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Editorial Results (free)

1. Beale Street Authority Takes Shape -

A new tourism development authority being proposed for the Beale Street entertainment district would not replace the Beale Street Development Corp.

2. Incumbent Council Members Weighing Choices -

The only open seat on the Memphis City Council in the 2011 city elections is once again an open seat going into the 2015 city elections.

Current council member Lee Harris was elected to the state Senate in the August elections and will resign effective Jan. 12. That means the remaining 12 council members will appoint someone to fill the year remaining in Harris’s four-year council term of office.

3. Former State Rep. Emmitt Ford Dies -

Former state Rep. Emmitt Ford has died in Memphis at age 70, a relative said Tuesday.

Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Jr. said his uncle passed away Monday night at Methodist Hospital after battling an illness.

4. Former State Rep. Emmitt Ford Dies -

Former state Rep. Emmitt Ford has died in Memphis at age 70, a relative said Tuesday.

Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Jr. said his uncle passed away Monday night at Methodist Hospital after battling an illness.

5. City Union Presents Alternative Plan on Benefits -

Memphis Fire Fighters Association president Thomas Malone takes the union’s plan for reversing city employee and retiree health insurance coverage cutbacks to a city oversight committee Thursday, Aug. 21, on employee issues.

6. Fullilove Calls Off Sales Tax Hike Try, Unions May Try -

Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove pulled the plug Tuesday, Aug. 19, on a proposed November referendum on a citywide half cent sales tax hike.

7. City Hall Saga Charts New Directions -

After a bit of a breather, all sides in City Hall’s simmering political dispute over health insurance changes for city employees and retirees sat down at the same table Tuesday, July 29, and offered a few new directions.

8. City Union Floats Alternative Health Care Plan as City Outlines Trust Fund -

Memphis City Council members will at least discuss an alternative health insurance plan next month.

The high deductible plan, which restores many of the coverage cuts approved in June by the council, is the proposal of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association.

9. Wharton Ready to Shift Talk on Benefits Debate -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is trying to turn the page on the emotional City Hall debate over cuts in health insurance benefits to city employees and retirees and also close the book on the city budget for the two-week old fiscal year.

10. Council Moves to Bridge Gaps in Health Coverage Changes -

The ad hoc committee that gathered municipal union leaders, city retirees and Memphis City Council members at the same table to talk about city health insurance meets Thursday, July 17, for the first time since the council approved health insurance plan changes that have drawn vocal protests from city employees and retirees.

11. Council Hears Alternatives to Health Insurance Cuts -

Memphis City Council members fielded several plans Tuesday, July 15, for alternatives to health insurance cuts approved by the council last month. But leaders of the police and fire unions were not among those making an alternative proposal at the committee session, the first in a series of what amount to public hearings.

12. Sick Calls Drop, But Benefits Debate Still Volatile -

The Memphis Police Department returned to normal operations Sunday, July 13, for the first time in more than a week with fewer than 350 officers calling in sick.

And the number of sick calls among Memphis firefighters dropped to 60 Sunday, the lowest total for the department since sick calls among firefighters spiked Wednesday, July 9.

13. City Council Turns Again to Benefits Discussions -

Memphis City Council members won’t take any major votes Tuesday, July 15, on city employee benefits.

But the controversial topic will likely dominate much of another council day at City Hall. The council is in the gap between its approval of health insurance changes in June and an October vote on the companion proposal to change city employee pension plans for new hires and those with less than 10 years of service.

14. Council Moves Toward Pension Changes -

Two weeks after approving changes in health insurance plans for city employees and retirees, the Memphis City Council meets Tuesday, July 1, to talk over a companion set of changes to the city’s pension plan for employees.

15. Southbrook Mall Plans Simmer -

If the city is going to spend money on a renovation of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven, it should be part of a larger plan for Whitehaven and tie in to the aerotropolis concept.

