Herenton's proposal creates stir among council members - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Herenton's proposal creates stir among council members

As you might imagine, the Mayor's proposal had a lot of people talking down at City Council.

"We request a 58 cent tax increase," Mem[his Mayor Willie Herenton said.
 
That would translate to a whopping 17 percent tax hike for Memphis homeowners.

After the mayor's proposal, city council members were quick to say 'not so fast.'

"It's just a proposal, the council will determine the final number after going through all the items in the budget," coucilperson Myron Lowery said.

"We were going to do a thorough review line item by line item," councilperson Bill Boyd said.

Councilman Joe Brown even suggested going back to division heads to cut back. He suggested fire and paramedics.

"There are some revenue dollars in that division that's been wasted and there are some particular changes that need to  be made," Brown said.

Afterwards, the mayor talked about his proposal outside council chambers. When the issue of consolidation came up, he used it to lash out at city and county elected leaders.

"I've seen very little political courage in the entire political establishment of Memphis and Shelby County," Herenton said. 

He said elected leaders should push ideas that improve the region and push them forward even if there's opposition. Like the idea of consolidation.

"It's just a lot of waste in two governments. Is it popular? No, it's not popular. But can we afford all the duplications? Of course we can't afford it," Herenton said.
   
The 58 cent hike would raise $58 million for the city.

Budget hearings begin with the city council this Monday the 21st and wil run through May 8th.

The public is invited to attend.


Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.
 

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