Mayor Herenton gives "State of the City" address - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor Herenton gives "State of the City" address

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton gave his annual "State of the City" address Wednesday to the Downtown Kiwanis Club in the Peabody Skyway.

The mayor, in a mood some described as gentler than in years past, said the city's financial problems are not grave, but temporary. He said citizens can expect the financial problems at city hall to improve by the middle of the summer.

"This is a short term fiscal aberration that were going to turn around," he said.

Herenton promised that turn around would come when the fiscal year ends in June. He said it will happen because the nation's economy is improving, and because he'll make city government more efficient.

"I assure you, as mayor, I will be prudent," Herenton said. "I will be cost effective, and we are going to change this business model so it is more efficient."

Herenton also said he will make a run for mayor again in 2007, and won't raise taxes this year.

The mayor also bashed the Memphis media frequently during his speech, saying media reports have exaggerated the condition of the city's finances. Before his speech began, Herenton said he would not answer media questions after his talk.

"I want you to hear me today, and I don't want the media to distort what I say," he said. "I want the press to cover what I'm talking about today, and the games the media want to play, I won't play them with you today. I'll play them with you tomorrow."

The mayor promised to talk to the media at a press conference Thursday.

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