That’s what city Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb said Tuesday, April 15, as he outlined a $6.5 million plan for turning the mall into a “town center” that includes some city government offices and private retail.

16. Council Unhappy With Budget Plans So Far -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got a rough reception at the Tuesday, April 1, Memphis City Council session as it set the stage for Wharton’s budget proposal to come in two weeks.

17. Harris to Lead Council’s Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

18. Harris to Lead City Council Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

19. Council Rules Could Change in 2014 -

Memphis City Council members are already starting to adapt some items in a set of proposed changes in how they conduct business.

The proposal took a bit longer to formulate than originally anticipated.

20. City Council to Revisit Water, Waste Fee Hikes -

Memphis City Council members will at least talk at their last meeting of the year about undoing two votes they’ve taken recently.

The Tueday, Dec. 17, council agenda includes revisiting its Nov. 19 approval of a 2.13 percent increase in Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division water rates.

21. As Elections End, New Campaigns Begin -

The day after the last elections of 2013 in Shelby County were decided, candidates for the Shelby County offices on the ballot in 2014 could begin pulling qualifying petitions to run.

And many of them had already held kickoff fundraisers for the political year to come.

22. Team Players -

The key players, from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to St. Louis Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., grabbed the microphone at an invitation-only rally held on the club level of AutoZone Park and made their best pitches.

23. New Council Chairman Could Have New Rules -

The new chairman of the Memphis City Council in 2014 could be overseeing the council under a different set of ground rules.

Jim Strickland was elected chairman by his fellow City Council members Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start his one-year term in January.

24. Council Keeps Southbrook Mall Renovation Alive -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start over again in plans to find a legal use for city funds in renovating the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

And the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. gave a qualified endorsement through what amounts to a new feasibility study on the mall due before the council in a month.

25. Council Rules -

Three Memphis City Council members continue to look at the council’s rules of procedure and how those rules are enforced as the council prepares for the annual election of a new chairman for the new year.

26. Council Committee Looks Broadly at Council Rules -

A trio of Memphis City Council members weighing possible changes to the council’s way of conducting business has more questions at the outset than answers about what kind of conduct is allowed and what shouldn’t be on the elected body.

27. Fullilove’s Funding Push Raises Legal Questioning -

Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove pushed hard for $1.5 million in city funding for the renovation of Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

28. Committee Explores Government Health Insurance Costs -

When those who know the details of health insurance plans used in city and county government, and those used at Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and Shelby County Schools, sat down around a table last week, they quickly came to the conclusion that their workforces are essentially the same demographic.

29. Council Approves Beale Deal, Delays Highland McDonald's -

Memphis City Council members sent a plan Tuesday, Oct. 15, to settle the last barrier to direct day to day city control of the Beale Street entertainment district to a federal bankruptcy judge.

The council approved a resolution that would use $400,000 from a dormant city fund related to the abandoned Midtown interstate corridor and $100,000 in revenues it has collected from the Beale Street district to pay off a loan Beale Street developer John Elkington took out for improvements he made to Handy Park.

30. Basar Looks to 2014 County Commission Election -

It may be the first time that a Shelby County Commissioner has given public notice of a barbecue.

Commissioner Steve Basar has held four at his house in the year that he’s been on the elected body. And he told political supporters at a fundraiser last week that he has “sunshined” all of them, a shorthand term to describe the public notice required by Tennessee’s open meetings law – or Sunshine Law – for any deliberative gathering of two or more commissioners.

31. County Commission to Fill School Board Vacancy -

Shelby County Commissioners bring the countywide school board up to its full strength of seven members Monday, Sept. 9, by appointing someone to the open District 6 seat.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

32. LEAP of Faith -

A STEP IN SYNC. I have in my possession a rare document, evidence of a shared spark of hope, a light at the end of all the tunnel vision, a warm fire in that cold cave in Nashville.

