Budget Vote Delayed amid Bickering Council Members

Budget Vote Delayed amid Bickering Council Members

The council wants more time to consider their options, so they approved a two week delay in taking any action on the budget. But not before the talks turned tense.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The Memphis city budget battle is getting messier. Mayor A C Wharton proposed yet another plan Tuesday morning, calling for a tax increase and 800 layoffs in city government. He also wants council members to cut employee benefits.

The council wants more time to consider their options, so they approved a two week delay in taking any action on the budget. But not before the talks turned tense.

City Councilman Joe Brown was in no mood to talk about layoffs.

"You don't have enough policemen? Then that means somebody out there is going to rape your wife, rape your daughter, rape your auntee, rape your grandmother," he stated.

There's one plan that could mean more than 3,000 city employees would be fired. Another would mean about 1,000 workers laid off. A third would be 800 workers.

Councilman Harold Collins said all the ideas are bad. "We're doing it wrong," he said.

Councilman Kemp Conrad, who favors a lot of budget cuts, had his own four word sentence response, "If not now, when?"

Councilman Joe Brown said never, not with crime the way it is.

"Hell, you can laugh, but Whitehaven is overloaded with crime," he said. "Damn it, I wouldn't want to live there."

In a meeting where they're dealing with the future of your city, and whether they'll need more of your tax money, council members did a lot of word fighting.

Collins said, "Councilman Brown does represent Whitehaven. And I'm glad he told the people of Whitehaven he wouldn't live there. Thank you."

Brown replied, "Hey look, since he mentioned my name, you're "d" right I'd tell them and I tell them exactly what's going on about leadership. They're going to listen to me Harold, they ain't going to listen to you."

This might be the most important budget for Memphis in years. The state comptroller has told Mayor Wharton the city's financial future is in big trouble. Yet, a good part of this meeting dealt with who the people will listen to in Whitehaven.

Shea Flinn told his fellow council members to get with it.

"It's either going to be taxes, cuts, somewhere in between and nothing we can do, no document they gave us is going to change that reality."

The city's unions are fighting back hard, confronting city council members several times in this meeting. They are arguing that benefits that the Wharton administration wants taken away don't cost the city any money in the first place.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus