Wharton Answers Critics On AutoZone Deal
(Memphis) After a big swing and miss, Mayor A C Wharton is forgetting about hitting a home run to convince skeptics that buying AutoZone Park is a good idea.
Right now, he’s just trying to get on base with council members.
A lot of them complained the mayor threw them a curve ball with the last-minute $25 million deal.
“Enough is enough. We`re not going down there until we have dotted the Is and crossed the Ts,” said Wharton.
Wharton blames the error on bad tax information from the hedge fund that currently owns the Redbirds and the stadium.
Now he’s tracking down answers for frustrated council members because they say he dropped the ball.
“Had this been a deal that I was controlling in my office and didn’t have to go to outside parties for answers it would have been a different scenario,” said Wharton.
Earlier this week, council members told WREG and the governor they’ve lost trust in the mayor and questioned why he said the deal must be signed, sealed, and delivered by the end of the year.
Thursday, he explained why he pushed the deadline back to January 7th even though it was never his deadline to begin with.
“I’m not taking this back to the council until I’m sure the votes are there to pass it and questions have been answered. When I made the decision yesterday I said this is my decision,” said Wharton.
News Channel 3 asked Fundamental Advisors, the owners of the park, what they think about the mayor’s delay of game, and they have no comment.
Wharton says he plans to make a more clear presentation to council and the community in the coming weeks, and if that doesn’t work he’ll put off the vote again.