MEMPHIS, TN—Councilman Kemp Conrad suggested selling Memphis Light Gas and Water utility in an effort to pay for early childhood care but, many Memphians are unhappy with that idea and they hit the radio to make their voices heard Saturday.
Hosts of "the labor agenda" radio talk show on KWAM 990AM are against even the suggestion of selling the city-owned utility company. Listeners who called in agreed.
"I'm a citizen of Memphis and I'm against selling Memphis Light Gas and Water,” said a radio caller.
Everyone who called the radio show hated the idea of Councilman Conrad’s proposal to sell MLGW.
"We need to keep MLGW owned by the city of Memphis because it's the crown jewel of the region,” said another caller.
Conrad wants to sell Memphis Light Gas and Water in an effort to close the city's budget gaps and to establish a trust fund for early childhood education. Critics say that's not a smart move.
"That's the problem here in the city of Memphis. For so long we've sold the city off in bits and pieces,” said the Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams who was also hosting the radio show.
"If a private company owned it your utility bill will go up anywhere from 100 to 200 maybe 300 dollars a month,” said IBEW Business Manager Rick Thompson.
IBEW or the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers Local 1288 is against privatizing MLGW and produces the radio show. If the city council proposes selling MLGW in the upcoming weeks Local 1288 representatives say labor unions will speak out.
"We're going to rally people, put ads on TV, do everything in a humanly possible, or legally possible to make the people, the citizens of Memphis aware that selling MLGW is not in their best interest,” said Thompson.
ABC24 News reached out to Councilman Conrad Friday and Saturday. We're still waiting for his response.