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Editorial Results (free)

1. Wells Joins Evans Petree as Associate -

Julie Wells has joined Evans Petree PC as an associate in the East Memphis office, focusing her practice in health care law and general business matters. She previously worked at Baptist Medical Group, where she played an integral role in physician practice acquisitions and contractual-related matters.

2. Intermodal Conference to Tackle Freight Issues -

The Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute at the University of Memphis will host its seventh annual Intermodal Freight Conference at the FedEx Institute of Technology on the University of Memphis campus Tuesday, Sept. 24.

3. ‘Outside the Fence’ Vital for Aerotropolis -

Local leaders pushing the aerotropolis concept and brand realize they have a problem. The concept is so simple that it has been difficult to build momentum in advance of a concrete plan to begin changing the geography of the area outside the fences of Memphis International Airport.

4. Jackson’s Suspension, Lawsuit Point Out State Law Paradox -

After he was indicted last month by the Shelby County grand jury on four counts of official misconduct, General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson said voters put him in office and only they could take him out of office.

5. Julie Ellis Receives Ruby Wharton Award -

Julie Ellis, an attorney with Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC, has received The Ruby R. Wharton Award, a distinction given annually to outstanding woman for exceptional contributions to the Memphis area.

6. Consolidation Lawsuit Fight Moves to Rhetorical Battlefront -

The votes have been counted for six weeks in the twin votes on consolidation.

But the results still haven’t been certified in the votes on the consolidation charter that voters rejected on Nov. 2.

7. Charter Commission Chair: Consolidation Opponents 'Fearmongering' -

The chairwoman of the Metro Charter Commission accused opponents of consolidation of “fearmongering” during a half-hour consolidation debate to air tonight on WKNO television.

The lively exchange between Julie Ellis and Shelby County Schools board chairman David Pickler came on the issue of taxes during a special edition of the WKNO program “Behind The Headlines,” hosted by Memphis Daily News publisher Eric Barnes.

8. Commission: Read the Charter and Vote -

Both sides in the consolidation debate are urging citizens to read the proposed metro charter and vote.

And as the campaign nears the Nov. 2 Election Day vote on the charter, each side is accusing the other of reading things in the charter that aren’t there.

9. Hard Work at Core Of Ellis’ Practice, Charter Commission Leadership -

Reaching for the stars and working tirelessly are trademarks of Memphis attorney Julie Ellis.

Ellis’ father was an Army general who blew the energetic sound of revelry each morning at “0500 hours.” She also watched her mom serve others as a school nurse and leading a mental health center.

10. Charter Commission Dissolves, Awaits Election Day -

The Metro Charter Commission goes out of business Wednesday.

Copies of the 49-page consolidation charter drafted by the group were delivered Tuesday as required by state law to the proper government clerks of Memphis, Shelby County and the six suburban municipalities.

11. Last-Minute Legal Opinion Changes Big Charter Provision -

The Metro Charter Commission has approved a consolidation charter for voters on the Nov. 2 ballot, but the last day of work on the charter was anything but ceremonial. A last-minute legal opinion caused a rewrite of a major provision.

12. Last-Minute Legal Opinion Affects Big Provision of Proposed Charter -

The Metro Charter Commission has approved a consolidation charter for voters on the Nov. 2 ballot, but the last day of work on the charter was anything but ceremonial. A last-minute legal opinion caused a rewrite of a major provision.

13. Metro Charter Group To Complete Work Monday -

The Metro Charter Commission will complete its work Monday on a proposed consolidation charter.

The 9 a.m. meeting at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building is the last one for the group with began its work last December.

14. Tough Crowd -

The Metro Charter Commission never drew close to a hundred citizens at all but one of its public hearings earlier this month. The exception was the first hearing at Memphis Botanic Garden.

But the group did find an interesting array of opinions even when the numbers were small.

15. Charter Commission Takes Message to the People -

The Metro Charter Commission drew a crowd of 200 last week at the first of three public hearings on the consolidation proposal still taking shape.

The two-and-half-hour session at the Memphis Botanic Garden even included something the group hasn’t encountered much in public forums held by other groups – applause for the idea of consolidation.

16. Consolidation Plan to be Presented in July -

After a dubious reception from Memphis City Council members and Shelby County Commissioners on June 24, the Metro Charter Commission is preparing for a series of public hearings in July.

The charter commission has until mid-August to draft a consolidation charter. The proposal then goes to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot.

17. Metro Charter Commission Plays To Tough Audience -

The Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission got their first formal look Thursday at what the Metro Charter Commission has been working on since December.

And the still forming consolidation charter that is the group’s chief task under state law got decidedly mixed reviews.

