Sunday, August 04, 2002

Wasting No Time

He was elected Thursday night. The Commercial Appeal interviewed him on Friday, but the story doesn't hit the paper until today. New Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton has some things to say, and so does the CA.

From the first sentence "Sitting in the library of his private law practice..." we are off. Private practice? I don't recall the CA discussing this. I do know they pasted George Flinn for not "understanding the public defender's job," though. Why wasn't this, and which of his many controversial cases were handled privatedly, discussed before voters decided?

Among those priorities, Wharton said, is working to pass a
comprehensive plan to change the way Shelby County's two public
school systems are financed.

Interesting.... So Herenton's plan covered everything about consolidation but the schools and now Wharton will concentrate on the schools. Good tag-team we have. And they're even going to use the task force Herenton already has in place! How thrifty.

And aspects of the plan, like an 81-cent property tax hike for county
residents, as well as an extension of the county's capital funding
agreement, will get closer scrutiny, he pledged.
Meaning the tax increase might, or might not, get reduced. A bit.

One issue that likely won't rear its head in the early months of the
Wharton administration is the hot-button topic of consolidating city and
county government, an issue Herenton has championed.
See above, under "tag team."

[Wharton]reflected on his hard-fought
campaign against an extremely well-financed foe - Dr. George Flinn,
Republican, businessman and radiologist.
"Extremely well-financed?" Wharton underspent him by roughly 10%. Does that make Wharton "extraordinarily well-financed?"

"Just because your name is out there, it's not enough," Wharton said of
Flinn's million-dollar campaign, which focused heavily on radio and
television advertising. "You cannot buy genuine appeal to a broad and
diverse group of people."
It was only a few weeks ago that the CA, especially Susan Adler Thorp, was wailing and moaning about Flinn "buying" votes with his money. Should Flinn demand a refund from the papers and television stations? Such hypocrisy on the part of the CA is par for the course, though, and will be carefully forgotten from now on.

"We can no longer keep wallowing in the misery of 'Broken homes!
Broken homes! Unstable homes!'" he said, his voice becoming pained.

"We've wallowed in it long enough. Let's get out here and come up with
surrogate networks, build a web, a blanket of protection around these
children . . . .

"If we do more at the early childhood stage we won't have any failing
schools. I'm convinced of that."
Watch for Wharton and Herenton to team up with our Democratic State legislators, and with US Representative Harold Ford, Jr., to start lobbying for more government money and programs. Not that education isn't important--it is, obviously--but such language as is in the next-to-last paragraph is Demo-speak for "social safety net."

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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