Budget season generating heartburn

Perhaps it's not always fair to local politicians, but reporters tend to read these stories about budget battles with an eye on the politics of various responses. Sure, every politician is duty-bound to do what he or she feels is best for their district/city/county, but it's also true that they become elected officials because they are driven by a certain amount of ambition, ego and thirst for power. Budget seasons often mean a clash of those motivations, and so keep that in mind as you read some of the stories linked below.

Some Shelby County Commissioners are questioning the $35 million cost for a new emergency-operations center that would bring together the various agencies (Memphis Fire, Shelby County Fire, Memphis Police, Shelby County Sheriff) under one very-protected and disaster-proofed roof.

Some City Council members are questioning Mayor Wharton's priorities for the city budget, which calls for closing two libraries (Cossitt and Highland) and two nine-hole golf courses (Overton and Riverside). Councilman Jim Strickland wants Wharton to roll back the 8 percent raises the Council approved over the previous two budget cycles, which would save $28 million. ""I think this shows a terrible lack of judgment," said Strickland.

Just a few weeks after helping broker peace between Memphis and Memphis City Schools, Councilman Harold Collins gets into a name-calling contest with MCS officials. On this they agree: Somebody's telling lies.

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