New 'special master' to receive $250 per hour - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New 'special master' to receive $250 per hour

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Former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton Former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton
Rick Masson Rick Masson
Terry Roland Terry Roland
(WMC-TV) - Local leaders are reacting to the appointment of special master Rick Masson to oversee the Memphis City and Shelby County Schools merger.

Merger planners have been at odds and the process is taking too long.

Now, the special master will work to speed it up. Some applaud the judge's pick, and others do not.

Former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton said Rick Masson is a great choice to lead the merger.

"Rick has had a broad array of high-level executive experiences," said Herenton. 

Masson served as Herenton's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer among other high-level jobs and board positions.

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland objects to the appointment.

"He's not going to be objective enough in this process," said Roland. 

Roland said $250 an hour is too much to pay, and that Masson has worked too closely with the law firm hired to fight for the school merger.

"I want to know how many contracts Masson signed with Baker Donelson when he was CAO," said Roland. 

Roland sent a letter to the Memphis city attorney requesting that information Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Herenton said Masson's talents are a gift to the region.

"He brings a background of financial knowledge. He knows government and he knows how to work with groups that have varying views," he said. 

Action News 5 reached out to Masson for comment Wednesday, but we did not hear back.

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