Mayor A C Wharton delivers State of the City - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor A C Wharton delivers State of the City

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(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton held his annual State of the City Friday discussing key issues.

Mayor Wharton hit the positive points of the past year.

He said the state of the city is sound, the economy is rebounding, and more people are working — but there is no time to rest in order to continue moving forward.

"We will not rest until those who want to work have the ability to do so," said Wharton.

At his State of the City address Friday, the mayor said through bold actions, progress has been made on the priorities he set this time last year.

"Safe and vibrant neighborhoods, prosperity for all, invested in our youth and a more efficient government," he said.

Wharton's financial picture was positive.

He's cut two percent from the annual operating budget.

Reserves are at $62 million, but he's firm in his support for a local option sales tax increase to fund pre-kindergarten.

"I realize that when it comes to any kind of tax increase, even for the best of purposes, there is an issue of trust," said Wharton.

That's why Wharton's proposal is conditional.

The money must be put in a legal trust that will be managed by a board outside city government.

The mayor touched briefly on one of the city's biggest issues, crime, citing a reduction in crimes and gang activity in target areas.

"And we won't rest until gunfire is no longer the accepted soundtrack for far too many of our neighborhoods," said Wharton.

The mayor also discussed the importance of expanding our convention facilities to increase revenue and jobs.

He said almost a quarter of our citizens are shackled by poverty and that's unacceptable.

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He will soon be unveiling what he calls a blueprint for prosperity.

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