TN Politics: Economic Plans Are the "Meat on the Bones" of Mayoral Bids

Aug 23, 2019

Credit WKNO-FM

Last week on WKNO's Behind the Headlines, Memphis mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer got more specific about her economic plans for the city under her leadership. Sawyer wants to take a closer look at tax incentives and PILOT programs being awarded to companies who can't promise to make a more substantial impact. 

"Any mayor should pay close attention to how much generosity the taxpayers are giving," says political analyst Otis Sanford, adding that Sawyer is finally putting the "meat on the bones" of her progressive campaign. 

However, Sanford adds that none of the candidates, including Mayor Jim Strickland and former mayor Willie Herenton, have started talking about the possibility of a recession.

Memphis is a city that relies heavily on nonprofits, who are at the mercy of philanthropies, which are closely tied to the stock market. Furthermore, Memphis employment would be greatly affected by either a recession or another housing crisis. Sanford says that while mayors can't change what happens nationally to the markets, they should be thinking about how the markets could impact the city.