MY TURN: The mayor's special pay plan - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WMC-TV 5 V.P. & General Manager Lee Meredith

MY TURN: The mayor's special pay plan

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WMC-TV 5 V.P. & General Manager Lee Meredith WMC-TV 5 V.P. & General Manager Lee Meredith

Is anyone surprised that former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton figured out a way to get his hands on his vacation pay early? It's a benefit he shared only with his top lieutenant. No other city employees received these early payouts.

Back in 2004, Herenton convinced then-city Finance Director Joseph Lee to process his request for the first of many special payments. A few weeks later, Herenton appointed Lee President of MLGW.

The city council and the public were kept in the dark about the special payments. Nonetheless, all the current squawking about Herenton getting the money early misses a bigger point: Should the Memphis mayor be eligible for unused vacation pay, regardless of when it's paid out?

For example, the Shelby County mayor does not receive this perk. And there's another issue. Taking vacation time is good for your health. Our former mayor liked to brag that he rarely took a vacation, and look where it got him. Judging from Herenton's final years in office, you'd have to say that he's the poster child for job burnout.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment or anything else, email yourturn@wmctv.com or call 800-465-1210.

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