Interim councilman's "Stickman" portrait to be auctioned for charity

(WMC-TV) - Two Memphis City Council members who share a last name are turning their tug-of-war into a charity offering.

The debate began when longtime Councilman Bill Boyd tried to stop the council from spending a thousand dollars on a portrait for interim Councilman Berlin Boyd.

Wednesday afternoon, Bill Boyd polished the frame around Berlin Boyd's new portrait.

"Seems like this has a great ending," said Berlin Boyd.

Earlier this month, the portrait's predecessor, affectionately known as "Stickman," stole the show in a controversy over curbing council costs.

Bill Boyd wanted to pass a resolution that council members have to be in office more than a year to get a thousand dollar portrait.  Berlin Boyd is serving only five months, after former Councilwoman Barbara Swearengen Ware resigned amid public corruption charges.

In response, Berlin Boyd ripped out a piece of notebook paper and drew a stick figure on it with his name and District 7.

The frugal councilman's resolution never came to a vote because the portrait maker made an irresistible offer.

"He got this done for free, and that's good," said Bill Boyd.  "It didn't cost the taxpayers anything and he got his portrait up here free."

People then began e-mailing and calling to try and get their hands on "Stickman."

"We thought that 'Stickman' would best serve the public by being auctioned off, and we will donate the proceeds from 'Stickman' to go to charity," said Berlin Boyd.  

"I understand the auction will take place soon and I want to be the first one to bid on that," said Bill Boyd.

Bill Boyd said he has a frame and place picked out on his council office wall for "Stickman."

"We have philosophical or ideological difference, but by and large, we all get along very well," said Bill Boyd.

The interim councilman is still trying to nail down a specific date and charity for the auction.  If you are interested in bidding, e-mail Berlin Boyd by clicking here.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.