Controversial ads run in opposition of Memphis mayor's proposed budget

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Police Association is fighting Mayor A C Wharton's budget proposal. They are doing it with an advertisement on WMC-TV.

The controversial advertisements online and on television are definitely getting Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's attention.

The Memphis Police Association is defending the ads, which blame the city for favoring tax breaks over citizens.

Mayor Wharton wants to raise property taxes and cut day-to-day operations. His 2013 budget calls for the elimination of three fire companies, and it funds 26 fewer fire positions than last year.

The budget also funds 163 fewer police positions due to retirements and officers leaving.

The ad says, "The city of Memphis has spent millions of dollars on non-essential programs and it has millions of dollars in reserve funds, yet the city leadership is threatening to lay off police and emergency services personnel to balance the budget."

It is a controversial advertisement that is not sitting well with Mayor Wharton, who claims the ad is misleading.

I'm very sad the mayor is not happy; however, show me something in the commercial that's not true," said Michael Williams, Memphis Police Association.

Williams says it is one of two ads the Memphis Police Association is airing as the Memphis City Council mulls over a proposed multi-million dollar city budget.

"We have one of the highest crime rates in the nation. He's talking about taking away more programs that are geared toward the citizens," said Williams.

That is why Williams says the city needs to focus more on the safety and well-being of residents.

"We need to make sure our libraries stay open, community centers stay open, and we maintain quality services and police services and fire is taken care of," he said.

Action News 5's Jamel Major reached out to Mayor AC Wharton to hear his take on the advertisements. He was not available for comment.

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