Sunday, March 23, 2014

Will A C Endorse a Candidate for County Mayor?

After talking about pensions and a bold new convention-center proposal last week, the Memphis mayor hinted broadly that he would. And if he does, who gets the nod?

Posted By on Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Wharton at Rotary
  • JB
  • Wharton at Rotary
Mayor A C Wharton attracted serious attention last week with his proposal, made in a luncheon address to the Memphis rotary Club, for a modular convention-center complex downtown, focusing on a revamped and repurposed Peabody Place.

So dramatic was Wharton’s proposal that another suggestion made to the Rotarians by the mayor was largely overlooked. That was in a question about the coming elections in Shelby County. In particular, would Wharton, at least a nominal Democrat, support a candidate for county mayor.

His answer was intriguing: “ I am debating that. I want to see how the platforms shape up. The guiding or controlling criterion would be how well you are going too partner with the City of Memphis, not with A C Wharton but how well are you going to partner with the City of Memphis when it comes to our economic de3velopment activities, and that’s what I’m going to Judge it on….

“I’ve got my hands full trying to run the city, and I’m not going to try to run somebody’s campaign, but I am going to weigh in on those issues. I want to hear some real platforms on what we’re going to do with the plight of young male blacks in this city.”

On this latter point, the mayor noted that city residents are liable also for county taxes, and the financial burden of the county’s incarceration facilities. Which is to say, his constituents have a vested interest in how the county plays its hand.

So who gets the nod (if anybody does)? Deidre Malone? Steve Mulroy? Kenneth Whalum? Or Wharton’s mayoral counterpart, Republican incumbent county mayor Mark Luttrell, with whom Wharton has mixed results, partnership-wise?

Meanwhile, the Wharton convention-center proposal was reviewed more or less favorably in the Flyer’s editorial space. Go here to take a look.

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