I have a letter signed by two gentlemen of color – one black and blue, one white and red – pledging cooperation in a state program that could genuinely and uniquely benefit Memphis rather than target and isolate it. Think of it as Auburn and Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Pelosi and Boehner, wet ribs and dry ribs, humans and Klingons – all together to save the universe. I have a letter jointly from and signed by state Sen. Reginald Tate, chair of the Shelby County Legislative Delegation, and state Sen. Mark Norris, Senate majority leader.

33. Armstrong: No Precincts Closing This Year -

Three police precincts Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said earlier might have to close if his department continues to take budget cuts will not close in the current fiscal year or the next.

34. Wharton: Revenue Officer Needed -

Call it a “budget resolution.” A week after the Memphis City Council set the city’s operating budget, capital budget and a property tax rate of $3.40, council members and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. resolved Tuesday, July 2, to continue making changes in City Hall’s financial practices.

35. Wharton Calls for 'Revenue Director' -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to hire a city “revenue officer” as a next step in efforts to change financial practices at City Hall.

Wharton also set a schedule of monthly goals through the end of 2013 to discuss with the council such major financial issues as pension plan obligations and employee benefits.

36. Strickland, Conrad Warn of Budget Pitfalls -

When most of the 13 people on the Memphis City Council began their service in 2008, the city’s property tax rate was $3.43 and rolling back that rate was a priority of a voting majority on the body.

37. Council Approves Tax Hike in $3.40 Property Tax Rate -

Memphis City Council members raised the city property tax rate Tuesday, June 26, by four cents above the recertified tax rate and put the rest of a turbulent budget season to rest.

The approval of the $3.40 property tax rate and city operating and capital budgets came in a council session that ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

38. Second Round Council Budget Plans Emerge -

Memphis City Council chairman Edmund Ford Jr. and council members Harold Collins and Lee Harris will have plans for the full council to consider when the body meets Tuesday, June 25, in special session.

39. Council to Take Final Votes on Budget -

The most critical vote at last week’s budget-dominated Memphis City Council meeting may have been the vote to adjourn leaving final budget decisions pending.

It left a week for all sides in the ongoing budget drama at City Hall a wealth of time by political standards to build support for their respective positions.

40. City Budget Woes Affect 400 Employees -

The numbers at play so far in the Memphis City Council’s long budget season are big.

Council members tallied $24.4 million in city operating budget cuts Tuesday, June 18, in a marathon seven-hour session before an overflow crowd of angry city employees.

41. Council Approves $24.2 Million In Budget Cuts -

Memphis City Council members tallied $24.2 million in city operating budget cuts Tuesday, June 18, in a marathon seven-hour session before an overflow crowd of angry city employees.

But the council adjourned before taking a final vote on the operating budget as amended or setting a city property tax rate.

42. Council Faces Pressure in Financial Crisis -

The Memphis City Council is caught between hints of a state takeover of city finances and the possibility of a lawsuit by most, if not all, of the city’s municipal labor unions in a fiscal crisis that is also evolving into a significant labor dispute.

43. Comptroller Urges Council to Act on Fiscal Problems -

That didn’t take long.

An ad hoc committee of Memphis City Council members trying to find common ground between the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the city’s municipal labor unions met for less than an hour Wednesday, June 12, before calling it a day.

44. Budget Reset Talks Lead to Fresh Drama -

The Memphis City Hall budget drama turned from a budget reset into a political thicket Tuesday, June 4, as Memphis City Council members debated getting involved in the details of changing employee and retiree benefits.

45. Wharton Proposes 15-Cent Tax Hike, Council Delays Budget Votes -

Memphis City Council members delayed a series of seven budget and tax rate-related votes Tuesday, June 4, at the end of a busy day at City Hall.

The day featured a new tax rate proposal from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. that includes a 15-cent city property tax hike above the recertified rate proposed by Wharton.

46. Wharton Proposes 14-Cent Tax Hike Above Recertified Rate -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is proposing a 14-cent city property tax hike on top of the 25 cents added to the current rate of $3.11 to compensate for property value lost in the 2013 property reappraisal.

