Chumney Calls on Wharton to Disavow Interest in Being Metro Mayor

Posted by Jackson Baker on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Chumney (left) and Ellis talk after Rotary meeting
  • JB
  • Chumney (left) and Ellis talk after Rotary meeting
A little practical politics crept into what was otherwise a fairly theoretical exposition Tuesday on the work of the current Metro Charter Commission.

Julie Ellis, chair of the 15-member commission, had just finished a brief luncheon address to members of the Memphis Rotary Club at the University Club and was entertaining questions when up popped Rotarian Carol Chumney, who has run for city mayor twice and county mayor once.

Explaining that some time back she had attended a workshop with the mayor of a recently consolidated Louisville, one also attended by current Memphis mayor A C Wharton, Chumney said, “We both learned how Louisville did it.”

And here, said Chumney, was how: “Both the city mayor and the county mayor agreed not to run for Metro mayor. That took politics out of the equation. It made it a totally non-political discussion, and they were able to come up with a compromise that they needed, because nobody was positioning and posturing to run for the new Metro mayor.”

Chumney then asked Ellis point blank: Had the commission received any assurances from “our county mayor, candidates for our county mayor, and our city mayor” not to run for Metro mayor if the consolidation initiative should pass muster with the voters?

(Conspicuously, Chumney did not mention in her list former candidates for city or county mayor.)

Ellis explained that the commission had not asked for nor received such assurances and went through a brief recitation of essentially non-political discussions she had had on the consolidation process with Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford, Memphis Mayor Wharton, and Sheriff Mark Luttrell, currently a candidate for county mayor.

Chumney responded that she was aware of some “posturing to have the current mayor,” evidently meaning Wharton, run for Metro mayor. Instead, said Chumney, Wharton and those urging him to run” should step aside and do what’s best for the city.” Else she said, “they cold jeopardize the whole thing.”

In her formal speech, Ellis had reviewed several of the consolidation possibilities currently under review by the commission and attempted to be reassuring about the independence of Shelby County’s six “municipal cities,” saying, “We are not Venezuela, and we do not intend to nationalize them.”

She also stressed that “the first vote” taken by commission members was on behalf of keeping the school issue separate from any final charter.

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

This is such a silly discussion. We all know what the plan is. WW Herenton will be the next mayor of a metro consolidated government.

Posted by tomguleff on 04/07/2010 at 10:19 AM

This is like medieval discussions about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin; completely irrelevant to reality. There will be no consolidated Shelby government unless Memphis surrenders its charter. Which actually might be not such a bad idea.

Posted by Packrat on 04/07/2010 at 10:57 AM

the idea is not to have memphis take over everything...if anything, memphis WOULD be surrendering its charter.

Posted by jgreen on 04/07/2010 at 11:52 AM

and it's totally not surprising that carol chumney is suggesting that the current leadership not run for a metro government. that reduces the number of people who could wipe the floor with her in an election.

Posted by jgreen on 04/07/2010 at 11:53 AM

It has been interesting to learn that a number of Memphians don't realize they would have to give up the city charter in order to consolidate as would any of the other towns and cities in the county.

Posted by Good Habits on 04/07/2010 at 11:58 AM

OK, then what happens if Memphis independently decides to surrender its charter? Irrespective of a consolidation vote? Why can't they do that?

Posted by Packrat on 04/07/2010 at 12:17 PM

I have met some people (briefly) who live outside the loop. They're scary, scary, people.

Posted by 38103 on 04/07/2010 at 12:42 PM

Too many people in power (and their relatives) will loose their easy pay checks.

Posted by mad_merc on 04/07/2010 at 12:46 PM

Wow. I thought her 15 minutes were up. Which one of you clowns added minutes to her account?

Posted by B on 04/07/2010 at 2:01 PM

B: She's with AT&T (Memphis) and has unlimited minutes. I think the data package is not included, but I could be wrong.

Posted by tomguleff on 04/07/2010 at 3:43 PM

I, for one, am solidly opposed to abandoning the city charter without an explicit, in-writing, legally binding declaration that any metro consolidation agreement incorporates the charter amendments we just voted on two years ago. No, thank you.

Posted by autoegocrat on 04/07/2010 at 6:11 PM

Is there an abandoned charter repository? Or do they just stick one of those neon stickers on City Hall.

Posted by 38103 on 04/07/2010 at 6:52 PM

Give MeMphis City Charter Amendments?

Posted by autoegocrat on 04/07/2010 at 7:53 PM
Showing 1-13 of 13

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