The Memphis City Council will hear all "serious alternatives" to close the financial gaps in the pension and employee benefits funds when it meets again on Tuesday, July 15.
The invitation comes after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said at a news conference Sunday that he welcomes all ideas to fix the problem, noting that the decisions to make changes to employee benefits "were not easy ones."
Changes made to health benefits benefits for city employees and proposed changes for the city pension system, brought a public protest from Memphis police and fire employees at Memphis City Hall last week and an apparent "blue flu" protest from some 500 Memphis Police Department officers who called in sick over the Independence Day holiday.
A joint news statement from Flinn and Strickland issued on Monday read:
"Memphis faces a severe financial crisis, action must be taken. In June, after a laborious budget process and weighing the options before us, a majority of the council voted for a difficult first step in righting our fiscal course. The choices have understandably come under criticism. We now seek to move the discussion from one that generates heat, to a conversation that generates light. We are offering all citizens, labor groups, or elected officials to come forward with their ideas for alternative options for solving the fiscal crisis."
Those interested in sharing their ideas with council members should contact Sam Powers at (901) 636-6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Lisa Geater at (901) 636-6783 or email@example.com.
Parties should register their interest with city council staff by at least 4 p.m. on the Friday before the following Tuesday's council meeting.