Janet Hooks resigns from city council - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Janet Hooks resigns from city council

Janet Hooks told Memphis City Council members Tuesday her last day will be October 30th.  She's taking a job heading up the office of Multi-Cultural and Religious affairs. 

Hooks has long been a crusader for alternative revenue sources and senior citizens and more.  Now she leaves an empty post and a lot of questions.

"She's a great city councilwoman," said outgoing City Council Chairman Edmund Ford, who had only praise for Janet Hooks.

Hooks, a 14 year-veteran, resigned Tuesday night to take a job working for Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

"I think she'll serve this community very well," said Herenton.

Hooks has a long history of service.

She spent the better part of last year fighting for a payroll, or privilege tax, only to see it fail at the polls.

When, in June, a vote to pass a city budget with a quarter-dollar tax increase was one head shy, Hooks held out, at least until a mysterious meeting with Mayor Herenton behind closed doors.  Both tell Action News 5 there was no deal made, but Hooks changed her vote.

"She's never asked me for any reciprocity on anything.  This has nothing to do with any of her votes or her relationship with the relationship," said Herenton.

She leaves her post with a year left in her term.  The Council will vote on an interim.  Some already have ideas.  "I was hoping maybe her son, Michael Jr. would probably take the position and keep the legacy going on.  Now you guys can appoint someone now.  Right, I hope he will step up to the plate.  I think he will be very good," said Ford.

In the new job, Hooks gets a forty-thousand dollar salary bump, a move that literally doubles her pension.

We asked her about it.  "What the pension might be at this point in time was not part of my consideration and I really don't know what it might be.  I can certainly assume it might be more than I would get off the salary of the council," she said.

Much more.  But it's a full-time job.

The job that Hooks is taking was previously held by a woman named Narquenta Sims.  In July of last year, amid the city's massive fiscal shortfalls, Sims was given a rare sixteen thousand dollar raise.  Sims retired from City government a year later.

The Shelby County Election Commission says there will be no special election for the post.   Voters will either have a chance to fill it during regular elections in August or November of next year.  In the meantime, it will be up to the Memphis City Council to appoint an interim replacement who will serve until that time.  Hooks says her stepson Michael Hooks, Junior has not expressed an interest in the post.

Others who have expressed an interest in Hooks's position include Kenneth Whalum Junior, Henri Brooks, Ruby Payne, and Dedrick Brittenum.

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