Saturday, June 05, 2004

AC Ups the Ante

The Commercial Appeal is reporting today that County Mayor AC Wharton nixed the release of a letter to County employees warning them of a coming mass layoff.

This came after some flurries of activity on Thursday. One of his department chiefs sent a letter to the County Commissioners warning them of the upcoming letter. Commission head Cleo Kirk immediately fired back a warning letter about premature action before Commission hearings had even begun! That's when Wharton pulled his letter.

AC is upping the ante here, adding to the pressure on the Commission to accept his original budget proposal, the one with the 23 cent property tax hike. Judging by their actions and words so far, the Commissioners seem to be reacting to Wharton, and not leading or directing him. It's not a good sign for those of us who oppose governmental growth in general.

This afternoon, I managed to get through on the Andrew Clark, Sr. radio show on WREC AM600 and talk with him. Clark seems to be of the opinion that Wharton is sincere and not using some kind of fakery or plotting. We had a longish conversation on it, but he seems unmoved.

I'm still saying it. The County Commission will eventually buckle and give in to a tax increase, maybe only 20 cents instead of the requested 23. There will be only cosmetic "cuts" if there are any at all. Everyone will end up pointing fingers at everyone else, but the stark fact of a tax increase will remain. And no other media source in Memphis will tell you the truth of this.

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