Officials wonder if Herenton will resign

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It was the day Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton initially said he would retire, but Friday came and went with Herenton still in the mayor's office.

The mayor's multiple resignations have created a wild ride for those anxious to get on with city business.

"I have to move on."  That was June 25th, when Herenton announced he would be resigning effective July 10th.  But when Friday arrived, plans had changed.

"Now, since the July 6th letter, where the mayor withdrew his resignation, who knows?" Election Commissioner Brian Stephens remarked.

This past Tuesday, Herenton said he'd retire by the end of the month.  "I have every intention of retiring July 30th, absolutely," he said.

Herenton's floating plans to leave office have been a source of frustration, confusion, and anger for the average citizen - and elected officials.

"If you don't want the job you're doing, stop doing the job and go on to the next phase of your life," Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn said Monday.

"We're not moving forward with our city, and building a better city because of it, because we're all waiting to see what Mayor Herenton's going to do," Stephens said.

Tuesday, the City Council voted to accept the mayor's resignation. But which one?  The first one was rescinded.  As for the second one, some say the mayor hasn't made it official.

"I think its rude to keep us in this unknown amorphous state that we're living in right now," Stephens said. "We just don't know.  If he is going to resign please send us a letter. I'm begging you, Mr. Mayor, please send us a letter."

It leaves many wondering how many more of Herenton's departure dates will come and go.

The City Council's acceptance of Herenton's resignation won't be official until the minutes of their meeting are approved on July 21st - nine days before Herenton says he really will retire.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.