MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The fight is getting uglier and uglier over Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's plan to stop paying health care benefits for retired city workers.
One council member called the plan the worst thing he's ever seen. Another told the mayors staff to throw it out.
They are further apart now than ever.
The plan to fix the pension revolves around the city health care plan. Lose it, and the budget falls apart.
It is government not by the people. It is government decided by whoever has the loudest voice.
“There is no logic to what they're doing,” retired worker Mike Lee said.
Lee is head of the retired city workers and they could be in serious trouble.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said to pay for the pension, the city will have to stop paying for retired city employee health care.
“This has never been about cooperation. This has been dictated to us. You're worthless people. We want you out of this city. But we weren't worthless....I wasn't for 38 years when I worked for this city,” Lee said.
This battle going on here is a case in point for why citizens of this community need to be involved in what is going on in the community. Rarely do people show up for the council or commission meetings unless it's going to effect their pocket books. What people fail to realize is, every week, the council/commission is voting on spending money or involving itself in projects the government has no business engaging in which then will eventually detract from paying for the truly necessary services. Everything they do is connected to the budget which, every year, they struggle to find creative ways to fund. They do this by taking away funds from one area and giving it to another or raising property taxes or cutting services.
I would encourage citizens to get involved on a weekly basis to watch what your government is "supposedly doing for you". The internet has made it incredibly easy to keep track of them.
If you don't, who will?