The Memphis City Council has given final approval to a resolution declaring a vacancy in the Memphis Mayor’s office effective July 31.
The 7-6 council vote Tuesday afternoon was to approve the minutes of the council meeting two week ago and it didn’t come without a fair amount of council debate and some parliamentary maneuvering.
The part of the minutes dealing with the vacancy resolution was voted on separately from the rest of the minutes of the July 7 meeting.
‘The mayor says why don’t we believe him,” Council member Shea Flinn said as he called for making the vacancy declaration final.
In June, Herenton announced he would resign effective July 10. But he later changed his resignation date to July 30. He then sent another letter that seemed to some to rescind all resignation dates despite Herenton’s repeated declaration, including one as recently as Monday, that he still plans to make July 30 his last day as mayor.
Some council members argued it was premature to declare the vacancy until Herenton’s last day in office had come and gone.
Council member Joe Brown said three council members who are weighing a run in the special election — Myron Lowery, Jim Strickland and Kemp Conrad — should not have voted on the matter. All three voted to affirm the vacancy resolution.
“I’m telling you that three of you can’t vote on anything up here. Basically, you are corrupt,” said Brown who excluded Wanda Halbert. Halbert is the fourth council member to either consider a bid for mayor or announce they are running in the special election to come. Halbert opposed approving the minutes making the vacancy resolution official.
The Shelby County Election Commission will meet Wednesday afternoon to accept the council resolution and set a filing deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions and set a date for the special election. The election date is expected to be in late October.