18. I-240-Airways Project Stymied by Old Info -

The aerotropolis initiative’s transportation work group has recommended reexamining the Interstate 240-Airways Boulevard interchange modification study after finding flaws in the study, most of which arose from the length of time it took to research the area.

19. How to Build a Government in 71 days -

The idea of consolidation is a political perennial in Memphis, but the details of merging Memphis and Shelby County governments are much more elusive.

The Metro Charter Commission’s formation last year represented the most meaningful move toward consolidation in almost 40 years.

20. Charter Commission to Examine Metro Mayoral Powers -

The Metro Charter Commission will take a second look at a civil service system for a proposed consolidated government Thursday.

The group drafting a proposed consolidation charter for the November ballot will also discuss what powers a metro mayor should have.

21. Cohen Bill Elevates Aerotropolis Concept -

U.S. Rep Steve Cohen hopes his colleagues on Capitol Hill will soon become as familiar with the term “aerotropolis” as the constituents he represents in Tennessee’s 9th District.

22. Charter Commission Examines Personnel System -

The framework of a new civil service system in a consolidated local government has the preliminary approval of the Metro Charter Commission.

But it is not likely to be the last word on the complex and politically volatile topic.

23. Charter Commission Tackles HR System For Metro Government -

The Metro Charter Commission ventured Thursday into the complex, technical and politically volatile topic of how to hire, fire and keep employees of a consolidated local government.

A task force of the 15 member group recommended a “human resource management” (HRM) system as the proposed metro government’s “effective civil service system” for all employees of the government.

24. UPDATE: Charter Commission Tackles HR of Metro Government -

The Metro Charter Commission ventured Thursday into the complex, technical and politically volatile topic of how to hire, fire and keep employees of a consolidated local government on the payroll.

A task force of the 15 member group recommended a “human resource management” (HRM) system as the proposed metro government’s “effective civil service system” for all employees of the government.

25. Annexation Reserves Raise Concerns for Metro Charter -  

The Metro Charter Commission now has a lot of work for its drafting committee, as the group’s task forces continue to report at the body’s weekly meetings.

Still to come are the recommendations about how the services will be divided into urban and general services districts, each with their own tax rates. Those recommendations will be critical to the proposed consolidation charter.

“We’re not there yet,” commission chairwoman Julie Ellis told Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner last week as Joyner looked for some indication. “These are all of great concern to all of us.”

An urban services district would be funded by a property tax rate for people who live in Memphis.

A general services district would be funded by a property tax rate for the entire county, including Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington.

Joyner is among those most concerned about where the money will come from to pay for those services.

“Two-percent of our population uses any service that is offered by the health department – 2 percent,” Joyner said as charter commissioners brought up county services used by Collierville residents. “(Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division) – but we pay handsomely for that.”

Afterward, Joyner questioned how to prevent a metro council from taxing Collierville residents beyond what they actually use.

“They can do it now, though,” argued Charter commissioner Chris Patterson, who said Collierville residents now pay for more than the services they use from county government. “It’s the same animal.”

Joyner and other suburban leaders argue they should be taxed depending on how much their residents use facilities like The Regional Medical Center at Memphis and the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department.

Consolidation proponents, however, argue The MED and the health department are countywide services that should be funded by all county taxpayers because the services are available to all county residents.

Meanwhile, the commission has tentatively approved seven recommendations from a task force on central support services.

The recommendations would establish departments within a metro government for building security, fleet management, printing and local government property maintenance.

All recommendations go to a drafting committee that will craft charter language and then take the written provisions back to the charter commission for votes on the language as well as the general idea.

Charter Commissioner Damon Griffin, who headed the support services task force, said the departments would not be full-fledged city divisions with directors appointed by the metro mayor and a tier of deputy directors. Each might have two or three employees and then outsource some work.

The task force recommendations approved by the Charter Commission also call for:

  • A chief information officer, appointed by the metro mayor, to oversee all IT operations.
  • A metro public information office to be part of the executive powers of the metro mayor. The office would serve as the spokesman for all parts of a consolidated local government and not just individual offices or departments.
  • Consolidated purchasing services as part of the department of finance and administration.

The charter proposal is due to be completed by mid-August with a vote on the November ballot.

...

26. Charter Commission Tackles Tricky Political Rules -  

Members of the Metro Charter Commission are getting into some of the thorniest political issues involved in writing the blueprint for a consolidated city and county government.

At least for now, term limits, runoff elections, being current on metro taxes to qualify to run for office and a referendum for any metro council pay raise are in.

Out, at this tentative stage, is the idea of a vice mayor, staggered terms for council members, a city pension for council members and partisan primaries.

