Politics » Politics Feature

Morris Rejects Herenton Plan, Endorses On-Campus Stadium

Former MLGW head joins Chumney in approval of proposal by U of M booster Harold Byrd.

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JACKSON BAKER

In weekend remarks, mayoral candidate Herman Morris said "other priorities should take precedence" over Mayor Herenton's proposal for a new football stadium as part of a redeveloped Fairgrounds, but gave his approval to the concept of the state and the University of Memphis pooling their resources and "building an on-campus stadium that would put this university on a par with some of the others in the country."

Morris thereby joined mayoral candidate Carol Chumney in the ranks of those supporting a proposal for an on-campus stadium advanced by University booster Harold Byrd and others. As of now, however, both Morris and Chumney oppose use of city funds to fulfill such a project.

The former Memphis Light Gas & Water head also defended his involvement in the utility's $25 million investment in Memphis Networkz, a fiber-optics development which he said provided infrastructure that improved the city's "competitive posture to attract industry."

Though he has previously been critical of mayoral pressures on behalf of specific brokers, Morris similarly endorsed the $1.5 billion bond issue that funded pre-payment of MLGW's acquisition of services from the Tennessee Valley Authority. He maintained that the pre-payment deal would eventually pay dividends "somewhere in the nature of $250 million."

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