Memphis City Council Committee Tackles Top Issues

(Memphis) They have been picketing outside Kellogg’s since October, but some City Council members say it’s time for the stand-off between the Kellogg’s Company and 200 striking workers to end.

The union representing the workers urged the council to take a stand.

“As elected officials you can make a moral statement here,” said Ron Baker, a union representative for the locked-out workers.

A City Council Committee passed a resolution asking Kellogg’s to find a way to end the lockout.

The committee hopes the full city council will support the resolution.

“Even if we can’t do anything legal, we can show our support and that may put more pressure on the powers to be at Kellogg’s to bring these people back to work,” said City Council Member Janis Fullilove.

Another hot issue on the agenda was street lights.

The city asked MLGW to take over street light maintenance.

Since the beginning of the year, residential customers have been paying $4.32 a month, while those in apartments pay $1.08 a month.

“People are frustrated by it. It’s only $3 a month, $4 a month, $18 a month in some cases, but the reality of it is it’s vexing. It’s vexing for your taxes to go up and then pay street light fees,” said Memphis City Council Member Lee Harris.

The head of MLGW made it clear what could happen.

“If there is no funding source for the street lights, the street lights will stop burning,” said MLGW President Jerry Collins.

Council members are in agreement on  revitalizing Raleigh Springs Mall, Southbrook and Soulsville Town Center.

After saying they have been left in the dark on earlier projects, the committee told city leaders to move forward with proposals for renewing the malls, including setting up city departments, like police,  at the sites.

“Before we decide to spend money we want to make sure the council is comfortable with our direction that we are going in,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.