If people want to ensure that the city has the funds it needs to adequately pay the people in the fire and police departments (who do deserve fair pay and benefits), then they should stop moving out to the suburbs.
But that is not the issue discussed in this article, so I'd rather comment on that (and wish everyone else would, too).
Overton Park is a representation of the citizens of Memphis and of their power to exert their will over their elected representatives, who should be responsive to their will, anyway. When citizens gained standing with the Supreme Court and saved Overton Park from I-40, the US Secretary of Transportation, the Memphis Mayor, and the Memphis City Council, they certainly did not anticipate that their civic accomplishment would be threatened by the dang zoo, for goodness sakes.
Furthermore, the park is not used just by a few people who live in Midtown. It is also a treasure used by people from all over the city. That being said - it IS in Midtown. If we came and started parking our cars in neighborhood parks in other parts of this city - preventing citizens in East Memphis or Cordova, for example, from walking their dogs or preventing their children from playing soccer - the outrage would probably be just as severe. So, let's try not to be hypocritical.
Let's stop getting mad at others for being pationate. Let's instead recognize that this is a problem that could be solved while preserving two great resources of this city. It doesn't matter that the zoo benefits more people (if that's the argument), because the park does not have to be sacrificed for the good of the zoo. If our leaders exhibited some leadership, we could have the zoo AND the greensward.
And here's Wharton's pitiful (in my opinion) response:
"Given the events that transpired today in the Personnel, Intergovernmental & Annexation Committee of the Memphis City Council, it is necessary to clarify my position on their proposed non-discrimination ordinance.
Allow me to be clear: throughout my career in public service, most recently as Shelby County Mayor when this same issue was under discussion by the County Commission, I have stated that I believe governments should focus on merit and merit alone in their hiring and purchasing policies. My vision is for Memphis to be a city of choice for all people. Our city's success will require all individuals, regardless of their differences, to work together toward a shared prosperous future.
Over the past several weeks, I have watched with great interest to see what direction the City Council will take. This discussion originated with them and will conclude with them. I will abide by my duty to support whatever actions they take. My hope is that they proceed in a way that aligns with our values of inclusiveness and non-discrimination.
My beliefs or views on the subject have been clear and consistent throughout my entire life. I will not permit them to be mischaracterized by any group, individual, or elected body who seek a convenient excuse to avoid the issue now that it is at hand."
Well, CHG, that's a very interesting point, but it also has nothing to do with this article, so let's just agree that you're not particularly adept at relevant comment making.
This article is about whether or not companies treat the GLBT community fairly. This information is valuable to those of us who would wish to respond to companies who do not respond to our community in a positive or fair way by withdrawing our business or employment with those entities - actions which are also protected under our constitution.
By Chris McCoy
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