Mayor blames media for apparent change of heart - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor blames media for apparent change of heart

It appears Mayor Herenton wants to keep his seat at city hall, after all. Blaming his apparent change of heart, in part, on the Memphis media. Now, one school board member is pointing a finger somewhere else.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton went fishing, but a sure shot and landing his old job never surfaced.

"I think it's very unfortunate that my colleagues cannot get past the mayor's personality," school board member Rev. Kenneth Whalum said.    

Whalum is the only school board member still willing to suspend a nation-wide search for a superintendent.

"So far, I've been resoundingly outvoted on that account," Whalum said.

Whalum was hand-delivered this letter from Herenton Thursday, explaining his change of heart.

In it, the mayor writes quote, "I regret the local media have highly politicized my sincere interest in helping the Memphis City Schools overcome it present challenges.  Despite my passion for public education, I cannot consider becoming an applicant for the schools' superintendent position at this time."

"It was the board's decision that we were going to have a national search for the next superintendent," school board member Martavius Jones said.

He said putting the mayor at the top of the list was never an option.

"And I thought that it would be unfair to anybody on the outside that the mayor of Memphis would have preferential treatment," Jones said.  

Something that means the mayor will likely stay put.     

To suggest that the media helped ruin his chances of becoming superintendent is "preposterous."

That's according to one veteran political reporter.

Jackson Baker of The Memphis Flyer said that it may have more to do with the mayor's ego.

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