Speculation surrounds Herenton's next move - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Speculation surrounds Herenton's next move

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton (file photo) Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton (file photo)

One month after announcing he would step down as the Mayor of Memphis, Willie Herenton has had no luck stepping into a job as superintendent of city schools.

"I thought that it would be unfair to anybody on the outside to think that the mayor of Memphis would have preferential treatment," school board member Martavius Jones said Sunday.

In a letter to perhaps his only ally on the Board of Education, Herenton told Kenneth Whalum, Jr. late last week he does not intend to apply for the job. 

"It just kind of indicates that he's not interested in applying for the job," Whalum said. "It doesn't say he's not interested in the job."

Jackson Baker, a political analyst for the Memphis Flyer, says Herenton did apply for the superintendent's position, but in public - not on paper. 

"He did it through the media, and now that he's actually been turned down, or the climate for his application is not good, he is saying like the Emily Latella on the old Saturday Night Live, 'Never mind!'" Baker said.

Baker said he has great respect for the Memphis mayor, but he believes Herenton's hallmark is to make a major announcements that start out famous, and then fizzle.

"Consolidation, football stadiums, what have you...this is another one of those things in the scheme of major announcements that comes to nothing," Baker said.

But it's the first time Herenton has hinted he's no longer interested in his current job, which leaves many wondering what Herenton's next move will be. 

"The Tigers have lost a couple of star players," Baker said.  "He may try out for the team, or announce he's available for it, and see what happens!"

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