47. Golfing Options -

Al Patton doesn’t expect the real golfers until the weather gets warmer, more consistent and past the spring showers.

Since the Links at Whitehaven, the city operated golf course at 750 E. Holmes Road, reopened March 1, Patton has seen the start of a normal cycle in golfers.

48. Council to Discuss Pyramid Development -

Memphis City Council members vote Tuesday, Jan. 22, on the “Memphis Pyramid Planned Development” – the formal name for the conversion of The Pyramid to a Bass Pro Shops store with other attractions including a hotel.

49. Ford Jr. Ready for Ascent to City Council Chairman -

If you didn’t know that Edmund Ford Jr. teaches mathematics, there would be clues.

He can almost sense a percentage that is wrong and he prefers not to “ballpark” numbers.

The precise numbers are part of the story of his entry into politics.

50. Council Approves City Tax Collections By Trustee -

The Shelby County Trustee’s office will collect property taxes for the city of Memphis under an interlocal agreement approved Tuesday, Dec. 18, by the Memphis City Council.

The agreement negotiated between Trustee David Lenoir and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. comes after several decades of attempts on both sides of the city-county governments divide at such an arrangement.

51. Ford to Lead City Council in 2013 -

Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Jr. will lead the council as chairman for 2013.

Ford was chosen by his council colleagues to be chairman for the coming year, and council member Jim Strickland was elected vice chairman.

52. Gas Tax Supporters Escalate Campaign -

On a recent cold fall day, backers of a one-cent-a-gallon local gasoline tax on the Nov. 6 ballot rallied for their cause on the parking lot of the Memphis Area Transit Authority’s north end terminal.

53. Gas Tax Would Raise MATA Funding -

If Memphis voters approve a gas tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot, the Memphis Area Transit Authority will have what it has for years said it lacks to provide better service – a dedicated source of continuing funding.

54. Proposed Gas Tax Advances to November Memphis Ballot -

Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, Aug. 7, to a second ballot question for the Nov. 6 ballot in Memphis.

On an 8-3 vote, the council approved on third and final reading the referendum ordinance that puts a one-cent-a-gallon local gas tax to Memphis voters. The same ballot will also include a referendum on a proposed half percent local sales tax hike the council approved in July.

55. Council To Consider Gas Tax Increase -

Memphis City Council members vote Tuesday, Aug. 7, on the third and final reading of a proposed local gasoline tax that would go to Memphis voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

56. The State of Green -

There are many shades of green.

And the use of the term “green” to describe public policies, business practices and other decisions designed to improve or sustain natural surroundings and our connection with them touches on so many other considerations.

57. Former Southwest Twin Drive-In Coming Down -

The old Southwest Twin drive-in theater at South Third Street and Raines Road is the property of the federal Homeland Security Department for the time being.

One of the old screens is still there at the busy corner through the Westwood, Coro Lake and Indian Hills communities. But trees in front of the screen block about a third of the height of it.

58. MATA Drops Poplar Ave. Express Service -

The Memphis Area Transit Authority will discontinue the Poplar Avenue express bus service it started just this past December.

The route called the 22 Poplar Avenue Express will be discontinued effective Aug. 12.

59. Events -

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Memphis will begin a free workshop series to answer entrepreneurs’ questions Thursday, June 21. Visit scorememphis.org or call 544-3588 for a schedule.

60. Council Considers Sales Tax Increase -

At their first meeting since approving a city budget and city tax rate for the fiscal year that starts next month, Memphis City Council members have a full agenda Tuesday, June 19. It includes three proposed city charter changes for the Nov. 6 election ballot and lots of land use resolutions.

61. City Budget Season Ends With Frustration -

The year of the “gap budget” at City Hall felt and sounded a lot like the previous two budget years at City Hall.