All of the proposals approved last week go to a drafting committee. The committee will write charter language and then come back to the full commission with the wording. The charter group will then take a final vote on the general proposal and the charter wording.

Still to be discussed is how big the metro council would be and what the districts would look like.

The charter commission also delayed votes on proposals to:

  • Fill vacancies on the metro council with a majority vote of the council unless it is a vacancy of more than two years. In that case, the vacant council seat would go on the next available election ballot.
  • Making the council chairman the “mayor pro tempore” if the mayor resigns or otherwise leaves office. The mayor pro tempore would serve for up to 180 days if there is a general or municipal election scheduled during that period. If no election is scheduled, a special election for mayor would be held within 90 days of the vacancy.

The delay came after lots of debate, with more debate certain.

“Is there any other way?” Charter Commission Chairwoman Julie Ellis asked at one point. “It just hasn’t looked like a very good system. … The public has had a lot to say about this, and it’s not been kind.”

Commissioner J.W. Gibson termed it a system of “hard knocks,” pointing out that part of the Shelby County Commission’s dilemma in picking an interim mayor last year was that it required seven votes – a majority of the 13 members – which proved difficult to collect with three commissioners not voting, because they had been nominated for interim mayor.

Gibson, who is a county commissioner, was one of the contenders. He lost to fellow commissioner Joe Ford.

Charter commissioner Randolph Meade Walker proposed not allowing the mayor pro tempore to run in a special election.

“An interim who is an insider is appointed by fellow insiders,” Walker said. “I think a major drawback to this whole area has been an exclusivity in government that we have people who are the same folks that keep playing musical chairs. We need some new ideas – some new people.”

Gibson, however, said it might mean a council member who wants to be chairman as a later stepping stone to serving as mayor might have to give up being chairman.

Meanwhile, commissioner Chris Patterson expanded on Walker’s idea by adding that those appointed to fill vacant council seats could not seek the seat in the next election for that seat.

Charter commissioner and Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland headed the task force that presented the recommendations. He wasn’t surprised by the debate on the 25 items.

“There are legitimate differences of opinion,” he told The Daily News at the end of the three-hour session. “The county’s been through three mayors in the last year. The city’s been through three mayors also. … The average person has been very aware of the process.”

Ellis questioned whether the metro council should have staggered terms with half of the members elected every two years.

Eight new county commissioners were elected to that 13-member body in the 2006 elections.

Before those political precedents, most council and commission seats changed hands because an incumbent decided not to seek re-election. That was also the case in the 2006 and 2007 election cycles.

The proposed charter is due by mid-August.

Voters decide whether to accept or reject the charter in a pair of referenda on the November ballot. It must win in the referendum within the city of Memphis as well as the referendum in Shelby County outside the Memphis city limits.

...

27. Events -

The Memphis Rotary Club will meet today at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Julie Ellis, chair of the Charter Commission, will speak. Cost is $18. To register, e-mail Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

28. Consolidated Gov’t to Include New Divisions -

The list of new departments for a consolidated Memphis-Shelby County government continues to grow as the Metro Charter Commission moves a step closer to writing a consolidation charter.

But much debate is to come on the size of the proposed merger government.

29. Events -

MPACT Memphis will hold a community service meeting today at 6 p.m. at Café Eclectic, 603 N. McLean Blvd. For reservations or more information, e-mail Kurt Schoeffler at communityservice@mpactmemphis.org.

30. Events -

Launch Memphis will host a seminar titled “Bootstrapping: Business Plan Boot Camp” Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 516 Tennessee St. Cost is $40. To register, visit bootcampmem.eventbrite.com.

31. Events -

The Greater Memphis Chamber will hold a breakfast forum today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Memphis Marriott East, 2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Meri Armour, president and chief executive officer of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, will speak. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. To register, contact Ericka Milford at 543-3518 or emilford@memphischamber.com.

32. Consolidation Task Forces Begin Work -

The Metro Charter Commission will begin a series of task force meetings this week on the various issues a proposed consolidation charter should address.

The task forces, which are smaller groups of commissioners working with citizens not on the commission, will submit ideas to the full body for its consideration.

33. School Consolidation Nixed in Charter Talks -

Consolidating the Memphis and Shelby County public school systems is off the table as far as the Metro Charter Commission is concerned.

In its first vote on a charter issue since forming in October, the body voted unanimously last week to exclude the school systems from the charter or any charter discussions. The exclusion does not apply to the charter commission’s coming talks about how both school systems would be funded by one local government.

34. Fire Protection Latest Issue For Charter Commission -

The Metro Charter Commission has a “project manager” to help meet its tight deadline for a consolidation charter proposal.

