MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Mayor A C Wharton says controversy over who will build Electrolux's new factory is much ado about nothing.
"Nothing this big and this good, ever comes without some pain," Mayor Wharton said.
Several city council members expressed outrage when they learned that Electrolux had selected a Mississippi general contractor to build the kitchen appliance factory. This, after both the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commissioners voted to give the appliance maker close to $200 million in tax breaks and incentives.
"We're committed to go through those pains, to suffer the slings and arrows that get thrown at us, that's just a part of it," Mayor Wharton said.
Mayor Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell met with company officials on Thursday, trying to encourage the company to hire more local and minorities.
"Although there has been some anxiety on the part of the public, this is a problem we welcome," said Mayor Luttrell.
Once the factory is up and running, it is expected to employ more than 1,200. City leaders say they don't think this dust-up will discourage other companies from looking at Memphis for investment.
"We've gone through some growing pains, we've learned how to do it, I think we're better prepared when it comes to the next opportunity." Mayor Luttrell said.