Worth Morgan, one of three Memphis City Council members who voted Tuesday against an educational campaign for three council-created referenda, questions the transparency of the move.
Morgan, who said he ran for office to “help restore public trust,” argued that spending up to $40,000 of taxpayer dollars on an educational campaign is an “improper and late attempt” to make up for confusing ballot language.
“The resolution, which was pushed forward with zero public notice, is an improper and late attempt to make up for the overly confusing ballot language,” Morgan said. “Simply put, we all expect and deserve better transparency from city council. Every dollar spent by the chairman on this informational campaign will be tracked, accounted for, and made easily available to the public.”
Though joined by council members J Ford Canale and Kemp Conrad in voting no, Morgan was the only one of the trio to speak against the measure at Tuesday’s meeting.
Morgan expressed concerns then about the negative backlash the council would likely receive for the campaign, advising his colleagues that “it’s not in the council’s best interest.”
“I’m not questioning the legality of this at all, but I am questioning the wisdom of it,” Morgan said Tuesday. “I think the negative press and blowback on spending taxpayer dollars on the referendum is going to far outweigh the $30,000-$40,000 of education we’re going to be able to send out.”
Similarly, in a Tuesday night tweet, Conrad said he disagreed with the “expenditure of funds for such purposes.”
This story will be updated.