The mayor and City Council were frustrated even as the budget deliberations came to an end with a lowered city property tax rate.

62. Council Looks to End Budget Season -

Memphis City Council members are likely to end their budget season Tuesday, June 5, with final votes on an operating budget ordinance as well as a tax rate ordinance.

But going into the week there was no single budget proposal or tax rate proposal that had the formal endorsement of a majority on the council.

63. Differences Remain on City Tax Rate -

When the Memphis City Council’s budget committee gets together Tuesday, June 5, there probably will be agreement that the full council should not raise property taxes.

Instead, it should lower the property tax rate and should use more of the city’s $81 million reserve fund than Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration believes is prudent.

64. Council Weighs Three Tax Roll Back Proposals -

Three Memphis City Council members have presented plans that would roll back the city’s current property tax rate to varying degrees and come up with the city’s last mandatory funding to Memphis City Schools using differing combinations of one-time funds.

65. Bed Tax Hike Talks Turn To High Airfares -

This week’s discussion by the Memphis City Council about raising the hotel-motel bed tax sprouted wings and was bound early on for the much larger and emotional topic of high airfares at Memphis International Airport.

66. Council Votes Down Bed Tax Increase -

Memphis City Council members voted down a proposed increase in the hotel-motel bed tax Tuesday, May 15, in a debate with local tourism industry leaders that focused just as much on high air fares into and out of Memphis International Airport.

67. Second Budget Vote Tops Agenda -

Memphis City Council members take the second of three votes Tuesday, May 15, on a city budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 as well as a property tax rate for the fiscal year to come.

But the council is still weighing its options and gathering information through a budget committee that continues meeting Tuesday morning at City Hall.

68. Council Rejects 18 Cent Property Tax Hike -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, March 20, to reject a one-time, 18-cent property tax hike to mop up an estimated $13 million in red ink for the current fiscal year.

Instead the council voted to use $10 million from the city’s reserve fund and cut $3.2 million in the existing budget including money for a voluntary buyout program of some sanitation workers that the Wharton administration has yet to activate.

69. Elvis Presley Blvd. Center of Council Talks -

For decades what is now Elvis Presley Boulevard was the road to Memphis for those from Mississippi, whether they were coming to stay or coming to visit.

Much has changed since Elvis Presley moved into a home on a hill already named Graceland in the mid-1950s when Whitehaven was a country road not yet a part of the city of Memphis.

70. Council Begins Bed Tax Discussion -

The first meeting of the Memphis City Council for 2012 offers some familiar issues and some new moves that point toward a break with the past in city operations.

The council meets Tuesday, Jan. 3, starting at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

71. Overton Square Votes Dominate Meeting -

The Memphis City Council votes Tuesday, Dec. 20, on the redevelopment of Overton Square. At its last meeting of the year, the council will vote on a planned development for the south side of Madison Avenue at Cooper Street to be redeveloped by Loeb Properties Inc. The development includes a parking garage.

72. MULYP Awards Honor ‘Agents of Change’ -

Memphis Urban League Young Professionals celebrates its second annual Agents of Change Awards Saturday, Dec. 3, honoring individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the community.

73. Site Selectors Hear City’s Red Carpet Pitch -

A year ago this month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam won the governor’s race and suddenly found himself in the same room with 26 other newly elected governors.

The event was a nonpartisan orientation for the new governors to help get their bearings on the nuts and bolts of running a state government.

74. Council Approves New Tow Rules, Delays Hotel Motel Tax Discussion -

Memphis City Council members approved a new set of rules for the city’s wrecker industry including background checks for drivers, a Memphis Transportation Commission to enforce regulations and no moving towed vehicles until police clear the vehicle for towing.

75. Ford, Harris Vie for Council District 7 Seat -

Early voting opens Friday, Oct. 21, for the last election of 2011 in Shelby County. The race is the runoff for the District 7 Memphis City Council seat between Kemba Ford and Lee Harris. Election Day is Nov. 10.

