MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A New Year brings a new set of priorities for Memphis city leaders. On New Year's Day, Mayor A C Wharton, along with city council members and judges, were sworn into office.
The holidays are over and it's time to get to work. On top of the mayor's list are jobs, like the highly anticipated Electrolux project.
"The election campaign is over, but the real campaign continues, our campaign to move our city ahead," Mayor Wharton said at the ceremony, held at the Cannon Center. "it is a justified expectation that folks should say that the lion's share of jobs and dollars spent on the services ought to come from Memphis and Shelby county."
Also on the list, stopping excessive police force. This comes after a YouTube video surfaced in October that shows Memphis Police Officers beating 22-year-old Jarrell Williams while trying to clear Beale Street.
Immediately following that incident, Wharton said, "All I know is what I saw in the video. I can't convict anybody just yet but it does raise some troubling questions; that's why I still said it's still under investigation."
Another statement made by the mayor refers to Norman Benjamin, the former Memphis Police officer who accused a Latino man of shooting him while he was on duty. It was later discovered, he made the suspect up.
At the time, Wharton wanted to see the case "investigated as a hate crime, at both the state and federal levels." However right now, hate crimes can't be prosecuted on the state level; they are considered federal offenses.
"We're reviewing it and putting it in our legislative package," Wharton stated. "If someone singles out someone based on ethnicity to either victimize them, accuse them of something - which was done in the Benjamin case - that ought to be classified as a hate crime."
And who can forget the infamous Club Crave, the party destination for stabbings, shootings, and other trouble near the historic Beale Street district. Wharton eluded to big changes ahead.
"There's some legal steps. You'll hear about those in 2 weeks. There's been some interesting developments on that. All I can say is that the lawyers told me to keep my mouth shut but we're working everyday on that and we think we found a solution."
Mayor Wharton also promised better lines of communication between his administration and city council, and talked about his ongoing efforts to fight corruption, blight, and poverty.
2012 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Mayor Wharton, who said his administration will be ready.