MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - You've heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. If it's a portrait of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, it's worth thousands of dollars and you're picking up the tab.
The portrait is to honor A C Wharton for serving as Shelby County mayor. The official unveiling of the portrait takes place Friday night.
Wharton's portrait will join the others who led Shelby County before him.
Larry Walker is the artist who was hired to do the portrait; he also painted former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton's portrait when he left office.
Truth is the paintings aren't cheap. The bill for Wharton's portrait was $13,000.
Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland says given the county's financial situation, the county should have considered the less expensive option - like maybe a nice photograph.
"The people of Shelby County have been fleeced again," he said. "13-thousand for a picture of the mayor is wrong."
Commissioner Steve Mulroy says Wharton deserves a portrait but when it comes to the price tag, "seems kind of high but I don't know what the going rate is. I would probably want to take a closer look before coming down on one side or the other."
Walker says it took him 40 hours to complete the portrait. If you break down the numbers, that averages $325 an hour.
Truth is taxpayers have picked up the tab for every former Shelby County mayor.
Given the possibility of property tax hikes to fund education, it's no surprise some might be upset with a $13,000 portrait. Truth is it's up for you decide if this was money well spent or a waste.