Relations between Memphis City Council and mayor in question - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Relations between Memphis City Council and mayor in question

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – Relations between the Memphis City Council and the mayor are in question after a meeting was called off over the weekend due to claims of a lack of participation.

Some council members say the cancellation is representative of building tensions between Memphis City Council and Memphis City Hall. Others, though, say it was just a bad weekend for everyone to get together.

Memphis City Council Chairman Jim Strickland says a communication workshop with the council, the mayor, and his staff Saturday was canceled for many reasons.

"Because it was a Saturday, because of the snow, because people had other things going on, we didn't have much of a response," he explained.

But other council members blame it on tension between the two government bodies.

"Some council members know some things other council members do not," said Councilwoman Janis Fullilove. "Then, all of a sudden we get information at the 11th hour and we're supposed to sit up and read all of this information in a 15, 20 minute time frame."

The meeting was originally scheduled as a city council retreat and 11 council members agreed to go. Then, the mayor made this announcement at his State of the City Address:

"Chairman Strickland has agreed to postpone the council retreat to allow the February 8 date to be used as a session on better communication between the council and the executive branches," said Mayor Wharton.

As of Friday, Strickland said only six council members agreed to go.

"I think most of the council agrees we need a better relationship with the mayor and his administration," said Strickland.

The mayor himself has said the same, which was the purpose of the workshop.

"There is absolutely nothing we can accomplish in one branch of government without the full cooperation and support of the other branches of given envy," said Wharton.

"One can communicate better if there's transparency and if you just tell the truth," added Fullilove.

The city's public information officer says the mayor was never supposed to attend Saturday. She says the mayor and his staff had a workshop last week. The council alone was supposed to have its workshop Saturday and the two governing bodies are supposed to have a workshop together at a later date.

Strickland wants to rescheduled the workshop for a regular council day.