The concept is a new one to government undertakings. But at its Thursday meeting, the group agreed to make Lou Etta Burkins, a project manager at FedEx Express, its project manager. The move was suggested by commission Chair Julie Ellis and adopted by the group with no objections.

35. Charter Commission Elects Ellis Chair -

As Shelby County Commissioners were appointing an interim county mayor this week, the Metro Charter Commission was working four floors above them at the County Administration Building in only its second meeting.

36. Charter Commission Prepares for Nine-Month Mission -

The 15 members of the Metro Charter Commission will need some time to get organized before they wade into the details of what a consolidated local government should look like.

The group met for the first time Tuesday in the “historic courtroom” of the Shelby County Courthouse, a third-floor courtroom restored to its original early 20th-century appearance including a rubber-tiled floor.

37. Metro Charter Commission to Choose Chair -

The first order of business today will be selecting a leader. It’s become a familiar note in political daily planners these days.

The Metro Charter Commission holds its first meeting today on the third floor of the Shelby County Courthouse.

38. Commission to Revisit Charter Appointments Today -

Approving mayoral appointments to boards and commissions is usually the quickest part of the Shelby County Commission’s agenda. It’s normally a routine vote.

That won’t be the case today.

The commission will meet this afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building Downtown. A full agenda for the meeting is available at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

39. Metro Charter Appointments Win Recommendation -

Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday recommended all 10 of County Mayor A C Wharton’s appointees to a metro charter commission.

The commission, which will include five people appointed by the Memphis mayor and confirmed by the City Council, will draft a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis and Shelby County governments.

40. Dishmon Joins UT Medical Group -

Dr. Dwight “Dan” Dishmon has joined the Department of Medicine at UT Medical Group.
Dishmon is an interventional cardiologist and cares for adults with ischemic heart disease and peripheral arterial disease.
He earned his medical degree and completed his internal medicine residency and general cardiology fellowship training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He later completed additional fellowship training at Michigan State University’s Borgess Medical Center. 

41. Wharton Turns in 10 Names for Consolidation Commission -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has come up with 10 appointees to a metro charter commission and has sent the names to the Shelby County Commission for approval.

The commission will consider the appointments Wednesday in committee sessions. The full commission is scheduled to vote on the names later this month.

42. Wharton Turns in 10 Names for Consolidation Commission -  

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has come up with 10 appointees to a metro charter commission and has sent the names to the Shelby County Commission for approval.

The commission will consider the appointments Wednesday in committee sessions. The full commission is scheduled to vote on the names later this month.

The nominees are:

•Millington Mayor Richard L. Hodges

•Former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley

•County Commissioner J.W. Gibson of Memphis

Julie Ellis, an attorney at Butler Snow PLLC

•Lou Etta Burkins, FedEx Express project engineer of unincorporated Shelby County

Andre Fowlkes, Memphis Small Business Chamber executive director

•Billy Orgel, Tower Ventures developer, of Memphis.

Chris Patterson, an attorney at Wiseman Bray PLLC of Germantown

•The?Rev??Randolph Meade Walker, pastor of Castalia Baptist Church

Rufus Washington, retired U.S. Marine and president of Southeast Shelby County Coalition

The charter commission is to draft the proposed structure of a consolidated city and county government. The draft will then be taken to voters in Memphis and Shelby County outside of Memphis in a pair of referenda set for Nov. 2010.

The proposed charter must pass in each referendum to become the new structure of local government.

The consolidation charter would not have the effect of consolidating the six suburban municipalities outside Memphis into the proposed new consolidated government. But it would probably affect the delivery of services to Arlington, Bartlett, Collerville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington and from what is now Shelby County government.

The Memphis mayor has five appointments to the metro charter commission. But in approving the creation of the commission last month, the City Council also said it would not vote on appointees by the Memphis mayor until its Oct. 20 meeting. That means whoever wins the Oct. 15 election will make the appointments.

If Wharton wins the special election, he could make those five appointments as well as the 10 he’s forwarded to the County Commission. But Wharton has said he would not make all 15 appointments in that scenario.

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43. Archived Article: Real Recap - Dillards Plans Store for Collierville Center

Dillards Plans Store for Collierville Center

12.47 acres near

Shelby Drive

Cost: $1.2 million

Buyer: The Castner-Knott Dry Goods Co.

Seller: Carriage Avenue LLC

Property: 12.47 acres ...

44. Archived Article: Newsmakers - TMA Elects Surgeon to Board of Trustees

Local Surgeon Elected to Medical Association Board

The Tennessee Medical Association elected vascular surgeon Dr. Hugh Francis III to serve a three-year term on its Board of Trustees. Francis previously ...