Mayor Holds Town Hall Meeting Over Budget

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(Memphis)  The Memphis mayor wants no surprises when it comes budget time, so leaders of every city department gathered Thursday night in Whitehaven to go over the budget piece by piece in a town hall meeting.

“We just laid it right out there the numbers don’t lie,” Mayor A C Wharton said.

Each department gave presentations about what they do and how much it costs.

“When things really break down is when we don’t do our job in explaining and this is the beginning of that process,” Wharton said.

It’s the first of several town hall meetings the mayor is holding.

“I would be troubled if I were to be criticized that I didn’t tell people that. That’s why we are out at night all my directors willing to do this all over the city information will be out there,” Wharton said.

The mayor said he is looking for efficiencies, not cuts in public safety.

At the meeting, George Little added the city is looking to not raise taxes and addressed the pension issue.

He said if the city doesn’t fix the pension problem within five years, the state could take important dollars away from the city.

After watching the presentation, people from Whitehaven got to voice concerns.

“The taxes are going out the roof,” Whitehaven resident Clara Ford said. “City services keep going up but no money is being generated out here.”

The mayor says they plan on hearing from more people over the next few weeks. The next meeting will be in Orange Mound.