Park renaming could be dead in the water - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Park renaming could be dead in the water

Nathan Bedford Forrest could sit atop his horse in the park named in his honor for another century. Many on the Memphis City Council have no intention of personally taking him on.

"I mean, where do you stop when you start trying to change history?" asks E.C. Jones.

Just because the Center City Commission saw fit to recommend re-naming Forrest, Confederate, and Jefferson Davis Parks doesn't mean a thing to Jones. He says their vote is no more significant than that of the Rotary Club.

"Unless it comes to the council agenda, it doesn't really mean a whole lot," says Jones.

It appears the issue is not on track to make it onto the agenda anytime soon. Action News 5 phoned all 13 memphis city council members. None of the ones with whom we spoke have current plans to push the name change issue.

Carol Chumney says there are more important things on her plate.

"You know, we have the second highest unemployment rate and we're trying to recruit International Paper to our community," says Chumney.

However, she admits the park issue is pushing buttons across the country.

"I've gotten calls from California, Dallas TX, and New Jersey," says Chumney.

But it's the opinions of Memphians that matter most to council members. And that's why this hot potato issue is so hard to handle.

We'll find out Mayor Willie Herenton's opinion on the park controversy next Wednesday. That's when he plans to hold a news conference on the issue. Other than council members, he is the only person who can put a proposal on the agenda.

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