City Christmas Parade back on the table

The Bartlett Board of Mayor and Aldermen listened to the citizens and voted Tuesday, Jan. 24, to create an ad hoc committee that will consider re-establishing the annual Christmas Parade in Bartlett.

While not all members of the committee were finalized Tuesday, the panel will consist of nine members.

Alderman David Reaves was appointed by Mayor David Parsons to serve as the committee chairman. Three other members will be Debbie Gelineau, director of Community Relations; Police Chief Jeff Cox or his designee; and Parks and Recreation Director Shan Criswell or her designee. 

The other five members will be Bartlett citizens appointed by Parsons who are recommended by Reaves. 

The citizens will serve without compensation and the ad hoc committee will meet monthly for one year unless Parsons later recommends that service be extended and the board of aldermen approves.

At the end of the board’s Jan. 12 meeting, citizens Tara Rock and Courtney Sims presented a petition with 580 signatures of Bartlett citizens who would like to see the parade return.

The longtime annual event was replaced in 2022 with a “Winter Wonderland” event at Freeman Park that featured a visit from Santa and many fun things for children and families to do, but it wasn’t a parade. 

Safety issues, policing logistics,  and closing down a major state thoroughfare, Highway 64, for the parade were some reasons the change was made.

Rock and Sims indicated those signing the petition would be open to a hybrid event rather than just a parade, and they are willing to provide input that would help establish a safe and memorable event that future generations could enjoy. 

Reaves encouraged citizens to email him (find his email address at if they are interested in serving on the committee.

“The parade has always been such an awesome part of our city and a celebration of what we are as a city,” Reaves said. “I remember going as a youth, as an adult taking my kids there … The parade has always been the culmination of the entire year’s accomplishments and what we celebrate as a city, spending time with our loved ones. And I think it’s good that we bring that back.”

Reaves asked Chief Administrative Officer Steve Sones about the scope of the ad hoc committee and said the goal is to make sure that the event the committee recommends for approval is sustainable.   

Reaves said he hopes to convene the committee for the first time at the end of February and he will be looking for a diverse group of citizens with a passion for Bartlett to serve. 

On the consent agenda, special use permits were granted for two upcoming races, the Memphis Runners Track Club Winter Cross Country Series 8K, which will be held at Nesbit Park on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 2-4 p.m., and the Police Week 5K that will be held May 6.

The Police Week 5K is a fundraiser put on by the Bartlett Police Charitable Foundation that raises money for Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization that supports the survivors of those who die serving in the line of duty. It will start and end at the First Responders Monument at Appling Lake. 

Requests for bids for the city’s annual asphalt paving project and authorizing $207,640.70 for Ferrell Paving Inc. to replace deficient concrete in rights of way in areas of the repaving project also were approved on the consent agenda. 

The board also approved on Tuesday new appointments and reappointments to numerous commissions and advisory boards that help run the city’s business. 

Bartlett Station Commission 

Appointed Mallory Byrd, a new appointment to replace Mitch Arnold, for a one-year term ending Dec. 31, 2023.

Appointed Alderman David Reaves, to replace David Parsons, for a four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026.

Appointed Monique Williams, to replace Matt Laughlin, for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026.

Beer Board

Cordell Battles, Ryan Smith, and Deborah Williams were all reappointed for two-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2024.

Board of Zoning Appeals

Alderman Brad King, a new alderman appointment replacing David Parsons for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025.

Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Center Advisory Board

Reappointed Sandy Dunn, Polly Schrimper, and Hank Winkler for three-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2025.

City Beautiful Commission

Appointed Alderman Robert Griffin as the alderman liaison for a four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026.

Tom Winford was newly appointed to replace Nina Tompkins for a one-year term ending Dec. 31, 2023.

Reappointed for one-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2023 were:

Joni Bailey, Joe Bledsoe, Bill Browning, Corinna Cole-Reeder, Kenneth Gilmer, Linda Howe, Mike Martin, Matt Meador, Tommie Jean Moore (Chairman), Kenneth Parks, Laurie Rieman, Tom Rieman, Kathleen Robertson, Danny Thompson, Karen Winemiller, and Tom Winford.

Code Appeals Board

Reappointed Brian Foshee and Marty Marbry for two-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2024

Contracts Committee

Appointed the following people to the committee without designated term limits:

Erin Campbell, assistant director of Engineering; Matt Crenshaw, director of Public Works; John Horne, director of Engineering; Steve Sones, City of Bartlett chief administrative officer;  Alderman Brad King; and Alderman Jack Young.

Design Review Commission

Appointed Ed Brooks, an architect with computer technology experience, for a two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2024, to replace Casper Briggs.

Reappointed the following for two-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2024:

Stan Burton, citizen member; Nick Taylor, registered civil engineer; Keith Whaley, architect; and Alderman Jack Young.

Family Assistance Commission

Reappointed Jason Sykes and Ken Twiss for three-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2025; appointed Alderman Brad King as alderman liaison.

Grievance Review Board

Appointed Mirian Bradley for a one-term term ending Dec. 31, 2023, to replace Jonathan Jewell as the Public Works/Utilities/Engineering representative on the boa


Reappointed the following for one-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2023:

Michael Goldberg as Administrative Representative (Administration, Parks & Recreation, Courts, BPACC); Jeremy Maser as Public Safety Representative (Fire, EMS, Police, Codes) Charlene Mitchell, citizen member; Ted Rasbach, citizen member; and Alderman Jack Young.

Historic Preservation Commission

Reappointed Debbie Ferrell and Nikia Johnson as citizen members for five-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2027.

Industrial Development Board

Appointed Alderman Kevin Quinn as the alderman liaison for a two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2024. Reappointed Randy Allen, Wayne Ray and Steven Scott for five-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2027.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

Appointed Alderman Robert Griffin as the alderman liaison for a four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026.

Reappointed Paul Ireland for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025. 

Appointed the following new members for terms indicated:

Ken Demetriou to replace Herman Johnson (through Dec. 31, 2024) 

Sharon Fryman to replace Jessica Maupin (through Dec. 31, 2023)

Randy Jowers to replace Claudia Tullos-Leonard (through Dec. 31, 2023)

Jason Matthews to replace Don Baldock (through Dec. 31, 2025) 

Matt Meador to replace Matt Goodhart (through Dec. 31, 2025).

Pension Board

Appointed a new member, Lee Cain, for a term ending Dec. 31, 2026, and reappointed Danny Baxer and Craig Jones for terms ending Dec. 31, 2026.

Planning Commission

Appointed Mayor David Parsons for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025, and reappointed Alderman Jack Young for a two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2024.

Storm Water Board of Appeals

Appointed Alderman Brad King for a four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026, to replace David Parsons.

Before the meeting ended, Bartlett resident Melanie Busch gave an emotional address to the board about her opposition to a proposed drive-in car wash that is planned on Highway 70 adjacent to the Sonic restaurant.

The back of the narrow lot east of Sonic abuts the properties of homeowners like her and is located right across Highway 70 from Kroger, so she is also concerned about the additional traffic a car wash would bring.

Kroger tore down a self-service car wash on its property and is building a new fueling station there.   

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