Commissioner Mike Ritz was first elected to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners in August 2006.
Commissioner Ritz is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in civil engineering and a master's in regional and city planning. He served as the first director of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development, where he managed a rewrite of the zoning and subdivision ordinances to encourage planned developments in support infill and development of small sites to discourage urban sprawl. He has consulted with cities on city planning, annexation, and economic development policies. He is a retired executive of Leader Federal and Union Planters, and currently owns Ritz Investments, where he manages personal investments and provides city planning, financial consulting, and brokerage services.
He is a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He recently retired his license as a Tennessee professional engineer but remains a licensed Tennessee real estate broker.
Mr. Ritz has led the efforts of many community-based activities. He secured the applications for federal assistance for the renovation of the Peabody Hotel and the Orpheum Theatre. Mr. Ritz:
- Chaired the original Shelby County Emergency Communications 9-1-1 Board
- Began the efforts to help reclaim the Midtown right of way for residential development in the Interstate 40 and Overton Park conflict
- Chaired the Depot Redevelopment Corporation of Memphis and Shelby County
- Chaired Boy Scout Troop 359 Advancement
He is a 1983 graduate of Leadership Memphis and a 2002 graduate of Leadership Germantown. He is also a member of the Economics Club of Memphis.
During his initial four-year term as a county commissioner, Mr. Ritz served as chairman of the Land Use Committee and vice chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee. He also chaired the Ad Hoc Ethics Committee, which led to a stringent county-wide ethics ordinance. His chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Adult Oriented Business Committee led to the county's adoption of a very strong adult-oriented business ordinance. While the local entertainment clubs have sued in Federal Court, their last appeals to date have all failed, and the county's ordinance should go into effect in late 2010 or early 2011.
Because of the inadequate financial treatment of the MED by the State of Tennessee TennCare Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Medicare and Medicaid Bureaus, Commissioner Ritz filed a formal complaint against both agencies claiming their actions were discriminatory and have had a discriminatory effect on the MED's patients and employees.
Commissioner Ritz is married and has two children. He is an active member of the Germantown United Methodist Church.