76. Despite Low Turnout, Incumbents See Big Wins -

Memphis voters kept the turnout in last week’s city elections at less than 20 percent. About 18 percent of the city’s 426,580 or so voters showed up for the Thursday, Oct. 6, elections.

Some politicos doubted turnout would move into double digits until the relatively healthy 7.6 percent turnout for early voters made it clear.

77. Wharton, Fullilove & Conrad Re-Elected -- Harris-Ford to Runoff - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. won a full four-year term of office as mayor Thursday, Oct. 6, two years after he claimed the mayor’s office in a special election.

And all 12 of the Memphis City Council members seeking re-election won new four year terms in the city election cycle, marking the largest return of incumbents to the 13-member council in the 43-year history of the mayor-council form of government.

78. Unions Continue Budget Battle in Thursday’s Election -

No ballot questions are to be decided in the Thursday, Oct. 6, Memphis elections. But at least one of the City Council races will be viewed as a referendum on the clout of the city’s municipal labor unions.

79. Early Voting Count Suggests High Election Day Turnout -

Early voting in advance of the Oct. 6 Election Day in Memphis cracked 30,000 of the city’s 426,583 voters.

Because early voting in Memphis elections usually doesn’t account for even half of the overall voter turnout, the early voter turnout suggests the total voter turnout may be in double-digit percentages. That is low, but not as low as some politicos had predicted for the ballot topped by a mayor’s race and contests for all 13 seats on the Memphis City Council.

80. Get Out the Vote -

The overall numbers through the first two weeks of early voting seem to indicate a low overall turnout including Election Day in the set of city elections to be decided Oct. 6.

But within the early vote numbers are some indications of voter hotspots.

81. Wharton Makes Choices In Council Races -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has a ballot for the Memphis City Council races on the Oct. 6 ballot.

The ballot hit the streets this weekend, as the last full week of early voting began, with a set of Wharton endorsements in some but not all of the 13 council races on the ballot.

82. Council Continues Fiscal Policy Talks -

Nearly three months after a city budget and tax rate for the new fiscal year were set by the Memphis City Council, the council and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. continue to debate and make decisions about long-term city fiscal policy.

83. City Candidates Meet in Forum -

The crowds are small and the questions familiar. The forums for candidates on the Oct. 6 Memphis ballot, in other words, are a lot like past forums.

There were about 25 people in the audience Monday evening, Sept. 19, for the League of Women Voters City Council forum at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in East Memphis that featured seven candidates for super district seats.

84. Early Voting Off to Modest Start -

The first full week of early voting in advance of the Oct. 6 Memphis elections got a push with 1,684 citizens casting ballots on Friday, Sept. 16’s first day of the early voting period.

Another 411 filed absentee votes before Friday’s opening.

85. Early Voting Kicks Off Friday in City -

Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 16, in advance of the Oct. 6 city of Memphis Election Day. Voters across the city can cast early ballots in the races for Memphis mayor, City Council, City Court clerk and City Court judges at 16 locations through Oct. 1.

86. Vote for Me -

Four years after the biggest turnover on the Memphis City Council, the Oct. 6 city elections could see the biggest return of incumbents ever on the council. Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 16.

Twelve of the 13 incumbents are seeking re-election. It would have been 13 had Barbara Swearengen Ware not taken a plea deal on an official misconduct charge.

87. Political Hobnobbing -

The group of around 100 people in the plaza of AutoZone Park Wednesday, Sept. 7, led a few passersby to think a ballgame was under way.

But politics was the only sport in the plaza during the Greater Memphis Chamber’s annual HobNob In The Park gathering.

88. Elected Bodies Sign Off, Next Up Consolidation -

The next step in the schools consolidation process is the appointment of seven members to the new countywide school board that takes office Oct. 1.

With no debate, Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Sept. 6, gave the final approval necessary for the schools consolidation settlement to become a consent decree.

