Things That Make You Go Hmmm Dept.

Mayor Strickland is charging people to attend his State of the City address. But if you want to go, you can’t because it’s already full, according to the CA.

Here’s the story:

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will deliver his annual State of the City address Tuesday in the newly-restored Clayborn Temple in Downtown, city officials said Friday

But breaking with tradition, members of the public must pay if they want to attend the address at the Rotary Club of Memphis luncheon at noon Tuesday at 294 Hernando — $20 per guest, according to the club. However, by the time the notice was sent Friday shortly after noon, the seating was “already to capacity,” although the advance registration for guests didn’t officially close until 5 p.m., said Rotary Chief Operations Officer Taylor Hughes.

Both of the city’s two previous mayors, A C Wharton and Willie Herenton, said their State of the City addresses were free to the public to the best of their recollections, making the tradition at least 27 years old, going back to Herenton’s election in 1991.

But Strickland’s communications team downplayed the break, saying the mayor was invited to the event and decided it would be a good venue for the speech.

“He’s a guest at Rotary, and he just happens to be giving his State of the City there,” said Ursula Madden, the city’s chief communications officer.

The public can still watch a live video of the speech on Facebook, city spokesman Kyle Veazey said.

Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner, whose nonprofit Memphis Greenspace Inc. worked with the administration to buy and remove three Confederate statues on Dec. 20, will deliver the prayer.

Sounds like someone’s not that confident that Memphians support him.

Awfully cozy with Van Turner, too, isn’t he?

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