WEB EXTRA: Local 24 News’ Mike Matthews – “The election is over. Now what?”


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – These are the lame duck days of autumn.

The Memphis elections are over. There will be new city council members, a new city court clerk. They don’t take office until January.

So the men and women leaving have a few months of power left.

Strange things can happen.

One year, a city councilwoman ordered a new telephone be put into the city council chambers’ ladies’ room. Only council members could use this facility, and she wanted it put in for security. When she left, it was removed.

One thing is for certain – any difficult subjects will be delayed until January. Nobody wants to touch a hot topic, unless they have to.

Nothing will get hotter, by the way, than the issue of raising the Memphis sales tax to pay for fire and police officer benefits.

There are some strong feelings on this issue – strong, negative feelings by at least a couple of politicians.

You folks approved it – you folks want to see the money go toward the benefits.

Shelby County Commissioner Ed Ford Jr., whose fights with union leaders have been legendary, says he wants to see if Shelby County can get at least half of the $54 million the increase is expected to raise.

Memphis City Council members will have a say in this, including Kemp Conrad, whose dislike of Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams is well known.

Both men say this is not personal.

But as Firefighters Association President Thomas Malone said, “53% of the public voted in favor of this. I think any politician who goes against the will of the people is committing political suicide.”

Things are just warming up.

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