Wharton speaks out against rumors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Wharton speaks out against rumors

Mayor Wharton broke the silence to clear up the false rumors. He said a lot of what you have heard is not true.

The myth at the top of the list is that Mayors Willie Herenton and AC Wharton planned to meet with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen for his support to consolidate Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

"We were not going to Nashville to talk to the governor about consolidation or consolidation of the schools," Wharton said.

Wharton has been out of town on county business. When he returned home, he realized just how far the misinformation spiraled out of control.

"Maybe tumult is something some avoid, but I hope you see the smile on my face because this has raised dialogue about better education for our schools," Wharton said.

In retrospect, he said more communication with school board members would have been a good idea.

"I'm just going to say it point blank.  I apologize for that," Wharton said.

Wharton explained the actual intentions of the now postponed trip.

"The issue is not about a takeover.  It's about realigning and efficiency so that school board members can focus more on student achievement," Wharton said.

He said this is not part of some plot for him to consolidate the city and county to succeed Herenton and serve as mayor for the whole area.

"We did not have a conversation at LeChardonnay about our political futures.  I would like to make that point unequivocally," Wharton said.

The mayors still plan to meet with Bredesen. But the agenda never included changing state laws surrounding consolidation.

No date is set for the postponed meeting.

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