(Memphis) Crosstown residents kicked it off, followed by angry sanitation workers and even the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as the mayor.
“We could sit here until 2 a.m.,” council member Reid Hedgepath said.
All wanted action from a city council with its back to the wall, with the end of the year looming and deals needing to be done.
The most heated discussion was about the future of Autozone Park.
The Cardinals need the city to buy the stadium so its current owners don’t foreclose, but council members weren’t having it.
“We wait until the eleventh hour and pressure is placed on us to approve this or else it’s going to flitter away and they’re going to seal the stadium piece by piece,” council member Janis Fullilove said.
“I’ve had people for two weeks ask, ‘What’s going on with the Redbirds, what do you think.’ and I’ve said I don’t have a clue,” Hedgepath added. “I don’t think we should be put in that situation.”
Another tough issue was sanitation workers wanting a new pension program, paid for with savings in the budget.
Council members called it a shell game, but compromised to pay only using money saved, with no rate hikes. That didn’t go over well.
“We do one of the dirtiest jobs in the city and we’re being treated like second-class citizens,” said sanitation worker Ron Hubbard.
The biggest crowd walked away the happiest, after the city agreed to spend millions to help fund the renovations of the old Sears in Crosstown.
“Anybody who walks through that neighborhood see there’s an opportunity to make it better,” Crosstown supporter Katrina Kimble said.
The Cardinals are the only ones still waiting, but they’re still holding out hope.
“I’m still hopeful we’ll get done, we’ll know more Monday night,” said Cards general manager John Mozeliak.