaded up the family and took off for a week, where would you go and what would you do?

COLVETT:

Personally, I would like to visit Arizona or the southwest to do some hiking in the mountains. If it were up to my wife, Leslie, she would probably prefer to visit New York and see all the wonderful sights there. As for my girls, I think they would be happy visiting a nice beach somewhere.

CORPRO:

I know politics is very divisive in our nation and can be that way in Memphis too but share with us some of the common goals, desires and visions that you and other council members have for Memphis?

COLBETT:

My chairmanship approach to this issue is simply to “lead”. As I stated before, we must first recognize what we all agree on and go from there. As an example, we all agreed that the citizens’ safety is most important during the street drag races at night. Also important is the peace of nearby citizens. Based on this agreement, we move forward to finding a solution. There are many details within big issues that we agree on. As with a construction project, there are differences of opinion, management styes and priorities. However, “compromise” is not a dirty word. Unfortunately, often outsiders such as news organizations, highlight the differences and stir emotions in an attempt to get followers or sell media.

CORPRO:

If you were able to do anything you wanted to for one week, what would it be? It must be 100% selfish and without wife or children. All expenses paid!

COLVETT:

First of all, I would not accept the offer because it might be an illegal gratuity. Likewise, I might need to report your offer as an In Kind donation. However, as a hypothetical situation I would head to the southwest or Arizona to go on a mountain hike. I may not look like the hiking type but this would be a great way to get some peace and balance to my hectic life. I would encourage anyone to do the same even if it’s just an afternoon working in the yard, taking a walk or spending some time with your spouse shopping. It’s very important to also get enough sleep, eat the right foods and limit alcohol intake. I found balance recently watching Tom Brady in the super bowl. I’ve always favored the old guys when they go up against any new super stars.