New council faces important decisions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

New council faces important decisions

The new year means several new faces on the Memphis City Council. Nine first-time council members were sworn in Tuesday at City Hall. The new group has both lofty ambitions and important decisions ahead of them.

On Monday Mayor Herenton said his top priority this year is Memphis City schools. He is also hoping to set up talks with the governor and Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton.

 "I think you're going to see these three elected officials engage in serious deliberation as to how we can restructure schools, change the governance, make the schools more efficient and improve academic achievement," Herenton said.  

Attorney and newest council member Jim Strickland is on board with that plan. His newest colleague Ed Ford Junior, a Central High School math teacher, likes the idea too but insists talks should include teachers.
"You definitely gotta have teachers, you definitely gotta have community leaders," Ford, Jr. said.
Ford believes the problem is bigger than one idea or solution.
"I think you got to find multiple solutions b/c it is not going to be a cookie cutter solution." Ford Jr. said.
What may be the new council's  first scrutinized decision may come later this month when the Ericson group plans to follow through on their plans for the Pyramid.

The two newer council members seem to have a wait and see approach on the Pyramid. Much different than the two veteran council members who seem ready to climb on board the theme park idea.

"If someone comes in and with a definite proposal and the dollars to carry it out I will support that," council member Myron Lowery said.
Barbara Swearengen Ware aggreed.

"If there's someone else that has a plan and the money and it'll work, I'm ready to go forward," Ware said.  

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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