The Memphis mayoral transition began Friday afternoon. It involved pink slips for six City Hall employees who work on the seventh floor, which houses the mayor and his executive staff.
The six people reportedly included administrative assistants and an office manager. Lorene Essex, the city’s human resources director, deferred to Robert White, an aide to Memphis Mayor elect AC Wharton Jr., when asked by The Daily News for details of the employee terminations.
White declined to give Essex the OK to release those names out of what he said was a respect for their privacy. He also added that the action was not extraordinary – that it was a function of space being made for the team Wharton will bring with him from across Main Street.
That team will be unveiled Monday.
Also Monday, Wharton will take the oath of office at noon in the Hall of Mayors at City Hall.
The history of the moment is inescapable. Willie Herenton sat behind the big desk at City Hall for 17 years. A new era clearly is getting started.
All of which is to say, it seems a little surprising to this writer that he’s the only one as of 6:30 p.m. Friday to have confirmed his attendance at Monday’s swearing-in on Wharton’s Facebook page.
Update at midnight: Three more Facebook-ers have confirmed their attendance.