Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ok, let's think about things for a moment

Aside from the crazy suggestion by our new city Mayor that he arrange for an agreement to serve as BOTH City and County Mayor, lots of interesting things have happened regarding the deadlocked race for interim County Mayor.

The Democratic Women of Shelby County, who normally would collectively swallow broken glass than choose between two Democrats, yesterday endorsed Commissioner Joe Ford over Commissioner J.W. Gibson at their monthly meeting. Here is the text of that endorsement:

To Shelby County Democratic Commissioners:

After careful consideration by the Democratic Women of Shelby County, it is our pleasure to announce that the Democratic Women of Shelby County give their full endorsement and support of County Commissioner Joe Ford for Interim Shelby County Mayor.
Commissioner Ford’s history of commitment to public service and considerable attention to the City of Memphis as a Democrat, City Councilman and Shelby County Commissioner has earned this valuable endorsement. The Democratic Women of Shelby County have been long-time supporters of Democrats both in Memphis and Shelby County, and we continue to work long and tireless hours to promote the election of Democrats and the Democratic agenda to improve the lives of our citizens.
We have enjoyed a positive relationship with County Commissioner Ford as it is based on respect and fighting for issues that are in the best interest of the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County. This philosophy is consistent with our mission to support and help elect Democrats in Memphis and Shelby County.
We proudly add our endorsement and we encourage you to give your support and your vote to County Commissioner Joe Ford as Interim Shelby County Mayor. We are confident in the leadership and the experience that Commissioner Ford will bring to office of Shelby County Mayor and we look forward to the success that Joe Ford will bring to the County during his interim term as the future Shelby County Mayor.
Please, vote Joe Ford on Tuesday November 17, 2009.
Respectfully Submitted,
Mickey Klenz
Democratic Women of Shelby

OK then. Look, if I had to choose, I would choose Joe Ford myself. He's had experience with both City and County government, he gets along with both sides of the aisle, and would work with commissioner to get things done until September 1, 2010.

Here's my question, though: if NO ONE is going to get 7 votes, why select the interim Mayor from the Commission's body? At the end of the day, this will only lead to a tough time for whomever wins.

Former Commission Chair (and my candidate for County Mayor) Deidre Malone thought that she was on to something by nominating CAO Jim Huntzicker for the position. However, Huntzicker, who has a solidly GOP primary voting record (you can get it at the Election Commission) is no favorite of local unions for his slash-and-burn job-cutting for the County, went nowhere fast.

Right idea, wrong person.

Seeing as how this is my blog, I have my own idea.

The person I have in mind has NEVER been an elected official, but he was a key member of TWO different City administrations, working at high levels for both Dick Hackett and W.W. Herenton. He was a terrific go-between from Mayor Herenton to the City Council in the Mayor's first two terms. While he has never been a part of County government, it is less complex than City government, and he would be a steady hand at the helm, with no likelihood that he would seek the office himself.

This is a person whom I have not spoken with in years, and has no clue I am about to recommend him for this job, but, like Joe Ford, he gets along with EVERYONE and would be trusted by all parties to do the right thing.

My suggestion: former Herenton CFO and CAO Rick Masson.

Yes, if he reads that he is probably doing a spit take, but I think that he would be the right person at the right time for County government, and the perfect transitional figure to September 2010.

Your thoughts?


MemphisPI said...

It might be hard to get him to leave a great job like he has now with Shelby Farms.

Your right about one thing the job is now more critical than before i.e. The Med and needs someone highly competent to be the County Mayor.

That eliminates anyone on the commission. Another case of ambition exceeds ability.

Unknown said...

Steve, you are usually correct about most things. I, too, am a fan of Rick Masson; however, I think John Vergos is the right candidate for this particular time. He gets along well with everyone across the political spectrum, is a lawyer and well-respected businessman. And he's a nice guy who's been involved in local politics for a long time. I don't think we need a county commissioner as interim mayor. John Vergos is the one we need.