What are they thinking?
First Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell decided he would give County workers a Christmas bonus. He wanted it to be 1.5% of their salaries, but was overruled by the County Commission which settled on $650. Thank you Heidi Shafer, Wyatt Bunker and Brent Taylor for opposing this. But, at least the County has a surplus.
The Mayor of Memphis decided he’d give city workers a bonus, too, and if the City Council approves it today, they’ll each get $600.
But the city of Memphis does not have a surplus. We’re $40 million in the hole. We still owe the City School system. We had our property taxes hiked to pay for our losses.
Clearly, this is nothing but a move by Mayor Wharton to buy votes. He had to layoff people and cut salaries and now he’s hoping for their goodwill with a bonus.
Doesn’t look like it will work for the Police and Firemen unions. Memphis Police Association Vice President Michael Williams likened it to robbery. “He (Wharton) robs you, but he’s a nice robber,” explained Williams, realizing that the move is to win them back. Larry Anthony of the Memphis Firemen Association agrees. He’d rather see the money put back in salaries to make up for the cuts. Both leaders say it shows that the city is not as stressed as they say.
So Wharton may not even get the bump out of it he wants.
This is insane. We find a $6 million dollar surplus and spend $5 million of it, even though we owe $40 million. Can you handle your household finances like that? Of course not.
Haven’t they heard of disasters? Trouble doesn’t announce it’s coming. It just happens and then where will the funds be? If there has ever been a climate for caution, this is it. The economy is teetering at best.
Really Wharton’s act is a slap in the face to diligent citizens who share a larger burden in taxes than we should. He will just continue to drive people out of the city with stupid actions like this.