Park controversy continues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Park controversy continues

Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey showed no signs of having won or lost his battle, indicating only that the battle to rename and rework three controversial confederate parks is ongoing.

"The struggle will continue. It may be at a different venue but that doesn't mean it stops," said county commissioner Walter Bailey.

With the future of these parks, their names, statues and the bones buried beneath undecided, pressure was growing from every side.

City Councilmembers - like Myron Lowery - were already trying to mend fences even before the item was ever added to any agenda.

But in one fell swoop, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, took the issue out of the political arena.

"The city of Memphis should not make, in my judgement, divisive decisions," said Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

The Mayor wants to give control of Confederate and Jefferson Davis Parks to the Riverfront Development Corporation and Forrest Park to the University of Tennessee.

The City Council will have to vote to do that, but what happens afterwards will be a fight fought by those who don't have to worry about re-election.

Bailey says it doesn't matter. There will still be lobbying. Even if it doesn't happen at a City Council meeting.

"It just depends on what the ultimate outcome is. I'm outcome oriented. So I don't care about the method as long as we can arrive at the objective," said Bailey.

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