89. City Council Gives Final Nod to Schools Consolidation Settlement -

With no debate, Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Sept. 6, gave the final approval necessary for the schools consolidation settlement to become a consent decree.

The council voted 12-0 to approve the settlement worked out by all sides in the federal lawsuit over schools consolidation. The settlement emerged from mediation sessions in court last month.

90. Campaigns Heat Up as Election Nears -

Those running in the Oct. 6 city elections were getting signs up the weekend before the Labor Day weekend and preparing for the sprint to early voting, which begins Sept. 16, and Election Day.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. campaigned in Orange Mound on a Saturday afternoon not quite as hot as previous Saturdays. Wharton and his campaign have aimed their Saturday door-to-door campaigning at 10 specific precincts. The goal is to create a spike in voter turnout as well as votes for Wharton who is seeking election to a full four-year term after taking office following the October 2009 special mayoral election.

91. Local Democrats Take City Election Straw Poll -

It was more fundraiser than legitimate poll.

The Shelby County Democratic Party raised more than $2,000 with a straw poll in which party regulars paid $25 a ballot to show their preferences in races in the Oct. 6 city of Memphis elections with a separate ballot for the mayor’s race.

92. Wharton Opens Re-Election Campaign - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. opened his re-election bid Saturday, July 23, with a door-to-door campaign blitz in Glenview and Wharton touting an 18-month record in office.

“Put your name of the ballot – come on. We’re going to walk all over you,” Wharton said to potential challengers on the Oct. 6 ballot who include Shelby County Commissioner James Harvey, former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. and seven others. “Don’t get in our way.”

93. 4 Council Members - All 3 City Court Judges To Run Unopposed In Oct. Elections -

Four incumbent Memphis City Council members and all three incumbent City Court Judges were effectively re-elected at the Thursday, July 21, noon deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions for the Oct. 6 Memphis ballot.

94. Redistricting Comes Just in Time for Filing Deadline -

Contenders for the 13 seats on the Memphis City Council got some certainty this week with council approval of the new set of district lines for the body.

And it could make the noon Thursday, July 21, qualifying deadline something that hasn’t been seen in many election cycles – a deadline with some last-minute candidates and plenty of politicos watching the last-minute developments.

95. Wharton Files for Re-Election -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. filed his qualifying petition for re-election Monday, July 18 at noon.

Wharton is seeking a full four-year term in the office he won in October 2009 in a special election following the resignation of Willie Herenton.

96. Council Approves City Budget With One Time 18 Cent Tax Hike - Memphis City Council members approved a $661.4 million operating budget and added 18 cents on top of the city property tax rate, although they insist it is a one time only tax hike to pay money owed the Memphis City Schools in the upcoming budget year.

97. City Council Rejects 18-Cent Property Tax Hike -

The city of Memphis operating budget for the fiscal year to come July 1 is $11 million from being balanced.

The Memphis City Council voted on a series of 16 budget amendments Tuesday, June 7 in a marathon council session that began at 9 a.m. with the budget committee and ended shortly after 10 p.m.

98. Wharton Backs Tax Hike and Fee Increase Package -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is backing an 18-cent city property tax hike to balance the city’s budget.

Wharton backed the proposal by Memphis City Council member Harold Collins as well as a set of city fee increases proposed by council member Edmund Ford Jr. as the council budget committee held a set of last-minute budget hearings Tuesday, June 7, at City Hall.

99. Council Prepares for Long Budget Session -

Memphis City Council members have a long day ahead Tuesday, June 7, at City Hall with lots of numbers and important decisions.

The council will either finish its budget season Tuesday or could go into an overtime period that could stretch past the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

100. Wharton Preps for 2011 Mayoral Campaign -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was still fielding national media flood inquiries with a mantra of “Memphis is open for business” as he attended the latest of the early campaign fundraisers this week for his re-election effort.