Council approves meeting minutes, declares mayoral vacancy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Council approves meeting minutes, declares mayoral vacancy

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council has approved the minutes of it's last meeting, which put into effect a resolution declaring a mayoral vacancy on July 30th.

The council approved the resolution at its last meeting, held two weeks ago, by a vote of 7-6.

The approval of the minutes was not without discussion. Council members voted to pull the resolution regarding a mayoral vacancy from the rest of the minutes of their last meeting, and voted on it separately.

Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware expressed concern that the Council has not been given the proper documentation from the mayor that he will retire on the 30th.

"We do not have the official word that the mayor has retired or is retiring on the 30th," she said.

Council member Joe Brown agreed, adding that Councilmen Myron Lowery, Jim Strickland and Kemp Conrad of having a conflict of interest in the vote because they're running for mayor.

"Don't be the laughing stock of Memphis in this assumption that the mayor has resigned until we get official documentation," he said.

But council member Janis Fullilove argued that Herenton has stated publicly several times that he plans to leave on the 30th. Herenton reiterated Monday that he intends to leave office on that day, although he is not planning on turning in a letter of resignation to the Council.

Council member Harold Collins then made a motion that would hold discussion on the mayoral vacancy until 5:01 p.m. on July 30th, at which time the mayor's office would presumably be vacant.

Council attorney Allan Wade recommended that Council members wait.

"What you end up with is a lot of wasted time, energy and money that could be avoided by just waiting," Wade said.

Collins' motion failed by a vote of 7-6.  Moments later, the council approved the minutes that declared the vacancy by a vote of 7-6.

Officials at the Shelby County Election Commission have said previously that once the minutes are approved, they can begin planning a special election.  That could begin as early as Wednesday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly