May 19, 2005

William Reckenberg Appointed as New East Ward Alderman

There were eight candidates and four different opinions on who would best fill the job but ultimately the Memphis City Council settled on William Reckenberg to fill the alderman vacancy in the East Ward. After a lengthy process, the council voted 3-0 to name Reckenberg the new alderman to fill the vacancy created when former alderman Mike Stone was appointed Mayor of Memphis.

This is a tough thing to do, Mayor Stone told those gathered for the May 16th special meeting. Everyone in the room is good enough to qualify for the job and much more.

But it was Jamie Parker who Stone sought to have the council appoint. After the council failed to move for Parkers nomination, Stone went down the list of all eight candidates.

Gardner moved to appoint Reckenberg, but there was no second for the motion. Alderman Teresa Skinner made a motion to appoint Brian Brush but it too died for a lack of a second. Gardner moved to appoint Jay Brush and Skinner backed Mark Barrett but neither got a second.

On the second time through the list of the eight potential replacements, Alderman Lucas Remley nominated Roger Gosney. After no second was received, Gardner again moved to appoint Reckenberg. Remley seconded the motion and it passed by a 3-0 vote.

Reckenberg, a former candidate for the position, was sworn in by City Clerk Angela Newman and was seated with the rest of the council for the remainder of the meeting.

Ed Hogarth, who had sought the job, asked the council what the delay had been for between the regular May meeting and the final appointment of Reckenberg two weeks later.

I was under the impression that we would be called and the council members wanted to talk with each one of us before making their decision, he said. I never received one call.

Alderman Remley replied, stating he had wanted the extra time to speak with the candidates neighbors and constituents to see whom they wished to see appointed.

However Remley agreed that the appointment process was flawed and wished that the alderman position could have been filled by a vote of the people.

If you want the best results, I encourage every one of you to run in April and let the people decide, Remley said. I dont live in your ward. I dont live next to any of you, so Im really not the best person to make this decision. But a second had to be made or we would have been here all night.

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