Memphis Fire Museum votes 'no' on chamber renewal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Fire Museum votes 'no' on chamber renewal

The meeting was closed to the press, but Kirk says the board decided on dollars and cents, not politics. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) The meeting was closed to the press, but Kirk says the board decided on dollars and cents, not politics. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
The Memphis Fire Museum has pulled its membership with the Greater Memphis Chamber. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) The Memphis Fire Museum has pulled its membership with the Greater Memphis Chamber. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Memphis Fire Museum has pulled its membership with the Greater Memphis Chamber.

This is yet another business cutting ties with the chamber after the chamber supported cuts to city employees and retirees health benefits.

As a nonprofit, Memphis Fire Museum cannot get involved in political matters. Those who witnessed the board's decision say it was anything but political.

Firefighter Trent Kirk, who was killed in the line of duty in 2003, is memorialized at the Memphis Fire Museum for his sacrifice. His widow, Donna is back not to visit but to sit in on a late afternoon meeting that ended as she'd hoped.

"A very large part of my heart is here," said Kirk. "That was a blessing."

The museum's board of directorsmany of whom work for local companies both large and small that are members of the Memphis Chamber of Commercevoted unanimously to not renew the fire museum's membership in chamber.

"It was about what are they spending their money on," noted Kirk. "What is the chamber actually doing for this place? Are they bringing in business? Are they advertising for us?"

The meeting was closed to the press, but Kirk says the board decided on dollars and cents, not politics.

"It wasn't beneficial in a financial aspect to pay the $350 dollars this year to be a member," added Kirk.

The chamber suggested and supported city hall's decision to cut health care benefits for city employees. As such, employees, retirees and their loved ones, like Donna Kirk, say their hearts remain where the chamber is not.

"I do not want the chamber to have their hands on anything this great," said Kirk.

Because the vote happened late, WMC Action News 5 reached out to chamber late in the evening and is awaiting a response.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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